For the truly paranoid, there is nothing like a security camera to put one's mind at ease. Whether retracing the steps of a burglar or winning a heated argument ("you did NOT do the dishes!"), you can always just go to the tape.
But as some have pointed out, security cameras degrade the sense of home. Home is about security, but it's also about privacy. The maid doesn't deserve to always be spied on. And thanks to ever-shrinking technology, Form Devices has just launched Point, a digital nose and ears of sorts that will keep an eye on your house in the most unobtrusive way possible, and lets you monitor it all through your phone.
They call it a "softer take on home security," and it feels a little better than a camera. Unbranded and tastefully conceived with Scandinavian design, this lensless security system won't weird out your guests. Able to detect cigarette smoke and hazardous gases thanks to a particle detector, it'll let you know if something's in the air—in addition to how hot and moist that air is.
Point also has a sound detector with a built-in analyzer. It doesn't record anything, but it will notify your phone if a window breaks, an alarm goes off, or if someone decided to throw a party while you were gone and pumped up the jams.
Point even has a threshold setting that will have it light up if you're being too loud, politely asking you to calm down. And if some unruly guest tries to put baby in a corner? (Also: Point will tattle—it knows!—if it gets stashed in a cabinet during the bash.)
Connected to Wi-Fi with replaceable batteries that last a year, this is a simple, plug-and-play security system that might be that middle-ground you're looking for.