In the hot U.S. market of connected (or "smart") home devices—which millions of Americans are snapping up at a rapid clip—two new products are banking on an old fashioned idea: Keeping homes safe rather than just comfortable.
The Ring Floodlight Camera and the Kuna Systems-powered Toucan, are both smart security lights, but with an interesting twist. The lights have a security function meant to protect residents, and make the neighborhood a safer place, by transforming ordinary outdoor lights into high tech security cameras.
Those add-ons, which feature sirens and two way communications, are just the latest gadgets in a slew of connected home products. Recent data from Zion Market Research pegged the total size of the global smart home market at over $24 billion and growing: It could top $53 billion by 2022.
Ring and Kuna are hoping to change the way you view security by keeping an eye on your property, even when you can't. Ring's Floodlight Camera incorporates two ultra-bright LED floodlights, a 1080HD video camera, two way communication and a 110-decibel siren. The tech turns ordinary motion activated floodlights into state-of-the-art cameras that safeguard the property where they are installed.
Much like the company's specialized doorbell, users can see, speak and now sound an audible alarm — no matter where in the world you are.
"Your home is not an asset – your home is a place that has much more meaning to it and it is something you want to protect and also monitor," Ring founder James "Jamie" Siminoff told CNBC in an e-mail. The device's key features "can stop your home from being burglarized," he insisted—part of what he called the company's "laser-focus" on a mission to reduce crime.
Getting 'proactive' about home security
Much like Ring's LED, Toucan's smart security light can be retrofitted to an existing outdoor lights via a USB connection, and features a high-definition camera, a two-way communication system, and a 100-decibel siren.
When movement is detected on Toucan, users receive real-time alerts to their smartphones through an app that allows users to see, speak, or sound an audible alarm.
According to Haomiao Huang, the chief technology officer and co-founder of Kuna Systems, the light "was designed to help homeowners interject and communicate with those suspicious strangers outside of their home.
Aside from that, "it allows them to play a really key, proactive role in their home's security and effectively halt suspicious activity in real-time with the Kuna app, instead of being alerted after the fact," Huang said.
Facing intense competition from bigger tech companies, Ring and Kuna have been working hard to spread their brand name and products.
"The trick for those companies is to be aggressive and sell themselves before the big guys decide it's easier for them to build the technology," said Carol Roth, a small business strategist and a CNBC contributor.
"Over time, I expect the bigger tech companies will offer more and more value from their connected home devices, either as a package to incentivize customers to stay within the ecosystem or as add-ons at premium pricing with different features, having a smaller incremental cost for the user," she added.
In early May, Ring, launched a yearlong campaign with basketball star Shaquille O'Neal, and the company plans to donate $1 million worth of Ring products to neighborhoods across the country to provide safety and security where it is needed most. Separately, Kuna is looking to collaborate with local police departments and communities to help stop crime.
The Ringflood Light Camera retails for $249.99, while the Toucan retails at $199.00.