Sense: Bringing Security into the Smart Home


Silk Labs, co-founded by former Mozilla CTO Andreas Gal, has a taken a different approach to the flood of smart IoT home products that will soon be upon us. They have focused on creating a hub that connects with other smart devices and acts as a control center for their operations. What separates it from other smart home hubs is its ability to learn about your daily behavior and patterns–meaning that the Sense goes a step further in the smart home area and aims to make your home more autonomous.


The hardware in the device is actually quite simple-it’s essentially a camera, infrared LEDs, a status light, a speaker, and a microphone packaged in an elegantly designed wooden base with a curved matte lens. Its aesthetic is much different than the other home monitoring devices in the market today and there is something to be said about its unique curved design that makes it feel like a piece of artwork and not a smart home device.


The Sense device is built upon software that uses the input it receives from the camera and the microphone to learn about your daily behavior and if there are any patterns. It is capable of determining who it is looking at by using facial recognition software and can create a list of actions to take when it sees a particular person. It is also is able to differentiate between a person and a pet so it won’t send unnecessary alerts. There are some things that require manual input so that the Sense can get started, but it is a quick learner and can quickly automate many aspects of your home based on the patterns and behavior it observes.


But security is where Sense really excels. Silk Labs understands that with all the products emerging in the IoT space, and the fact that most of these devices are going to be in people’s homes, security has to be made a top priority. They address this by making the Sense device run applications locally on the device instead of through the cloud like many other products on the market–ensuring that the data stays local. The device uses Bluetooth LE to securely exchange secret keys between it and your smartphone to enable end-to-end encryption, leaving the owner as the only one who can access the data it stores.


In an effort to simplify your life at home by making your home more intelligent and attuned to your daily behavior, Sense takes the reigns and controls all of your smart devices. The learning smart home device is poised to offer consumers a simple control center device that is able to learn and eventually automate many of the devices in your home, all with your security in mind. Silk Labs is making a statement in the IoT space: Consumer privacy and security should be the top priority.