Home security from afar? There's an app for that--actually, quite a few.
On Monday, the smart security start-up Control4 announced the terms of its soon-to-be $64 million IPO.
However, the company, which provides a service that allows home owners to control their music, lighting, heating, cooling, security and comunication from a smart phone app--may still have competition.
Here are three other home-security companies pioneering remote watch-dog products.
August Smart Lock
Sleek and simple, the August Smart Lock is a hardware device that clips onto your home's deadbolt allowing it to be locked and unlocked via smart phone at will. Founded by Yves Behar and Jason Johnson earlier this year, the San Francisco-based company has raised $2 million in seed funding to date.
This (humorous) video ad reveals how it works: the Smart Lock allows you to keep tabs on who is coming in and out of your house at any time, from any location. Which can help to smooth the stress of unlocking your place for out-of-town guests, subtly encourage your brother to move off of your couch, and prevent your "drunk and insane" former roommate from using his spare key against your will. Whew.
Similar to the August Smart Lock, Lockitron is a mobile-operated hardware device that allows you to control your house's locks. Founded by Cameron Robertson and Paul Gerhardt, the four year-old company is also based in San Francisco and recently raised over $2 million in product pre-orders using its own social media and press. They are expected to ship in fall of 2013.
Two additional perks: Bluetooth recognition for keyless entry--whether or not you've remembered your phone--and a web app that allows you to cancel your phone's key abilities in case of iPhone theft.
Call it your private security detail. The iSmart Alarm system includes security cameras, motion detectors and contact sensors placed around your home and controlled by your mobile device. It notifies you when doors are left ajar--or opened when no one is home--and allows you to train an eye on the culprit with the swipe of your finger.
You can also tag children and pets with tracking devices to let you know where they are. So long as you don't mind being labelled "creepy dad," that is. Founded by Raymond Meng, the less-than-one-year old company is based in Silicon Valley and raised over $200,00 in an IndieGoGo campaign for the product in April.
FRANCESCA FENZI reports on entrepreneurship, technology and small business news from San Francisco. Her work has previously appeared in TIME, USA Today, Pop City and The Northside Chronicle. @FrancescaFenzi