I Am Tim Hoover

Product, design and life in BK/SF.

2013 – Present

Canary Flex

Canary is a home security startup that builds products to keep families safe and connected. We launched Canary Flex in early 2017, to expand our product line and give people more versatility when protecting their home. It is the first and only indoor and outdoor, weatherproof, HD security camera that can be used wire-free or plugged in. I lead the product and design teams who developed, designed, and built Canary Flex.

 

Hardware is hard. They say that your second hardware product is even harder, especially for a crowd-funded product. They’re right. Following the success of Canary All-In-One was no easy task for the team. Luckily for us, crowd-funding allowed us to build incredibly meaningful and open relationships with many of our users. We knew many by name, texted with some, and direct messaged even more on Twitter. And, when we asked for feedback, they delivered.

We listened to their feedback and watched as users hacked our table-top Canary All-In-One for their own purposes. They built custom shelving in the corner of their rooms. They hung our devices from the rafters in their retail stores. They ordered extra long cords online. They even wrapped the devices in plastic in hopes of weatherproofing them. We had successfully built a better, and more simple home security solution but our customers needed more flexibility and our audience had grown beyond the big-city-small-living audience we had originally designed for.

Enter: Canary Flex. With Flex we set out to deliver the best possible video quality we could, in the smallest package. We developed a camera that can run on battery or plugged-in, be used safely indoor or outdoor, and be placed anywhere imaginable—all without the need for a hub.

Expanding the ecosystem

With the launch of Canary Flex, we transitioned from a product to a company and from a single solution to an ecosystem. We needed to think about our offering as a flexible system that had to work however our customers wanted to use it. How did placing some products inside and some outside need to change the experience? What happens to our computer vision algorithms when someone carries the Canary Flex from room to room? What if someone wants to add 15 of them to a single app? We delivered an incredibly versatile product, and it’s been amazing to see how people use it. Watch our launch video below.

Design Language

As our product line expands it’s important that all of our products fulfill our design principles and feel like they are part of the same family. Coherence was an incredible challenge with Canary Flex. Much of the product’s innovation is in the hardware design and how it works with the form factor. Sharing some of the curves and approachability from Canary All-In-One, we think of Flex as the more playful little sibling.

The product ships with a magnetic base that supports the Flex on a table top or spins around for a wall mount. Either option allows for full articulation of the camera lens and does not interfere with the product’s motion sensor capabilities. The magnet is strong. Flex’s magic is felt most when users first snap the product and its base together. In that moment they can hear, and feel, a satisfying connection. When mounted on a wall, the base handles the cord elegantly to support the wired or wire-free options.

Accessories

In addition to the magnetic base that ships with Canary Flex, the product and design teams developed a family of accessories specific to common use cases. For outdoor use, a secure mount adds an added layer of stability and makes the product difficult to pull of the wall.

A stake mount, for those customers who want to hide the product in a flower bed by their front doors, and a twist mount, for the kids room or garage, add additional flexibility and suggest use cases to our customers. More accessories are on the way and we’re always looking for ways to add a little playfulness to the Canary Flex family.

Live Life in the Know

With an expanding product line came a new marketing campaign and a renewed purpose to empower people to Life Life in the Know. The campaign ran online and also in some TV spots during the Canary Flex launch.

Want more Canary?

View the project pages about Canary All-In-One and the Canary apps. And be sure to check out the official Canary website and pick one up at Best Buy, your local Verizon store, or online at Amazon.

All work on the Canary Flex project done in collaboration with the full team at Canary.

Projects and Experiences

Canary

VP of Product and Design

Canary Flex

VP of Product and Design

Canary Apps

VP of Product and Design

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