Check my understanding of motion activation and notifications


Hi, This is my first post. I have three Canary Flex outside and one Original Canary inside. I hooked them up a week ago and have been experimenting and learning since. One thing I want to make sure I understand is the relationship between motion activated video recordings and notification sensitivity settings. Initially I had assumed that changing the sensitivity of motion activity notifications would actually change the sensitivity of the device to begin recording any video. I now believe that is not a correct understanding of how Canary works.
Below is my understanding of how the system works. If anyone could respond and confirm or correct my understanding that would be great!

  1. recordings occur when the device motion sensor triggers.
  2. motion activated notification sensitivity settings have no influence on how sensitive the unit is to motion and thus recording of activity.
  3. the only way to influence the unit’s sensitivity to motion activated recordings is to aim the unit to most effectively monitor the area of interest, while keeping other activity (i.e. road activity) out of frame as much as possible.
  4. the notification sensitivity settings are only used to determine which recordings generate notifications.

Does that sound right?

My main reason for caring about the difference between recordings and notifications is that each recording eats into the stored time allotted for each unit in the free plan. The more recordings that are not really related to activity of interest (that generate notifications), the less recordings I can store that really generated notifications.



Hi Rob,

Great question! Your understanding is mostly correct.

  1. When the original Canary and Flex (while plugged in) detect motion it will start recording and post video to your timeline as long as it is not in Privacy mode. If you’re using the Flex on battery then it relies on it’s Passive Infrared Sensor (PIR) to detect heat movement, wake up, and then start recording. This is to help save battery.
  2. Correct - motion notification sensitivity does not influence the device’s sensitivity to motion. This setting adjusts how sensitive the system is to sending you notifications when motion of interest is detected using our computer vision algorithms. This help article should help explain. We take this approach to ensure you never miss a moment even if you do not receive a notification.
  3. This is true for the original Canary and Flex if plugged in. If your Flex is running on battery this can take some tuning as passing cars can trip the PIR sensor and distance from the device also plays an important role. In the near future we’ll be releasing some additional features and settings to make this easier to tune for your environment.
  4. Correct - notification settings only effect which recordings generate notifications.

Hope that helps and we look forward to hearing more about your experiences with Canary and Flex!