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Myfox brings its innovative security camera, home alarm, and French fashion sense to U.S. markets

Michael Brown | June 26, 2015
One of Europe's leading home-security providers is coming across the pond in a big way. The 10-year-old French manufacturer Myfox today announced the availability of its Myfox Home Security System and Myfox Security Camera at Amazon, Home Depot, and other online and brick-and-mortar retailers. From what I saw during a hands-on demo last week, I'm comfortable saying Myfox's offerings are innovative and very different from what's on the market today.

Myfox Home Alarm

For more than just a home-security camera, the $279 Myfox Home Alarm kit includes one of Myfox's unique IntelliTag sensors, a 110dB siren, a Bluetooth LE keyfob, and a bridge that connects to your Wi-Fi router (the bridge establishes a wireless connection to your router, so it can be placed in a central location inside your home. Myfox plans to offer repeaters down the road, to increase the system's overall range). The camera is not part of this kit, but up to four cameras can be added at any time.

I describe Myfox's door/window sensor as unique because it's a one-piece unit. The more typical sensor harbors a battery, a steel plate, and a radio transmitter in one enclosure and a small magnet in the other. One half is mounted to the door or window and the other is attached nearby on the door or window frame. The only time the sensor sends a signal to the alarm system is when the door or window is opened, thereby breaking the magnetic field formed by the magnet and the plate.

The one-piece IntelliTag houses not just a radio transmitter and a battery, but also a gyroscope, a vibration sensor, a motion sensor, a tilt sensor, and a CPU. Thanks to the presence of all that silicon, an IntelliTag can be installed on a garage door--not just a door or window--so that you can determine the door's current state: open or closed (the Myfox system, however, isn't capable of remotely opening or closing the door).

Myfox's Ledterman told me that an algorithm running on that CPU can differentiate between a ball striking the door or window on which the sensor is mounted, a person knocking on the door or window, and someone hitting it with enough force to break it. Where most home-security systems register an alarm only after the thief has gained entry to the house, according to Ledterman, the Myfox system is designed to trigger an alarm before that happens.

IntelliTags utilize radio frequencies in the 915MHz spectrum, so they're capable of traveling long distances (up to 100 meters through walls, Ledterman said). Ledterman also told me that Myfox has developed anti-jamming technology that will send a text alert to your smartphone if a sophisticated attacker tries to electronically block transmissions between the sensors and the bridge. The kit comes with just one sensor, but the system can support as many as 50 (although most people won't go that far because the sensors cost $50 each).

Because the Myfox Home Alarm kit doesn't come with a central control panel, it relies on the presence of Myfox keyfobs for arming and disarming. You can also use your smartphone for these tasks, but the keyfob offers the advantage of doing it automatically. Each one can be programmed with a different level of security. You might want the one your pre-teen latchkey kid carries to disarm itself when he or she arrives home, but to leave the security camera's shutter open so you can check on them. But when your privacy-conscious teenager come home, you might prefer to close the camera shutter so they don't just unplug the camera.


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