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Life360 Teams With Piper To Offer New ‘Smart Arming’ Feature

The following is contributed by Alex Haro, co-founder and President of Life360, the leading family network used by more than 50 million families.

At Life360, our goal is to provide peace of mind for busy families. So far we’ve done that largely by keeping people connected to each other, but we’ve thought a lot about how else we can ensure that peace of mind. Recently, we’ve begun work to connect families with their cars, home, devices.

We’re excited to have partnered with Piper to provide even more peace of mind for families. Piper’s users rely on its smart home security technology to know what is going on in their homes, at any time. The combination of the power of Life360’s geo-location services with Piper’s innovative platform makes for a powerful result. Together, we’re enabling families to easily know where their loved ones are while knowing that the hub of their family life – their home – is safe when they’re not there.

Home Monitoring Smart Arming

The integration of Life360’s powerful family location awareness technology into the Piper platform has produced a new feature in Piper, available today, called ‘Smart Arming.’ With Smart Arming, Piper will notify people when their system is unarmed and no family members are home. Users then simply tap the notification on their mobile device to set Piper to ‘away,’ automatically arming Piper without having to open any apps.

Here’s how to activate Smart Arming:

If you’re new to Life360, it takes just a few minutes to set up your private family network. Download our free app for iPhone, Android or Windows Phone and invite your family members to join your “Circle” – a private family network only your invited family members can see. Once you’re connected, you can send messages within your family network – for example, notifying everyone that you’re running late, or reassuring everyone that you’re safe. You can send location check-in requests, and you can set up “Places” to receive automatic alerts when family members leave a specific place like home, work, school or soccer practice. A panic button in the app will instantly alert your family that you need help and notify them of where you are.

When you use Life360 and Piper together, you can know what’s going on in your home when you’re not there, and best of all, there’s no need to open an app to ‘Smart Arm’ your home. Together, we’ve created an experience that makes for a safer connected home while delivering incredible convenience and peace of mind to busy families.

70 comments:

  1. Hi Piper team,

    Sounds nice, but when will this feature (and others promised during the crowdfunding campaign) be available for users that don’t want to use a 3rd party service in order to have access to the features?

    1. Hi Marcus,

      Thanks for your question! We chose to partner with Life360 because it is one of the world’s largest and oldest family tracking and geofencing apps that millions of households have been relying on for nearly a decade to alert them whenever their loved ones have left or arrived at home, school, work, and wherever else they may go.

      A native version is on our roadmap, but for now try out Smart Arming and let us know what you think!

  2. As a long time Life360 user I hate to tell you but the Places function on Life360 – the part of the app that notifies me when people arrive or leave a place – doesn’t work well enough for me to use it for much of anything. I set it up to notify me when me when someone in my family group arrives or leaves home and it doesn’t work 90% of the time. So I hope that the smart arming feature doesn’t depend on this Life360 functionality. Life360 would do better making their core service work better in my opinion.

  3. Great new feature. Has worked great for me so far. I did have one question though, when I first started the Piper app after installing the update, there was a special page introducing the Life360 integration and I could tell from dots at the bottom, that there was another special page. From the first page, I did the steps to enable the Life360 integration, but I never got back to the special pages, so I don’t know what the 2nd page was about. I updated the app on my ipad and didn’t get either of the special pages. Was there another new feature in this update? Or was it another page about Life360.

    1. Hi Sheila,

      Glad to hear you set your Smart Arming feature up so fast! Isn’t it awesome?! The first page of the popup was just an intro to the feature, and the second page allowed you to either sign into your Life360 account or learn more about them. Then at the bottom is a memo that let’s you know you can always change your smart arming settings later on 🙂

    1. Hi Brann,

      We’re always working on expanding our ability to provide you with the ultimate smart home. There are many more exciting announcements on the horizon- stay tuned!

  4. I’m in agreement with Timothy Best. We have three different types of phones, all with gps and wifi turned on, and get three different locations while we’re sitting in our own home. This past summer, we had no problems, but fall happened (along with some updates) and it all went downhill.

  5. I will need something I place on my son car without him even knowing about the device, how can your device help me to locate him without him even knowing I’m watching him r following him..

  6. Sounds interesting. There’s a lot here about arming, but I don’t see anything about disarming the Piper. Does it automatically disarm when Life360 shows you’ve entered the radius you set around your home?

    1. Hi Keith,

      Great question! We’re evaluating an auto-disarm feature with the Life360 integration as part of our future roadmap of enhancements.

