SMANOS K1: DIY SOLUTION FOR SELF-MONITORED HOME SECURITYBy - 09/17/2017
Smanos debuted their wireless hub at CES 2015. The hub, which is being referred to as K1, will join Smanos’ pre-existing WiFi and cellular portfolio. And yes, nearly three years later, we are still waiting for it to hit the shelves. However, Smanos is promising that K1’s public launch will happen soon, and this time they promise they mean it…
Meet the Smanos K1 Hub
Smanos K1 is centered on the K1 hub, a puck-shaped device built with simplicity in mind. The K1 hub can run on AC power, battery, or both, where the battery acts as a backup to the AC power source.
The hub’s main job is to link your devices together. It uses standard protocols including Z-Wave and Google Thread as well as WiFi. It uses Z-Wave to connect with up to fifty K1 sensors, while its compatibility with Google Thread allows it to connect with Nest products. Finally, it uses Wi-Fi to connect with Amazon Echo and the Smanos companion app.
Meet The K1 Accessories
The K1 system includes a total of six accessories.
For starters, there’s a door/window sensor and a pet-friendly motion sensor. The door/window sensor is no different from what you might see included as part of a traditional home alarm. It comes in two pieces: the magnet and the contact. The sensor triggers when the two pieces are separated.
On the other hand, the motion sensor detects motion within 25 feet and within its 110° field of vision. Being pet-friendly, it knows not to trigger an alarm if motion is caused by a pet weighing less than 55 lbs. The pet-friendly motion sensor is designed to mount on walls or in a corner. It even comes with mounting brackets for either scenario.
The third accessory is a water sensor. It can be placed on the ground or mounted on a wall. It monitors for water, and if it detects water where there shouldn’t be water, it will sound an 80db siren and send a notification to your phone. It also includes a tamper sensor.
The fourth accessory is the wireless security keypad. The keypad lets you set your system to different modes. There’s a Home Arm, Away Arm, and Disarm mode. The control keypad can be placed anywhere within a 250-foot range from the hub. Instead of normal PINs, it has a unique, non-numeric passcode that you can personalize.
Fifth, we have the RFID tags and reader. Like the keypad, RFID tags can swap the system mode. However, they can only set the system to Away Arm or Disarm mode. You can attach the tags to everyday objects you normally carry, such as your wallet or your phone case. As you arrive home, you simply need to tap the tag on the RFID reader, which is designed to mount on a wall. If the system is armed, tapping the tag will disarm it. If the system is disarmed, the tag will arm it. Using the app, you can monitor which tags were used to arm and disarm your K1 system. You can even rename each tag according to who uses it for better monitoring.
The final accessory compatible with the Smanos K1 system is the 90db indoor siren. It runs on four CR123A batteries with a lifespan of up to two years. You can even set rules as to when you want the siren to sound.
Meet The Compatible Cameras
Aside from sensors and accessories, the K1 hub works with two of Smanos’ security cameras: the DB-20 smart video doorbell and the PT-180 Panoramic Wi-Fi Camera.
The DB-20 doorbell camera is designed to stand guard at your front door. Not unlike other doorbell cameras, it will notify you via the Smanos app if someone rings your doorbell. You can then talk to your guests via the camera’s two-way voice feature. You can also pull up a live video feed anytime using your smartphone. Unfortunately, unlike Ring and other doorbell cameras, the DB-20 lacks the ability to detect motion. If your guests don’t ring the doorbell, you won’t know they’ve ever been at your doorstep.
The DB-20 features an HD 720p resolution, a 180° wide angle lens, and night vision. It is also rugged enough to endure temperatures as low as -4°F and as high as 122°F. The camera is weather-resistant with an IP rating of 54 and can be wired to your existing doorbell setup, or it can run on battery power. Unfortunately, its dimensions make it less than ideal for use on doors with narrow door frames. The DV-20 measures 2.44 inches wide, over 5 inches high, and 1.4 inches thick.
The second camera is the PT-180 Panoramic Wi-Fi Camera, also referred to as Smanos UFO because of its UFO disc-like shape. Smanos UFO can be mounted on a wall, ceiling, or table. If mounted on a wall or attached to its table stand, the camera features a 180° field of view. If placed on the ceiling, the field of view increases to 360°. Either way, Smanos UFO can monitor an entire room. When watching feeds via the app, you have six viewing modes to choose from. There’s the Bird’s Eye view (best for ceiling mounted cameras), Panorama (best for wall or table mounted cameras), Hemisphere, Triple View, Two Halves, and Quad View.
Smanos UFO features a 1080p resolution, night vision, two-way voice communication, and 24/7 continuous recording saved to a microSD card up to 64GB in size (not provided). It also offers basic motion detection. Unlike the other products in this review, Smanos UFO is available for purchase for $199.99. The camera works with or without the K1 system, so if you’re interested, you can get one now.
Both the DB-20 doorbell camera and the UFO camera are capable of storing videos to the cloud. Unfortunately, cloud storage isn’t free. It’s an optional service with monthly fees. The price of cloud storage remains undisclosed.
Meet The Smanos Home App
The final component of the Smanos K1 system is the Smanos Home app, available on Android and iOS. Its job is to provide you with a convenient way to control your K1 system. From the app, you can set your system to different modes, monitor who armed and disarmed your system using tags, and receive push notifications for alerts. Via the app, you can also watch live video feeds from your cameras and create automation rules for your connected devices.
Meet The Partners: Nest & Amazon Echo
Other than the sensors, accessories, and cameras that we’ve talked about, the K1 system can also accommodate third-party products from Nest and Amazon.
Thanks to its compatibility with the Google Thread protocol, the K1 hub can connect with Nest Thermostat and Nest Protect. Adding the two devices to the K1 system will let you control your temperature and monitor for smoke directly from the Smanos Home app
The Amazon Echo integration lets you control your home using your voice. As the K1 hasn’t been released yet, we’re still unsure what voice commands you can use. However, it will most likely include voice control for arming the system.
Is the Smanos K1 system worth waiting for? Based on our review, the answer is no. Three years ago, when we first took a look at this system, it would have made a good DIY security system. However, over the years, smart home technology has improved incredibly. K1 lacks the technology to compete with existing solutions. In fact, it has several troublesome shortcomings.
First of all, it can only connect to a total of fifty sensors and accessories. Other hubs can handle hundreds. Another shortcoming is its inability to connect to more third-party brands. The Nest and Amazon Echo integrations are both nice, but they’re simply not enough to build a smart home. And finally, there’s Smanos’ questionable reputation regarding delivering on their promises. We’ve been waiting for almost three years for K1 to hit the shelves, how much longer do we need to wait for them to expand the system? If you’re looking for a self-monitored security system, there are tons of options for you. Feel free to browse our other smart home reviews to find the system that best fits your needs. You can also check out our recommended self-monitored security systems.