ViewQwest has done pretty well for itself as a local Internet Service Provider (the fastest one, too) and today the company announced that its venture into the realm of smart homes.
But slow your roll, it’s not exactly home automation in the sense of switching off the lights by itself after you leave the house or launching a robot vacuum when the floor gets filthy. ViewQwest wants to kick off a hassle-free solution in the form of a smart monitoring service which alerts users of unwanted intrusions.
It’s called the Vesta Shield, a subscription-based service that comes with device installations, maintenance, and 24-hour support. At launch, what the Vesta system basically does is sense — sense when and what time a door or window was opened; sense when a member of the family needs assistance; sense motion, temperature and illumination in a location.
Combine all the sensors’ functions and you get a home security system. Alerts of triggered sensors can be sent straight to the Vesta app on your phone, and if needed, sound off an alarm.The full Vesta suite. PHOTO: ViewQwest
When asked about why an internet service provider is diving into home security in safe and sterile Singapore, ViewQwest CEO Vignesa Moorthy was quick to clarify that it’s more than that. Their system has been designed in-house from the ground up, which would allow the company to tack on even more smart home features and integrate other hardware in the future. A future update could enable Vesta to turn on the air-conditioner when the house gets too warm, for example.
It's a different play from what the company offered back in 2015, when they were offering smart home devices bundled into purchases of fibre broadband lines.
“More Singaporean homes are keen in smart living solutions, but some are deterred by the inconvenience of setting up devices all on their own,” said Vignesa. “We want to take the tough out of the equation with our subscription-based service model.”
At the heart of the Vesta Shield is the Vesta hub, a speaker-like gizmo that acts as a central microcomputer that processes the data wirelessly from sensors and sends notifications or even automated calls to the user through the app. Unlike the Google Nest or Amazon Alexa devices, it won’t play music or listen to commands — what it does is blare an unsettlingly loud noise to alert people at home and scare the living daylights out of intruders.PHOTO: AsiaOne / Ilyas Sholihyn
Throughout their presentation, Vignesa and his team were steadfast in their belief that Vesta offers a peace-of-mind solution to those who may not be that tech savvy to set up something on their own with products bought off the shelf. Even the Vesta Hub is designed with that mantra in mind, because it’ll continue to run on battery and 4G mobile data for at least 10 more hours should the power supply get cut off for some reason.
But do you really need an entire monitoring system rigged up at your home or office premises? That really depends on what you need to keep track of. You could, for one, install a sensor on the door of a cabinet that holds the liquor to know if someone in the house has been taking swigs from them without permission. A panic button can be installed in the bathroom to trigger the siren if an elderly family member needs urgent assistance.
Right now, ViewQwest is offering a free trial of the Vesta Shield to its existing customers, and if you like it enough, there’re three subscription tiers to choose from that start from $25 a month. More details are available on the ViewQwest website.