For home owners and renters alike, there are countless of gadgets that can help them remotely monitor their home through a smartphone. Perch, a new startup born out of the Samsung Accelerator program, wants to do away with useless hardware and let you turn a camera you may already own into a security monitor.
Instead of requiring customers to buy additional hardware, Perch lets you use any USB-based webcam, smartphone, laptop or tablet as the point of capture. The Perch app allows you to dictate the area of the screen you wish to monitor and send an alert when it notices unusual movements.
Furthermore, you can take action when those alerts happen. Unlike most smart home monitors on the market which can only record and show you what’s happening, Perch lets you stream yourself back to the smartphone or tablet currently monitoring your home and to do something about it.
For example, if you notice your dog chewing on the couch, you’ll be able to start a video chat to the monitoring device to actually tell Fido to stop.
Because the app is movement-based, you can set it to work with other Internet of Things gadgets, such as smart light bulbs, locks and appliances. Set up is virtually non-existent, so you can take old smartphones or webcams with you wherever you go and create a monitoring system as needed.
It’s refreshing to see a startup tackle smart homes from the software side of things rather than focus on hardware that may require constant upgrades down the line. Plus, it gives you a neat idea for how to recycle those older phones sitting in your gear closet.
With today’s open beta launch, Perch will offer unlimited, encrypted video monitoring for a 30-day period. Although it does not have a monetization model just yet, it hopes to learn more from its first set of users before creating subscription plans.
Perch is available today for Android devices running version 4.1 or later, and connects via Wi-Fi only at launch. Support for smart TV and iOS are forthcoming.