Security in the home is a top priority for many of us. Recently in my area there have been around a dozen attempted break-ins so I’m always looking for ways to improve security. When I heard about Hive Smart Sensors I was intrigued. They are basically motion sensors that detect when there is motion in your home and if it’s at a time when you don’t expect there to be any motion, this can potentially help you stop a thief in their tracks. I was sent the Hive Motion Sensor and the Hive Window or Door Sensor to try for review.
I firstly tried the Hive Motion Sensor. The way it works is simple. You set it up in the chosen place in your home and if it detects motion it will send an alert to your smartphone. It uses passive infrared technology to detect movement and you can adapt the settings on your smartphone to either receive alerts or not. For example, if you’re at home you may choose to switch the alerts off. If you’re out at work or on holiday, you may switch them back on. You can also schedule up to six different times when it will detect motion, so that might be when you’re at work and when you go to bed at night. You can receive these notifications by email or push or both.
I found the app easy to download from the app store. It requires iOS 7 or later, which most people now have, or Android (min 4.0.3) on a laptop or tablet. You also need to have an up-to-date web browser. The app is easy to navigate but as I suspected when I first heard about this, it’s a slight drain on your phone’s battery. Obviously the notifications can be pushed to your phone and you don’t have to keep checking but I did find that it ate a disappointing amount of power.
The sensor was easy to set up. In the box you receive the Hive Motion Sensor, adhesive strips and a Duracell battery. It’s as easy as sticking it to the chosen place in your home with the adhesive strips and then teaming it with your app – also easy to do. I was pleased at how simple the setup was, but disappointed with the adhesive strips. They just aren’t sticky enough and you might find that you need to go to a stationer and purchase more strips with stronger glue. I wasn’t sticking it to a damp, slippery surface. It was a painted wall. The other downside was that the Duracell battery didn’t last long at all. It needed replaced within a few days. It takes a CR123A lithium battery and I didn’t have a charger and rechargeable batteries in this size in my home. So, this is something that you’ll need to take into account if you purchase one of these sensors. You may need to make an additional purchase of a charger and rechargeable batteries.
The Hive Window or Door Sensor works in a similar way to the Hive Motion Sensor but this comes in two parts. There is a small, slim sensor and a larger wireless sensor. The larger one attaches to the window or door and the smaller one to the frame. Working together, they alert you if the door or window has been opened. Like the Hive Motion Sensor, you will need to team this with the smartphone app in order to receive alerts. Using the Hive Hub, you can connect all your Hive Motion Sensors and Hive Window or Door Sensors so you can see where in the home the motion is and where it’s moving to. You can also connect other Hive products to the Hive Hub so they all work together.
I think these smart sensors are a really good investment for anyone, and I can see that they would be particularly useful for the elderly. For example, I have a neighbour who is 91 years old and is very anxious about some attempted break-ins she’s recently had. By fitting a couple of these motion sensors in her home and pairing them with the app on my phone, I really think it would give her, and us, peace of mind. I also can’t help thinking that these may be an item that would help reduce home insurance premiums in the future. Simply having these fitted would be seen as pro-active and a good way of deterring people from breaking in to the home.
If you would like to read more about Hive products, you can visit the Hive website where they have a particular page for their smart sensors. The Hive Motion Sensor and the Hive Window or Door Sensor are both priced at £29 each.