  7. Hi I bought and installed a Piper NV for my cottage, it’s connected to a MiFi network and has been working good for the past 2 weeks until I received on my Samsung S5 a message like the piper lost contact with the network, the cottage is 130kl away from our home, can I reconnect without having to drive bak to the cottage to reconnect with that network?
    An answer would be appreciated
    Thanks
    R. Beaudoin

    1. Hi Robert,

      Sorry to hear that! You should be able to reconnect. Our customer support team is available 24/7 to walk you through the process. Please give them a ring: 1-888-629-0680

    1. Hi Jamie,

      Our number one goal is to make sure our customers’ homes and families are protected and secure. That’s why we have initially focused on Smart Arming to insure all customers are alerted if their Piper is unarmed when Life360 detects that no one is home. We’re evaluating an auto-disarm feature with the Life360 integration as part of our future roadmap of enhancements!

  8. I was excited about the prospect of getting reminders about arming Piper when I leave (I forget WAY too often), but the Life360 app only works if you have more than one person in your circle. It’s just my kids and I at the house, so this doesn’t help. The lack of auto-arming (some type of location based reminder would be a decent substitute!) is my biggest gripe with Piper. I love it and have had mine for a long time. I actually bought a unit from a competitor and tried it out. I didn’t like it as much as Piper, but it DID allow for auto arming based on my location. It was buggy and there were issues with setting the home/away mode manually or I probably would have kept it. Auto-Arming is STILL one of my most desired features and as much as I love my Piper, a competitor that reliably provides that feature could probably lure me away…

    1. Hi Jamie,

      This feature still works if you’re the only person in your circle! You just have to make sure you’re the last person to leave so that you don’t accidentally tell Piper to capture videos of your kids in the home.

  9. Another app and another login with a 3rd party is not a good solution here. It doesn’t seem like a strategy focused on user experience. We already have communication tools mentioned in iPhones, it is a waste of time to introduce another app.

    Poor decision Piper.

  10. This sounds like a great feature however the Life360 option isn’t available in Settings in the Piper android app in UK

  11. I see the words “auto-arm” but really what I prefer is “auto-disarm” when I get to the location. Does this happen automatically? I don’t want it to record a video and blast the siren if I forget to pull out my phone, open the app, wait for it to load, then click disable before walking in.

    1. Hi KC,

      We’re evaluating an auto-disarm feature with the Life360 integration as part of our future roadmap of enhancements!

  12. I’m in the same boat that I live at home and so I don’t have anyone else to add to my Life360 circle, therefore Life360 doesn’t work. A workaround is to add an arbitrary thing to your circle. For example, I have the phone number that the Piper alarm alerts come from saved in my contacts…I added that to my Life360 circle. It won’t really “add”, but it will send an invite (that obviously nothing will be done with) but as long as you have that invite pending, your Life360 will work.

  13. Until you have an auto disarm, i prefer to use my memory to arm and disarm. But I like the idea behind this…just need that additional feature.

  14. I installed the Life360 app on my iPhone and tried out the Smart Arm feature today. Would it be possible to have Piper auto-arm when Life360 detects the last person has left the geofence around my home? Make it setting in the Piper app whether or not you want Piper to automatically arm when the last person leaves. In my case, there’s no one else living with me, so I would want Piper to automatically arm when I leave, rather than send me a reminder alert. I’m usually in my car driving away when I leave the geofence, so I may not see the alert and act on it until I’ve reached my destination. That could be a significant amount of time depending on how long the commute is.
    Another issue I found.. I took my dog for his evening walk. As soon as I left the geofence, I felt a haptic alert on my Apple Watch. It was the alert message from Piper asking if I want to arm along with the button labelled Arm. I pressed the Arm button on the watch. A minute later I pulled up the Piper app on my iPhone to verify the alarm did arm. It was still disarmed, so that Arm button that appears on the Apple Watch doesn’t appear to do anything.

  15. Would it be an engineering feat to get Piper to just run on a schedule?

    That is the only feature you guys need to add. I’ve been saying this for almost two years.

    Please, for the love of Christ…give us schedules.

  16. How about timer settings? I leave the house the same time every day. Piper should be able to arm and disarm at a specific times on specific days.

  17. Thanks for the reply Grace. I found the video tutorial you linked and got set up. The issue I was having was with the Life360 app on my phone. It prompted me to add people to my circle, but if I skipped the step it simply prompted me to log out. I wa able to close the app (without logging out) so we’ll see if it works in the morning. Thanks again!

    1. No problem, Jamie! You can click ‘x’ on the prompt to add more people and continue using it as a single person in your circle. You will get a few reminder prompts here and there to populate your circle (it is a social app after all 😉 ) but that will die down. The important thing is that you can still use the new smart arming feature 🙂

  18. Grace I’m going insane trying to figure this stupid Life360 out! I live by myself so I have nobody to add to my circles. You have repeated numerous times that you don’t need anyone else in your circles but you have never explained how to set it up. The video does me absolutely no good as it skips the vital part I am hing up on – how to make a fricken circle!!???! I can’t see any additional menus or anything in Life360 – just a map with my location and my name under it that when I click on it tells me that I am still not a part of my last name’s family circle. I’ve clicked send multiple times but I never get a txt message. I have a standard AT&T plan so I know that can’t be it.

