Home security device manufacturers in the UK are required to adhere to a complicated set of British and European standards before their products can hit the market, which typically requires professional installation. A consequence of this relatively high barrier to entry is that most of the available alarm solutions are professional grade and, due to these regulations, must be segregated from other smart home assistance. Scotland-based Boundary is working on bridging this gap with a state-of-the-art alarm system that consumers can install themselves and monitor through their smartphones. We recently sat down with Boundary co-founder, Paul Walton to learn more.
Tell Us About Boundary.
Boundary was founded in 2018 after a successful Kickstarter campaign, producing a smart intruder alarm system for the UK market based on Z-Wave technology. Our co-founder, Robin Knox, had the idea when he was on his honeymoon and realized the limitations of his existing alarm system meant that if his home was broken into, he would be unable to actually do anything other than watch the events unfold on a CCTV camera. Immediately upon his return, he set out to find a reasonably priced self-install security system but had little success. This gap in the market for DIY home security was the catalyst to build something that looked great, was user-friendly, and provided better features at a reasonable price point.
Internally, our company’s goal was to develop a great mobile app that provided a much more intuitive and enjoyable user experience. With a focus on the user journey and hardware design, we are anticipating launching our first product, a smart IoT alarm system, this month. This system consists of four components: the central hub (which is the Z-Wave gateway), a motion sensor, a contact sensor, and an external siren, all of which connect to the central hub advisory.
One thing that sets Boundary apart from our competitors is its EN50131 European Standard for Intruder Alarm Systems compliance certification. Achieving this level of certification requires some pretty tough validation, dropping the hub from two meters and making sure that it's still operational, for instance. The rigorous design detail has made us the first manufacturer of a Z-Wave 700 device that is currently undergoing this certification, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year.
Why Did You Choose Silicon Labs Z-Wave Solutions for Your Products?
When it came to selection criteria, we had many requirements that needed to be met. Some were driven by the standards and some were simply a matter of the target data transmission rates the team wanted to meet. Developing a product that did not require complicated setup and provided the range required to cover a medium-to-large sized house was also important, as was maintaining connection for all devices on the network. Z-Wave emerged as the standard that could meet these challenges. Set-up is incredibly simple, requiring the customer to simply scan a QR code to pair the device.
The result is an alarm that is easy to use and exceeds the highest regulatory standards. Our product features a motion sensor with always-on detection that can be used for home automation routines like powering down smart lighting and regulating heating when a room is not in use. With a door/window sensor, any unauthorized entry will immediately set off the alarm. Users can also see the status of a window or door from the app at any time.
Looking Forward, Where Do You See the Smart Home Security Market Heading?
We believe that within the next five years, we’ll see a bit of a shift in the home security market towards proactive security. For Boundary, our focus is on bringing another product to market, one that utilizes machine vision, and to expand into Europe.
For more information on how Boundary used Silicon Labs Z-Wave solutions to deliver professional-grade security to smart homes, check out our case study and learn more about smart home offerings. If you’d like to leverage the benefits of Z-Wave technology for your smart home applications, we’d love to hear from you.