Control Your Home From Your Phone With Sentri

Every day it seems like we take another step towards a truly smart home solution coming to the masses, and now that effort is getting a significant boost from a new player - Sentri. The project is a home security and automation system with a sleek design and a ton of great functionality. The group of ex-employees from the likes of Acer, Asus, and HTC were able to create prototypes at first, but in order to move to the next stage of development posted a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstater. The funding met its goal of $200,000 within the first 48 hours and now, with 21 days remaining, may still be the best way to get your hands on the Sentri for the cheapest price you are going to have a chance at. You can still get pledge $249 to get a Sentri, with the retail price going up to a bit more than that mostly likely, once it becomes available for sale to the general public.

Sentri does not try to compete with the likes of Nest and other popular home automation products, but instead hopes to integrate with them. Allowing the sharing of information between Sentri, acting like a hub, and various smart home devices. Those devices incude the Nest thermostat, Lockitron smart lock, the Philips Hue smart lights, and the Belkin WeMo smart power plug at the moment. To ensure the ability for Sentri to integrate with other future devices the team has created an open API that developers will be able to leverage.

Sentri's installation should be simple enough with a "plug it in and connect it to WiFi" approach. From there you can connect it to other devices in the house via your wireless network or Bluetooth. The Sentri hardware is simple enough, appearing at a glance to be an overly thick iPad. The actual dimensions are 9.4in by 9.4in by 1.5in (pictured below).  Based on the pictures released by the creators (also in gallery below) it looks as though you will be able to hang the Sentri on a wall or use a simple stand to place it on a table or other flat surface. Finally, the device is available in multiple colors, with the option for custom engraving, and even a "wood grain finish".

The software on the Sentri is probably one of the most exciting aspects of the project. Sentri has companion apps on both Android and iOS, which it pushes notifications out to as needed, such as if you left the lights on at home or if it's getting too hot. If you need to check in on what is going on at your house you can use the mobile app to connect to Sentri's camera and take a gander. In the event that you get an alert, and would like to address it, you can use the app to control your smart devices at home, which would connect to a smart thermostat like Nest to adjust the temperature, or send the signal to turn off your smart lights. Like Nest, Sentri tries to learn your behaviors and adjust accordingly - your data kept safe by its use of 2048 bit RSA "bank-level" encryption. Here is a video that showcases some of those features:


After my earlier article about LG's "Home Chat" service, that allows you to control home appliances, being included as a feature on their new G Watch. It would seem that the home in one of the next frontiers for tech companies. Sentri is just another piece of that puzzle. Hopefully Sentri will be able to get a decent following before the big boys catch on - with Google having acknowledged the rising interest in this kind of technology with their recent purchase of Nest. Want to see more of the Sentri? Take a look at the gallery below. As always, let us know what you think in the comments.



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About the Author

Ryan Sipes

Ryan hails from beautiful Lawrence, Kansas and is an avid Android enthusiast, Linux lover, open source advocate, and all around tech nut. When not hacking code together or flashing different ROMs onto his devices, Ryan can be found writing about his tech experiences and insights on Android.
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