Toucan promises to convert your simple porch light into a high-tech security system

The system piggybacks onto your existing wiring to add a motion sensor, wireless on/off switch, a two-way intercom, and a siren to scare intruders away.

Most smart security systems we feature here on TechHive involve the installation of a hub and a variety of sensors, but California-based VuPoint takes a much simpler approach: all you need for Toucan is a standard outdoor light socket.

The light socket, when paired with the included camera, turns your outdoor light on and off when motion is detected, and it alerts you to activity via its own mobile app. Toucan supports two-way communication with an included speaker and microphone, and a 100-decibel panic alarm to scare away unwanted guests.

VuPoint first teased its smart socket/camera combination at this CES in January, but it was not available for pre-order until today. While Toucan is expected to retail for $200, VuPoint is offering a promotional price of $150 during the pre-order period, which ends May 6.

Simplicity is Toucan's most promising feature: Installation will be as simple as screwing in the smart socket and connecting the camera to the socket via USB. The rest of the installation process is handled via the app, which communicates with the socket via Bluetooth. The socket also uses Wi-Fi to send video and audio, and to control the Toucan when you're away.

"We’re excited to provide consumers with what we believe is the most practical, innovate, and affordable surveillance system on the market," said senior product specialist Sarah Lui.

Why this matters: There are other porch lights that can double as security cameras on the market, including the Kuna smart porch light and the yet-to-ship Netatmo Presence, but the Toucan is the first device in this category that retrofits an existing porch light. The security siren is another nice touch. It might not be as discrete of a solution as something purpose built for the task, but it sounds as though it will be very easy to install.

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Ed Oswald

TechHive (US)
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