Ooma Expands Into Home Monitoring


Ooma, the long-time independent and quite stellar VoIP service provider, is finally poised to expand beyond its core telephonic capabilities… as foreshadowed by the legendary Rich Buchanan way back in 2009:

Ooma won’t say exactly what complementary products it will introduce, but Buchanan will speak in general terms. “We will have applications that fall into three basic categories: network management, home automation, and data management,” he says.

Given that Ooma is simply a Linux-based hub, why not? And now, as revealed by the FCC, we learn the company intends to introduce window/door and water detection sensors managed via an incoming Ooma Home Monitoring app. Due to power and range considerations (and the FCC filing itself), Ooma wouldn’t leverage WiFi or even low-energy Bluetooth for these applications. However, as opposed to their Zigbee and Z-wave contemporaries like Smartthings, Ooma is going with generally phone-centric DECT for communication.

I wonder what other goodies and integrations they have on the docket… and expect all will be revealed next month at CES.


2 thoughts on “Ooma Expands Into Home Monitoring”

  1. As much as I love my Ooma VoIP–the best such service at the LOWEST price with greatest value as in many advanced features at a lower price than anyone else–I don’t see much use for this device, and it is not as part of a whole system–yet?

    The Ring video doorbell is really tempting to me because it would do what I want and need: identify who is a knocking at my door (living with an elderly parent–this is exactly what she needs), deal with people (crooks and burglars in particular) pretty much in real time and get them to move on. The addition of Ring cloud storage and its nominal fee (I appreciate that they need to monetize this device, so I don’t whine about it like other do) is also attractive as some idiots do mess with people’s property on the porch.

    I get the idea of the water sensor in certain areas of the country and parts of SoCal and the window sensor makes some sense, but I aint having to cope with those problems. My problems are all the other stuff I cited that Ring (or other such devices) address, and I think that is true for most of us. OK, using DECT may keep things cheaper for Ooma or it integrates better with their VoIP systems or DECT may be more robust than a lot of people’s weak WiFi. I would prefer Ooma focus on addressing some of its drawbacks of the VoIP system such as delay in voice transmission, adding far more capacity (telephone numbers) to the Blacklist feature, offering a Whitelist option, and fixing some of the minor, but annoying odd behavior the VoIP system still exhibits, but far less than it used to, and Ooma still the best and I would never go to another VoIP service.

    So, in other words, a big “ho-hun” from yours truly. Still far more likely to pop for the Ring and definitely NOT this new Ooma device. And Dave, thanks for all your snooping. Best of the Holidays to you.

  2. I like where Ooma is headed. Some of it makes sense to me, some of it doesn’t. For some reason, I find the smart home protection feature most appealing. Perhaps because I invested in Google Wifi and don’t want to upgrade to a router that also protects my smart devices? My big concern with using Ooma for smart home protection is speed. How much will it slow things down? I also don’t like that it isn’t interactive. I’m still upset that Dojo went MIA. I really liked that it put the user in the driver seat by asking if activity should be deemed unusual or not.

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