    Please help! I’m getting very frustrated and agrivated with this half-ass solution!!!

    1. Hi Dan,

      So sorry about that!

      To create a circle, all you have to do is click on the Life360 menu (it looks like an = sign on the top left, just above ‘help alert’), go to Settings, then Circles, and on the top right is a + sign that allows you to create a custom circle.

      Hope this helps! Once you have your circle set up, simply create a place by going to the Life360 menu & clicking places and you’re good to go 🙂

  19. Ok I figured it out but the solution is ridiculous! I had to delete the Life360 app and reinstall. After doing so I was able to see the additional features, menus etc.

    If anyone’s having this problem with Life360 on their iPhone follow this simple yet ridiculous solution.

  20. I’m not crazy about having yet another app, but the integration within the Piper app is a start. I am surprised to see the smallest available geofence at 500ft- this is way less precise than our family locations via iPhone, and since we live near our son’s school might cause ambiguity.

  21. Could you not add a simple 7 day timer option to Piper? I leave and return to the house at the same time every week day. It would be great (and more reliable) just to have an auto set/reset option.
    Sometimes you can ‘over tech’ a solution which can be addressed simply.

  22. I have to agree with you on the reliability of the arrival feature. It was great the first year we used it. We also located her stolen phone when she was in middle school (sending the kid to juvie as he was not a 1st time offender).

    Now however, it tells me that my daughter has left the high school. A generously larger radius. I have called the school and asked them to verify her location and every time she’s in a classroom.

    I rarely rely on it these days. And it’s not my phone. I know this because I upgraded to a Galaxy Note 4, then 5, and still isn’t any better.

  23. I can’t get Life360 to work if I’m the only one in the circle. It simply won’t let me proceed without adding someone else. Lots of others have said the same thing. The video tutorial doesn’t help since in that there are two people in the circle. If you pair with another app you need to make sure it works.

  24. Another vote for IFTTT functionality.

    Also with the arming feature on Andriod devices, it just gives a popup reminder to arm the device. In your video it showed you could swipe to arm it without opening the app could Andriod users get this functionality as well?

    Thanks,
    John

  25. I’ve found that Life360 is not all that accurate most times. Most of the time there’s a major delay in reporting when & where a member is. There really is NO RELIABLE real time tracking whatsoever. When will Life360 get its act together. I’ve tried reporting this flaw to the app developers and all they can respond with is “ensure your device location services and/or gps locator is activated”. I’ve gone through ALL of their troubleshooting and corrective actions before AND after their suggestions and it still doesn’t correct the inaccuracy. Get it together folks.

  26. Any way to rearm Piper remotely after Internet blinks (off and on)?….each time Internet blinks we have to travel 2 hours to our vacation home to reset Piper, as you must be on the same modem &a router to reset.

  27. This is an “OK” feature, but just doesn’t go far enough for me. I would really prefer to avoid using Life360. I find it to be a very intrusive thing, and won’t even dream of asking my housekeeper or petsitter to join Life360 and let me follow them for the simple function of home automation. Piper would take a very large step forward if you introduced presence detection, and auto arm and disarm based on this. The presence detection could be based on mobile phone or tags or fobs. I am a proponent of home automation and a large user of the SmartThings platform, and considering dropping my use of Piper because it is simply too limited and behind the time with what I consider to be a must-have, core function. My home in all other respects knows when I have come and gone, and reacts accordingly. Only my Pipers aren’t savvy enough to keep up.

  28. Hi guys,

    I’ve had the Piper NV for a couple of months now and while the actual camera and sensors are great the problem is there is no auto-arm or dis-arm feature. Signing up with Life360 and having another 3rd party app does nothing essentially but give you a reminder to arm the device. That’s it. Borderline useless to be honest. Just add a proper geo fencing feature to your product and it beat everything else hands down. The whole idea of home automation is so you don’t have to open 3 different apps to lock your door, turn off the lights, and set your alarm system. You should just be able to say “Hey Siri, I’m leaving” and it all happens. Or just leave the house and the geo-fence knows your gone and does everything in the background. Everytime I come home the Piper goes off because I forgot to open the app and disarm it. The phone starts ringing, text messages come in, etc. It’s getting a little annoying now. Just my 2cents. Thanks

  29. I am curious if you are going to fix the connection with Apple Watch?
    Here’s what happens to me:
    I leave my house and my Watch notifies me (via Piper/Life360 notification) that I am outside my home and asked if I would like to arm my piper and shows a button labeled “Arm”.
    Once I press the arm button I almost immediately get back a notification saying that my Piper failed to arm.
    When I look at the application on my iPhone I noticed that I’ve been completely logged out of Piper and have to re-login.

