SMANOS K1: DIY SOLUTION FOR SELF-MONITORED HOME SECURITYBy - 12/01/2017
Smanos debuted their wireless hub at CES 2015. The hub, which is being referred to as K1, was set to join Smanos’ pre-existing WiFi and cellular portfolio. We waited, and waited, and waited… and finally, after almost three years, the K1 is now available to the public.
Meet the Smanos K1 Hub
Smanos K1 is centered around 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 supports 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 using a traditional PIN, it uses 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 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 or if it detects motion. You can also use the app to talk to your guests via two-way audio or to view a live feed.
The DB-20 features an HD 1080p 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 DB-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 attached to a 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 32GB in size (not provided). It also offers basic motion detection. Smanos UFO is available for purchase for $199.99. The camera works with or without the K1 system.
Both the DB-20 doorbell camera and the UFO camera are capable of storing videos in the cloud. Unfortunately, cloud storage isn’t free though 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 for Android and iOS devices. 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 alerts via push notifications. 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 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.
Three years ago when we first took a look at Smanos, 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, it can only connect to a total of fifty sensors and accessories. Other hubs can handle hundreds. Another shortcoming is its inability to connect with more third-party brands. The Nest and Amazon Echo integrations aren’t enough to build a smart home. And finally, Smanos hasn’t always delivered on their promises. It took them three years to launch K1, how much longer do we have to wait for them to improve it?
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.
The Smanos K1 starter kit sells for $299.99. The kit includes a K1 hub, keypad, pet-friendly motion sensor, indoor siren, and two door/window sensors.