Cutting-Edge Comfort

There was a time when a hefty deadbolt and a couple of snarling, minacious Doberman Pinschers were enough to keep would-be home burglars at bay. Today, however, home security is inventive, singular, and hi-tech — especially for affluent homeowners who can afford the latest innovations. Here are three ways to maximize the comfort level of any mansion dweller. — By Todd Matthews

hive bee

EYE IN THE SKY — Fighter jets can scramble into position when a potential threat is detected. That same notion is put into practice for home security using a simple, three-tiered system developed by San Francisco-based Sunflower Labs. First, Sunflowers (small, decorative light posts) contain sensors and are arranged discreetly around a homeowners’ property, monitoring for unusual activity and illuminating when a threat is detected. Next, the Hive (a waterproof, self-charging base about the size of a small doghouse) deploys the Bee (an autonomous drone guided by the Sunflower sensors) to surveille the situation and send live video to your smartphone. The system is still in development, but Sunflower Labs turned heads at this year’s tech-crowded Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. (

hidden room

SECRET DOORS AND SAFE ROOMS — Creative Home Engineering in Gilbert, Arizona, can help you thwart intruders and live like James Bond or Bruce Wayne. The company’s decoy entries allow you to slip into the safety of secure bunkers, vaults, and panic rooms. That marble fireplace trimmed in cherrywood? It rotates to serve as a passageway to a hidden room. That stained wood cabinet housing your finest wines? It doubles as a steel-reinforced door leading to a vault filled with your most previous valuables.  Prices vary from $8,500 for a simple bookcase door to more than $12,000 for a decoy fireplace. (


AI SEE YOU — Counting Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos among its investors, Deep Sentinel’s Smart Home Surveillance System uses next-generation smart cameras, motion sensors, and a staffed surveillance center to interpret suspicious behaviors in real-time and, if necessary, contact local law enforcement within 30 seconds. What’s more, the Pleasanton-based company uses Artificial Intelligence technology and algorithm-monitoring to distinguish between benign interlopers, such as squirrels or dogs in your yard, and real threats, such as human burglars and intruders. The cost is $399 for three cameras, and $49.99 per month to subscribe to the service. (

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