    I would like to be able to easily arm my Piper from my watch and not have it log me out of the app on my phone.

    As an additional feature I would love it if you created a Piper app for Apple Watch as well so I can arm and disarm it my Piper from my wrist.

    And finally – IFTTT integration – is this something that you see in Piper’s future? It would solve so many problems!!

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Dan,

      One of our engineers saw your comment about the Apple Watch and Life360 notifications. While Smart Arming is not yet officially supported on the Apple watch, we would appreciate your input on this matter. Can you please email me the model and iOS version of the phone your Apple watch is paired with? godumo@icontrol.com

      Thanks!

  30. I’m a new Piper NV owner and have been trying the Life360 beta for a few days. Overall I love the Piper and the L360 smart-arm feature, but have noticed a few bugs in the integration.
    1-Even if we’ve already armed Piper upon leaving home, I get a notification when everyone has left the house and I should arm Piper. It would be nice if smart-arming were a little smarter and only sent me a notification to arm Piper if Piper was not yet armed.
    2-I’ve had a few false notifications telling me everyone had left home when someone was still in the house. This morning it notified me right around the time when I had left the house, but my wife’s phone was sitting on the kitchen counter. Maybe a Life360 proximity issue, but just making you guys aware.

    Thanks!

  31. I just got a couple of Pipers and started using this feature. It seems to work great (and yes an auto-disarm would be very useful). However, my wife and I both dislike the fact that we have to use a 3rd party app that keeps a history of everywhere we’ve been (kind of creepy). As a software developer myself, I think a homegrown solution that just tracks when you leave or return home would be much less intrusive in terms of our privacy and security. Other than that, we are very happy with the product. We have a number of accessories and plan to add more as you start supporting door locks and smoke detectors. Keep up the good work!

  32. This feature feels very incomplete without auto-disarm. Nobody wants to set off the alarm when they come home. Please add it soon.

  33. Love the notification to arm when I leave but would prefer a notification to disarm when I arrive. I never remember to disarm before the alarm goes off.

  34. I’m in for that setup as well.. So if your taking votes I want the disarm and arm feature. Should be able to trigger when all phones are out a certain range from the unit and arm them as well as disarm them when you arrive back. I vote yes!!

  35. Grace, my smart arming has been working great until I upgraded to IOS 9.3. Since that update, the notification that everyone has left the house doesn’t come through if the phone is asleep (on, but screen blank). Once I press the button at the bottom of the phone to wake it up, then I instantly get the notification. Is anyone else seeing this? Don’t know if this is a general IOS issue, a Life 360 issue or a Piper issue.

  36. Please add my vote for an auto-disarm feature, or just a disarm notification/prompt when I return within range… Without this I use the auto-arm feature LESS often. Thanks for an awesome product!

  37. Great product but auto arm/disarm is SO important. IFTTT would massively expand the community for the product and stop things like this having to be custom written at the piper end.

    …but in the meantime. With or without life360, it just needs to autoarm itself without asking once we’ve all left home and disarm itself when it detects any of us back at home. Such a simple yet mega important feature which I get with Canary :/

    1. Hi Keith, we hear you & are working on it! Make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter to be among the first to know when auto arm/disarm is released.

  38. What is the timeline for auto arm and disarm? I’m ready to purchase a home automation system and would like to consider Piper if auto arm and disarm is coming in the next month or so.

  39. How do I get notified automatically when my children have arrived home safely? Without using check in. I mean how can I receive an automatic notification. Waiting for your response and help!

  40. Why not allow 2 forms of auto-arming/disarming when you leave the house? A lot of systems (like Canary and Scout) will detect when the phone connects to the Wifi, and will auto disarm/arm that way.

    So maybe just have it turn on/off when I leave my house or come home. It can then use Life360 to double check your location for the sake of decreasing false positive/negatives.

  41. I have been using my piper nv pretty much since it came out in the UK. The smart arming seems to work well, but I think you really need to add the smart disarm feature with ilife 360 -I think all the peoples comments asking for it should really promote this to the first thing on your next build…

    G

  42. Just purchased a piper NV from Amazon. Love many things about the product but the lack of a native geofencing feature with auto arm/disarm is shocking and a dealbreaker for me so I will be returning it. Please forward to your team that the life 360 integration is not acceptable and a proper feature is needed in the piper app. Even my dinosaur honeywell system has geofencing on it’s app now, which is what I’m trying to replace with the piper. If this was added I would consider multiple pipers for my home. Thanks for listening and I will eagerly watch for updates!

  43. Oops I think I spoke too soon – just explored the IFTTT integration which must have been added after this thread. Between that, life360, and Piper, I can make it auto arm when everyone has left! Only downside is that you need to use life360 and all the privacy issues that go along with that. But thanks for the IFTTT integration, it’s really cool.

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