Why you shouldn’t be afraid of the Smart Home

When you make a house your home, it develops its own rhythm. For some people it’s a peaceful silence, a gentle hum, for other people it’s a manic school run every morning. Where technology only used to play along to this soundtrack, we’re now entering a time when devices like your fridge could be actively listening to it. We’re entering the age of the smart home. So how comfortable are you with smart technology?

Home security, are you in control?

We feel anxious when situations are beyond our control. Think back, for example, to a time when you’ve chosen to let the dog off the lead, compared to when the cheeky thing’s made a run for it while you had your back turned. The reality is not so different – the dog’s having a great time – but in the first instance you chose to let it happen, confident he would come back as soon as you call.

From a psychological perspective, we don’t even have to be in control to feel at ease, we just need to believe we are. However, as smart technology becomes more prevalent in our homes, we need more than just perceived control.

The smartest smart home technology has top security in its software.

In a quest to bring the internet of things into every home as quickly (and cheaply) as possible, many manufacturers are cutting costs by focusing on the hardware and neglecting the software. The hardware is the bit that’s simpler to understand – does it look good enough to be part of your home?

Software issues can be more challenging. Last week thousands of ‘smart’ devices were hacked in a worldwide cyber security breach which hit major websites like twitter and Reddit. It turns out that a lot of the low-budget products on the market use default passwords and can’t be updated with software patches when vulnerabilities are discovered.

Making the smart home secure.

However, the smartest smart devices, like Cocoon, protect you by protecting themselves. Focusing on security is how we’ve been able to make sure that the technology that protects your space doesn’t also put it in jeopardy. It’s adaptable, and it keeps you in control of your home, your data, and your security.

Given that your home is the most important place in your life – the space of your family, pets, sounds, silence, memories, and future – you want it to be safe and comfortable. It is possible to ride the wave of innovation by finding smart home technology that suits you, making your life simple and more secure. Cocoon is an example of technology designed to do just that.

Technology in your home that makes your life simpler


If you have any questions about Cocoon, and how we ensure the very best levels of security, let us know. We’re here to help and love hearing from you. Email us on [email protected], or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.

Cocoon October update

It’s hard not to begin every “Cocoon Update” with something along the lines of “We’ve had a really busy month here at Cocoon.” Recently it’s been no different.

Following our launch we have shipped Cocoons to our indiegogo backers and early supporters. Most backers have received their Cocoons but if you are still waiting for your Cocoon contact us hereCocoons are now available to buy on our website, through Zurich UK’s Home Insurance, and on both Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

Available on Amazon.

From day one you’ve told us you’d like to get Cocoon on Amazon, and now you can!
Cocoon is available to purchase on both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. In the UK we’re part of the Launchpad programme,  a curated “place to discover unique and unexpected products from today’s brightest startups”.

Image of our team excited that Cocoon, smart home security, is now available on Amazon
We were pretty excited to go live on Amazon

Have your say!

We’re proud to be averaging 8.4/10 on Trustpilot and are already seeing lots of comments on Amazon and in the iOS and Android app stores. Thank you to all of you who’ve taken the time to leave a review.  We read each and every one of them and, whether positive or otherwise, it guides us in what’s working and what we need to improve.

Add your voice, leave a review of Cocoon on Amazon.com , Amazon.co.uk or Trustpilot. We’d love hearing from you!

Extreme packing.

Cocoons are now all over the world, in 55 countries. It’s important that our packaging withstands the journey from our warehouses to your home so that every Cocoon arrives looking shiny and new. To achieve this our packaging must be as robust as possible.

Our team have created a new packaging to better protect Cocoons in transit, and make sure they are delivered looking great. We had to test this packaging worked as it should, and co-founder Dan did so in quite a dramatic way. Watch the video of Dan testing Cocoons to destruction.

Dan dropping Cocoons to see what damage is caused to the packaging and our precious smarthome security devices.
Cocoon’s packaging upgrade

Winners: British Engineering Excellence Awards

The design of Cocoon was created with the help of ByteSnap. Together we were nominated as Design Team of the Year in the esteemed British Engineering Excellence Awards. In a year with a record-breaking number of entries, it was an honour to be shortlisted. We were thrilled to be declared the winners on the night.

Thank you ByteSnap for being a pleasure to work with, and to The BEEAs for recognising our design.

Photo of all the winners in the 2016 BEEAs
All the winners of the 2016 British Engineering Excellence Awards

Cocoon in the news

Since launching you may have seen some of our amazing press coverage. Cocoon has been in the Financial Times, T3 Magazine, City AM and many insurance, security and tech publications.

