Hex Security Package review: DIY home security at the bleeding edge – TechHive
You’re no doubt familiar with Wi-Fi as a data transmission medium. It’s the most common means of connecting home devices to the internet, whether they be your smartphone, TV, or any number of smart home devices. Origin Wireless says it has identified an entirely new use for the wireless technology: motion detection so pinpoint accurate that it can monitor a person’s respiration—even through walls.
Initially debuted as a feature in Linksys Velop mesh Wi-Fi systems, Origin now offers the technology in a DIY home security system called Hex Security. Origin says Hex Security can replace a traditional system based on myriad sensors mounted to doors, windows, and walls with a single hub—the Hex Command module—and one or a few secondary devices it calls called Hex Sense. The company sent its mid-sized kit that has one Hex Command and two Hex Sense units for this review. The $220 kit is designed to monitor up to 1,500 square feet on a single level. Add-on Hex Sense units that increase the system’s range cost $45 each.
This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best smart home systems, where you’ll find reviews of the competition’s offerings, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.
Hex Security is not a Wi-Fi router—you’ll need to provide that or use the router you already have. The system will, however, create a mesh Wi-Fi network with its Command and Sense units in your home, and it will monitor perturbations in those radio waves as people move around inside it. Origin says its AI can distinguish between people, pets, and moving objects, such as a robot vacuum cleaner.
Wes Davis / IDG
This Origin Wireless Hex Home Security package can detect motion anywhere on a single-level of a 1,500-square-foot home.
Hex Security components
The Hex Command resembles a partially deflated Google Nest Mini, while the Hex Sense—with a glowing ring of status LED around its middle—calls to mind a macaroon. The Hex Command is powered by a wall wart, and the Hex Sense plug directly into wall outlets. Origin recommends that each of these components be placed two to four feet above the floor. I was able to do that with the Command and one of the Senses, but the best elevation I could get for the other Sense was 16 inches, which is a relatively typical height for electrical outlets in most American homes. If there was a negative performance impact as a result, I didn’t see it.
Wes Davis / IDG
Hex Home Security proved to be exceedingly accurate not only at detecting motion, but identifying the room where the motion occurred.
Setting the devices up involves getting the Hex Command connected to your network, and then adding each Sense to the Command’s network. All of this is accomplished via the tidy and mostly easy-to-navigate app.
On my first try, however, I found setup to be frustratingly finicky. A later attempt—when testing system removal, factory reset, and reinitialization—went much faster, with only one failure to connect to my home network.
For the record, the factory reset procedure is pleasantly easy, simply involving a paperclip pushed into a pinhole on each device for 10 seconds.
Origin recommends deploying Sense modules on opposite sides of the Command module on the same …….