The all-in-one locator and smart home solution to monitor what matters most.
For the past several years, we have been attempting to fortify our home with smart devices and security cameras that would make us aware of even the smallest happenings around our property. Even though we have good security cameras and smart lighting in our home, in order to make our home as secure as possible, we recently added some door/window sensors through the Tabs devices and home hub. It has enhanced the way our home is protected and how we observe things that happen in our home, too.
The Tabs Home Health and Security Kit is designed to provide an all-in-one solution for families to have peace of mind that their homes are safe and secure. The system is made up of one central hub device that looks a bit like a WiFi Router and then any combination of Tabs devices. The hub is a LoRaWAN WiFi hotspot for the Tabs devices. It will integrate into your existing WiFi network as a wireless router (you can set up as a separate network) or as a WiFi Extender.
Here is a complete list of the devices Tabs offers:
- Healthy Home Sensor: This device is an environment sensor that detects temperature, humidity, and air quality (Carbon Dioxide and Volatile Organic Compounds) of your home.
- Object Locator: Attachable to items that are susceptible to theft or loss. This device is rechargeable. Rated IP64 and protected against the elements. Items can be tracked within a mile of the hub.
- Wristband Locator: This device is a child-sized wearable that gives you visibility into your child’s location. This device is rechargeable. Rated IP64 and protected against the elements. Items can be tracked within a mile of the hub.
- Motion Sensor: Wide-angle (93º vertical view), wireless, wall-mounted sensor detects motion within 7 meters
- Door & Window Sensor: This two-part device consists of the sensor and a magnet that trips the sensor. The parts are positioned together and when separated, the device sends an alert to the Tabs app to indicate that the door/window has been opened.
- Push Button: Allows users to communicate with other family members or control smart home devices and services through IFTTT. This device is rechargeable. Rated IP64 and protected against the elements.
My set-up actually includes all of these devices except the Wristband Locator and the Push Button (both expected to be released in April 2018). And that is the beauty of this system — it’s customizable. You can mix and match devices to suit your personal needs. The devices are long-range sensors so you can use them anywhere. The system can support an infinite amount of devices to b added. In addition to the long-range feature, the Tabs hub is fully encrypted so that all your information remains private. Finally, the system is considered ‘low-cost’ because a lifetime subscription is included with the purchase of the hardware.
The last piece of the Tabs puzzle is the app. The mobile app (iOS and Android) allows you to keep tabs on everything with custom alerts with location and activities.
This is not the first system I’ve tried with environment sensors and door/window sensors, but it is the first one I’ve used that controlled both those types of sensors and the location sensor all at the same time. The Tabs system was easy to set up. Once the hub was connected to power and to my WiFi network, all I had to do was connect the individual devices. Tabs makes this simple by assigning a scannable QR code to each device. From the app, you scan each piece and they are connected to your hub and app system. It took longer to place all the sensors then it did to set the system up.
So far I’ve been happy with the performance of all the sensors. The motion sensor seems to do a really good job of detecting when movement is present within its field of view. We have it mounted above a specific bedroom door and it actually senses movement all the way down the hall from that door (about 15 feet). I like that it indicates when movement is detected and then when it’s not. The Door/Window sensors are all placed at doors in our home — one at our front door, one at our sliding glass door, and one at our garage door.
The front door sensor has been doing a good job of detecting the door being open and shut as has the sliding glass door, but the garage door hasn’t. I would suggest that maybe it has to do with the distance to the hub, but the sliding glass door sensor is actually farther away. The air quality sensor is a little finicky. I don’t have a good way to test its accuracy, but I seem to be getting very high readings. I did place this in my stepdaughter’s room right next to her rabbit’s cage. I did this on purpose because I knew that added element in the air might turn up some interesting readings. What I got was an extremely high air quality ppm reading that I don’t believe is accurate because we have been able to live in and around that room without any problems with how we feel.
Finally, the Tabs Object locator is an interesting concept, too. It’s different from other trackers because it only works within a one-mile radius of the location of the hub. This means that if you travel outside that area, it will only show you where it was last tracked in relation to the hub. I do like the aspect of the device that it will actually map out where the Locator has been on a map. This is really useful if you are trying to keep track of a person and I would assume that this same system will be applied to the wearable that will be coming out later this month.
The Tabs system for home health, security, and location is a viable one for homes with no ‘smart’ infrastructure. I love that there is no subscription service required in order to use it, but I do feel that the base price is a little high considering that the system is 100% stand alone. It does not integrate with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or Apple HomeKit at all. That means all the controls have to be entered manually and cannot be controlled through voice assistant. The Tabs Home Health & Security Kit retails for around $230 without the Object Locator and there is another system by Smanos that includes similar devices AND it works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. It can be purchased for around $270. So for $40 more, you get a complete smart system.
Another thing I want to address is the size of the sensors. They are quite large and even though I didn’t have trouble placing them, I could see there being some restrictions based on individual’s set-ups. In addition to that, my kit was missing the wall mount for the motion sensor. I ended up mounting it with a 3M self-adhesive strip. Even though I found some room for improvements on this system, I still feel comfortable recommending it. I could see software/firmware updates taking care of some of the Tabs’ quirks and if the price were reduced, this would definitely be something I would suggest to people who want protection for their home and loved ones without a lot of hassle.