Intruder alarms have been around for decades, so you might be wondering what makes Boundary different.
We aim to take proven alarm technology and modernise it, embracing the Internet of Things and minimalist design. Our alarm will conform to standards passed in 2005, but it’ll also have exciting new “smart” technologies like geofencing, smart home integration and Z-Wave 700. Like alarm systems from 20 years ago, you’ll be able to programme your system with a keypad on the Central Hub. However, we’ve taken into account modern lifestyles so you’ll also be able to control it with the phone app.
Here is a breakdown of some of the most exciting things the Boundary alarm has to offer:
Conforms to UK and European Standards
There are many ways to stop a burglar, some more effective than others. This is why we have the UK and European standards (EN50131) on intruder alarms. These standards unify the definition of a home alarm system amongst insurers, alarm companies and the police, to create a gold standard in burglary prevention.
Boundary will be one of the few smart alarm systems which conforms to these standards.
To meet these requirements the Boundary alarm has to pass tests conducted by an independent, accredited lab. The tests cover physical robustness, tamper proofing, environmental standards, false alarm reduction and minimum operating standards.
For example, our motion sensors will be tested against smoke, dry heat, extreme cold, power cuts, mechanical shock, vibration and impact, amongst other things. All types of human movement will be checked: slow to fast moving, intermittent, close-up. Anti-tampering features will also be tested, so intruders can’t defeat the motion sensor by masking, removing or destroying it.
Passing these tests is a big deal, and requires a lot of investment, so meeting UK and European standards is a key reason to choose Boundary.
An alarm that meets Grade 2 standards offers the possibility of Monitoring with a Police Response. The alarm must be professionally installed, but it’s worth it. If you have a lot of valuables or you’re away from home a lot, a police response gives complete peace of mind.
To a PIR sensor living things are simply moving blocks of infra-red heat. Generally, sensors will not discriminate between the size and location of the movement, meaning it’ll react to both humans and pets.
Fortunately, techniques have been developed to avoid this. To recognise and discount pets a PIR sensor can be programmed to ignore movement based on weight – the Boundary sensor will ignore pets below 35kg.
To understand geofencing, imagine an invisible fence around the perimeter of your home as a 360 circle. Should you leave the fenced area without setting your alarm you’ll get reminded to set it.
From research, we know that many don’t set their alarm because they forget or they only remember when they’re halfway to work. With Geofencing and the Boundary alarm, you’ll receive a push notification, select it to open the phone app and set your alarm. Easy!
Geofencing can detect you coming home too, so we’re looking at future ways to use this.
With home automation you can use Boundary’s sensors to turn on / off smart appliances and make your life easier and safer.
When you’re out or on holiday, the Boundary alarm can simulate you being home by randomly turning smart lights on and off in different rooms.
When you arrive home, Boundary motion sensors can detect you entering and turn on smart lights to welcome you. It can also detect you moving from room-to-room and turn on smart lights.
IFTTT (If this, then that)
IFTTT is a free way to get all your apps and devices talking to each other. Not every smart home device plays nice, so IFTTT acts as a middle-man.
For example, you’ll be able to IFTTT between Boundary and Philips Hue, so that if Boundary alarm detects an intruder the lights will start flashing.
You can use existing commands, made by other users, create your own or request that we build one.
Integration with Alexa, Google Home, Smart Things and more!
Boundary will be directly integrated with Nest Home Hub (formerly Google Home Hub) and Amazon Alexa. We’ll also be integrating Apple Homekit shortly after launch.
To use Voice command assistants you give a command like “alexa … disarm boundary with code” then shout your passcode – the same passcode you’d input using the Central Hub’s keypad.
Cellular backup means your alarm can still message you and request a police response* even if the Wi-Fi stops working. Instead of the internet, the Central Hub uses a radio transmitter to send an SMS like a phone does. Your home will continue to be protected and you’ll receive a message should there be any suspicious activity – you’ll also be notified that the Wi-Fi has stopped.
As Cellular Backup requires a SIM card, with a phone contract, Boundary charges a small monthly fee for the service.
12-hour backup battery in Central Hub
The Central Hub will be mains powered with a battery backup. This conforms to Grade 2 requirements and means the Boundary alarm will continue working even in the event of a power-cut.
Minimum 12-month battery life in sensors
While Boundary’s sensors will have 12 months of battery life guaranteed, we expect this to be closer to 36 months of real world use. A lot of this depends how you use them, for instance in a busy shop, you might want to consider disabling the LED on the door contact to save battery life.
The Central Hub and sensors will have all sorts of tamper-proofing technology. If the Central Hub or sensors are disturbed in any way while the alarm is active, you’ll be notified.
Some attacks are designed to exploit alarms without tamper-proofing, like the crash and smash. This is where the burglar breaks into the home via the front door and destroys the Central Hub before it can activate the alarm. The burglar exploits the 30-second countdown that the owner gets to disarm the alarm.
To be effective, a combination of tamper-proofing and cellular backup is recommended, as the burglar could disconnect the internet before destroying the Central Hub.
Where a specific section of the home is armed e.g. all downstairs sensors or all window sensors. Useful in case you’re the only one at home or if your dog is heavier than 35kg.
The Boundary alarm will remind you to set the alarm when you’re going to bed. Useful considering around half of burglaries occur when the owner is at home!
To provide the strongest signal, and allow the Central Hub reach every corner of the home, we’re using Z-Wave 700. Released in December 2018 this version of Z-Wave offers improved energy efficiency, better reliability and 250% longer range capabilities.
A PIR sensor with sealed optics works effectively to protect against insects crawling into the sensor and setting off false alarms.
Choice of notifications
With the Boundary alarm you’ll be able to choose how you get notified. You can choose from push notifications, text messages or phone calls. You can also nominate keyholders, who will get these notifications.
Transparent and affordable pricing
For many alarm companies you often have to request a quote before you see any pricing. The sales-person will use tactics like discounts or extras to persuade you to buy, often starting from a high price point to seem like you’re getting a good deal.
Boundary is taking a different approach. We’ll be making our pricing totally transparent and available on our website. We’ll offer a range of affordable subscriptions for all sorts of homes, so that you can choose a plan to suit your needs.
Our monthly plans will be some of the most affordable in the UK, particularly if you want monitoring. If you want monitoring with a police response, you’ll be hard pressed to find a monthly plan costing less than our Complete plan!
Boundary is on Kickstarter! If you’re shopping for an intruder alarm, check out our Kickstarter packages. You could save up to £100!