But there's one variety of smart home tech that's a total no-brainer: smart security systems.
It's a rapidly growing segment, with multiple companies offering live monitoring, remote-controlled locks, and other useful features. One of them is Dropcam—a startup whose $150 cameras can stream live video to computers and mobile devices. And just this week, its systems more than proved their worth for one New Jersey man.
WARNING: The following video is NSFW. If you're at home, you might want to cover your kids' ears.
Nisarg Swaminarayan was having dinner with relatives in Parlin, New Jersey, when an alert popped up on his phone telling him that his sliding glass door had been opened. Through Dropcam's free app, Swaminarayan watched in disbelief as an intruder slipped into his home began snooping around with a flashlight in the dark.
ABC News affiliate WABC reports that, upon entering the home, the unwelcome guest noticed one of Swaminarayan's Dropcams and turned it around. Little did he know, there were two more cameras watching him—both equipped with night vision.
The home invader soon began snatching electronic equipment. But Swaminarayan had one more trick up his sleeve. He switched on Dropcam's two-way voice chat function and yelled: “I see you! Please leave my home immediately!”
Only he didn’t use such polite phrasing, if you catch my drift.
The unexpected racket quickly scared the man off (with brown shorts, no doubt), and police were able to use the footage to track him down and arrest him. The alleged thief is currently being held on $25,000 bail.
With a relatively inexpensive investment, Swaminarayan was able to stop a potentially expensive robbery, bring the hammer of justice down on the perp, and give Dropcam some of the best PR it could hope for. Smart tech for the win!