One article we especially like is in The Memo. It highlights issues with many smart home products currently being developed, declaring Cocoon as one of only two products doing things right. London journalist Alex Wood explains how Cocoon is “Saving smart homes from the gutter”.

Cocoon, saving smart homes from the gutter
Cocoon, saving smart homes from the gutter (Photo credit: Joel Penner)

App updates

The focus of our team is now on improving our app user experience and adding features to make sure Cocoon delivers what you want. Each app update reflects feedback we’ve received. We believe security shouldn’t cost you your privacy. We bake that belief into everything we do, so you can rest assured that we’ve incorporated rigorous security measures into the app software.

Thank you

We want to say thank you for your continued support, and to remind you that we are always here if you want to say hello.

Why drop testing packaging is important

A key challenge faced by any business shipping real products, as opposed to building software or running a service, is getting the packaging right. Especially when shipping globally. It’s unlikely that logistics and airport handlers will care for packages quite as you’d hope they might. Even when marked as fragile.

Cocoons are now all over the world, in 55 countries at the time of writing, so it is increasingly important that our packaging is as robust as possible. We want our customers to receive their Cocoons looking shiny and new, but our original tightly packed boxes didn’t work so well. Dan did a very scientific demonstration to show how our packaging needed to improve. (Also showing off the glamourous life of a hardware startup!)

Dan dropping Cocoons to see what damage is caused to the packaging and our precious smarthome security devices.

Why is the packaging so important?

Opening a new bit of tech should always be a pleasure, from the design of the box, through to the simplicity of setup. We’d worked hard to perfect this initial customer experience but were aware that if Cocoons were damaged in transit this experience could be ruined.

Our team got to work designing a more protective carton for those precious Cocoons. It needed to ensure they always arrive in perfect condition.

The result was simple, but effective.

Our new protective packaging design for international shipping, as Cocoons travel to customers all around the world.

With the new packaging ready Dan once again did a test. This time dropping £3,600 of Cocoons onto concrete, which he conveniently didn’t tell us about until later.

Watch Dan test Cocoons to destruction here:

This new packaging makes sure that your Cocoon is looked after on its way to you, where it will then, in turn, look after your whole home. Delivering complete security from one small device, through the power of Subsound®.


We love hearing from you. If you’d like to find out more, or chat through how Cocoon works, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.


 

Three simple tips that will help protect your home

Home is where you should feel safe and comfortable, it’s your personal space and where you keep your most sentimental possessions, and there’s good news in that homes are getting safer. According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, domestic burglary is going down. One reason for this is the growing availability of home security systems which really work to deter thieves.

Does deterrence really work?

A report by Dr. Joseph B. Kuhns of the University of North Carolina includes opinions from more than 400 imprisoned burglars, and their consensus is startling. More than 83 percent of the offenders would try to determine if an alarm was present before a burglary to see if they should find an alternative target. 81% of both professional and opportunistic burglars said that on identifying an alarm or surveillance system they were likely to retreat.

This data isn’t unique, study after study has found that the vast majority of burglars avoid homes with an alarm system. They are the single most effective deterrent against burglary. In fact, homes that don’t have a security system in place are 300% more likely to be targeted by burglars. 

Feel safe, not fearful

It’s a sad fact of life that burglary happens, but we like to think practically seeing it as a problem to solve rather than something to be scared of. These statistics make it clear that looking after your home by deterring thieves can be simple, especially with the availability of security solutions like Cocoon. The award winning design means it’s stylish enough to have clearly visible, and the alarm is 90+db (that’s really loud, it’s tested in our office regularly!). Both its visibility and the deafening siren act as deterrents to protect your home from burglary. With 88% of burglaries unplanned and opportunistic this sort of interruption will make the culprit flee, fast.

3 tips to deter thieves

1) Don’t give easy access

Keep ladders locked out of sight, and make sure garden furniture and big plant pots aren’t near your windows. There’s no need to give them a leg-up!

Security tips from Cocoon, to deter thieves and keep your home safe. Don't give burglars easy access.
(Photo credit – Nathan Bittinger)

2) Get a small dog

Though might think a large dog would be a great deterrent, acting as your loyal guard dog to scare theives, small dogs are actually better. Convicted burglars said that small “yapping” dogs were far riskier, and more likely to deter them, because “they never shut up”. 
(Yes, we are giving you an excuse to get a puppy!)

Security tips from Cocoon, to deter thieves and keep your home safe. Small dogs make better guard dogs.
(Photo credit: University of Liverpool, Faculty of Health & Life Sciences)

 

3) Be a good neighbour

Being friends with locals is about more than borrowing milk and sugar. If your neighbours know who should and shouldn’t be at your home then they can call out anything suspicious. Community spirit can really make a neighbourhood safer, so ask them to look out for you, and in turn, look out for them.

