Canary is an all-in-one 'smart' home security camera that looks as threatening as a toddler's sippy cup. The size of a spray can, Canary's slim, polished design has the look of a cool gadget without giving itself away as a security camera--a clear attribute in the world of home security. The product won Inc.'s 2015 Best in Class Design award for the tech gadgets category. Below we asked co-founder and designer Jon Troutman to share his experiences creating the award-winning device. -as told to Edward Cox
We set out to design a new product that would make home security simpler, easier to use. So there are a couple main things we did. One was that we took everything that used tangential--different sensors and peripheral components--and put them all into one device. Now the one product has a HD video camera, a high quality microphone, and sensors that monitors for motion. It also monitors temperature, humidity, air quality and it has an accelerometer, a speaker as well as a siren. All these things you control from your smartphone.
When you look at our products, they are beautiful objects that pay attention to detail, but don't draw too much attention to themselves. We've been averaging about three burglaries a week that have been reported to us. In all cases Canary hasn't been stolen, it hasn't been tampered with. In one of the videos we have seen the burglar pick up the device, look directly into the camera and put it back down. So it plays that dual role of protecting without drawing too much attention to itself.
I think especially if you are going to disrupt or redefine an existing industry as we are doing with home security, it's important that you tell a story that will resonate with people. They need to be able to understand right away. They need to know how this new product will fit into their lives, even before they have it in their hands. That happens with any good brand. With new products, you start to experience them in your mind. You see this with Apple and Nike. That's what we've tried to do with Canary: create something that resonates with people initially.
In the Internet of Things industry right now there's a lot of people still focused on the tech side of it, a lot of companies that are looking to make the next new gadget. What we're doing is designed to leverage technology to solve problems. And home security is a huge problem that exists all throughout the U.S. and throughout the world. It's such a huge need for people. They just want something that works; that's going to make their life simple and solve problems for them.