Korner—Entry Sensor That Is Simple, Unique, AffordableBy - 01/25/2017
Update: In June of 2018, after operating for over two years, Korner Safe announced the termination of their service via email. In the announcement, they gave their existing customers one month to find a new security system to protect their homes. In July, Korner shut down their servers and bricked the product.
Professionally monitored home alarm systems are still the best way to protect your home, but we understand that some want to take security into their own hands.
Korner is a basic security system built around a unique entry sensor. The system is made up of the sensors, the Stick, and an app.
The Tag—Korner’s Entry Sensor
Korner’s centerpiece, or cornerpiece for that matter, is the Tag. It’s unique because it’s one-piece, unlike most entry sensors which use two-pieces. As a result, it is far easier to install. I can’t even call it an ‘installation’ because all you need to do is stick it on your door’s top corner away from the hinge using a reusable adhesive. The Tag works with all door types, including recessed doors, which usually require specialized sensors. And with its contoured triangular shape and small size (2 ⅜” long x 5/16″ thick), Korner blends in nicely with most surrounding frames. Even better, you can repaint it to match your door.
Korner Tags use a patent-pending power management technique, which supports a 2-year battery life using a CR2450. They also use a combination of sensors to detect forced entry. The Tag knows the difference between a harmless knock on your door vs. a thief trying to kick your door open, resulting in fewer false alarms and smarter detection. This is similar to MyFox’s IntelliTAGs.
The second component is the Stick, a hub that can connect with up to 25 Tags via Z-Wave. The Stick is just as easy to install as the Tag. It looks like a bulky flash drive, and all you need to do is plug it into your router’s Ethernet port. It has an operating range of 100ft., which is enough for most homes. If your Tags are farther away, you can buy a range extender ($39) to double the Stick’s range.
Using Z-Wave, the Stick has the potential to work with other smart home devices. As of now, however, Korner hasn’t made any friends.
Aside from being a hub, the Stick has another important function. When intrusions are detected, it emits a piercing tone to alert you that there’s trouble and to potentially scare off intruders.
The Korner App
The final component is the app. The Korner app serves as your control center where all your settings are saved. It is available to Android and iOS users. You can also access some of its features by logging into Korner’s website.
So what happens when an intrusion is detected? First, you get a push notification delivered to you through the app. Next, you take the driver’s seat. The app has two buttons to choose from — “Call the police” or “Notify circle”. You can pre-determine your so-called ‘security circle’ during setup.
One of Korner’s goals is to create a social platform where people in your neighborhood can engage with each other and establish a Neighborhood Watch. In theory, you watch out for your neighbors, and they watch out for you. Korner’s CEO Steve Hollis states that Korner sees the app eventually evolving to an online messaging service centered on that goal.
The Korner app also allows you to arm and disarm your sensors from anywhere, set schedules to automate arming and disarming, and set low battery notifications.
Should You Buy Korner?
From a price perspective, I give Korner two-thumbs up. When purchasing Korner, your first step is to pick a package. For those who live in smaller homes, Korner offers a Tag and a Stick for only $78. For medium sized homes, 3 Tags and a Stick costs $98. You can add extra Tags for $25 each (still less expensive than most entry sensors) and range-extenders for $39.
Putting one of my thumbs back down, Korner also requires a yearly subscription. The cost is $39 which covers cloud services to enable smartphone notifications. Upon purchase of the $78 or $98 kit, you will receive a one-year subscription for free. Your next annual subscription payment is then due before the end of the first year.
Korner is an innovative, first-of-its-kind, affordable, and simple entry sensor system. It has a promising future, but adding a fee to a self-monitored home security system is risky, especially when other systems do the same thing for free.