Security tips from Cocoon, to deter thieves and keep your home safe. Make friends with your neighbours.
(Image credit: @wewon31)

Alarms are the most effective deterrent

These are useful tricks but, as London’s Metropolitan Police say, alarms are “undoubtedly the most effective deterrent against burglary”. Cocoon works as a deterrent. It is a complete home security system and burglar alarm in a single device, with the reassurance of being able to check in on your home at any time. Using patented Subsound® technology it is  powerful enough to protect your whole home whether that’s a city apartment, a five story townhouse or a sprawling suburban bungalow, but also flexible enough to suit both short term rents and long term homeowners. Plus, it’s incredibly simple to set up, so you have peace of mind in minutes.


Want more tips like this? Subscribe to the Cocoon newsletter below.
Got questions for us? We love hearing from you, so please do get in touch on [email protected]


 

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Why home security doesn’t work if you rent

There can be no denying the continuing rise of “generation rent”, as PwC reported, renting privately is now the norm for younger generations. This will see even previously large home buyer cities becoming cities of renters, such as London, where only 40% of people will own their own home by 2025.

Such big societal changes require innovation in technology, and that’s where Cocoon comes in. It’s no good designing technology for personal homes anymore, there can be no guarantee as to how long someone will be staying in one place. Cocoon, with its one-of-a-kind design, simple and fast setup, flexibility around household members, and smartphone control offers home security that works for generation rent.

You should be able to have security measures in place to protect your rental accommodation
You should be able to have security measures in place to protect your home, even if it’s short term rental accommodation

Why have we become the rental generation?

The increasing number of people renting rather than owning property is the result of multiple factors falling into place at the same time.

House prices in the UK are set to rise, despite the recent Brexit vote, and first-time buyers are struggling to secure a home to call their own across Europe. This, alongside market shifts led by innovators like fast-growing startup Airbnb, has led to a situation where renting isn’t just a smart move, it’s often the only option.

Airbnb who, despite being the world’s largest provider of accommodation, actually own no property. With 100 million users, 640,000 hosts and 2.3 million property listings, it’s clear that the rental space is a large one.

While renting short-term is easy and allows for flexibility and freedom, not owning your own home can lead to problems, especially with security. A tenant has much less power to change and adjust their rental accommodation to suit their own needs, bound by a lengthy landlord contract. This may mean you can’t add the locks you want, the sensors for a traditional burglar alarm or the home security camera that you feel you need.

How can Cocoon help?

We’ve designed Cocoon to have everything you need to secure your home in a single, smart device the size of an apple. It uses sound and artificial intelligence to cover and protect your whole home. It’s built around freedom, flexibility, and the power to keep you safe no matter where you move to. There are plenty of safety tips available online for renters, but we wanted to go one step further and provide a powerful system that will make you feel truly safe, at home and away.

With a raft of features, Cocoon is perfect for those priced out of buying their own home and costly security systems. It offers quick and easy installation and will tune to the home you’re in, learning what’s normal to avoid annoying false alarms. If you move house it can easily be reset, and within a week it will tune to the new space so you can feel safe in the knowledge that Cocoon is looking after your home.

No matter the size of your rental accommodation, Cocoon will work for you. Using our unique patented Subsound® technology it picks up sound waves the human ear can’t, from any room, on any floor, in your home. With the camera you can check in on your home at any time, but sensitive sound detection means that you’ll know if there’s something unusual, even if it’s out of view.

Cocoon smart home security device in home setting.
Cocoon has been beautifully designed, without ugly wires or sensors, to offer security and aesthetics at the same time

Cocoon is also pet-friendly and will adapt to pets in your home, so it won’t disturb you if your furry friend plays while you’re out (unless they do something really bad!). Finally, rental flats often have tenants who come and go, Cocoon is smart enough to adapt and work with multiple users, giving everyone in the household access.

Cocoon works very similarly to how you do, it has a worry level to determine whether to alert you or not. It does all this without compromising your all-important privacy. Home security and privacy are two of our most important priorities at Cocoon, they’ve been a core focus in everything we’ve designed, and we know that it’s increasingly important for renters to know their data and privacy are safe.

Each Cocoon device is beautifully engineered, containing a HD Camera, Night Vision, Motion Detection as well as a Very Loud Siren. Cocoon learns and adapts to your home, automatically arming when you leave and disarming when you come home. So you can go on enjoying the freedom of renting, without worrying about security.

Interested in hearing more about Cocoon?

We understand the importance of home security and personal privacy, we all want to rest easy and Cocoon lets you do that. If you’d like to hear more, or chat through how it works, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Image credit: David Amsler