It seems like everyone's adding smart cameras to their homes right now, and why not? More than just letting you keep an eye on your stuff, advanced software can crunch through hours of otherwise boring footage, sorting out the juicy stuff: package deliveries, the kids coming home from school, and that suspicious-looking schnauzer that keeps eyeing your bushes a little too closely. But sometimes there's just too much action going on, and we need to tell our cameras to ignore things we don't care about, focusing instead on areas of particular interest. Today, we're learning about just such a feature coming to the Canary Flex.

Last summer we first told you about a masking feature arriving for Canary's home cameras. The idea is that after setting up your camera you could designate an area of view for the camera to ignore: say, a curtain that blows every time your heating comes on, or a hallway your pet's constantly running down. With masking set up, you won't be getting constant motion alerts for these non-events you don't really care about.

So far, masking has been supported on the new Canary View, the company's basic camera model, as well as the Canary All-in-One, a unit that adds extra sensors to monitor air quality, humidity, and temperature, as well as a siren to scare away intruders. Today's update brings that same masking support to the Canary Flex, a weatherproof model appropriate for outdoor usage.

Setting up masks with the Canary app; highlighted areas will be ignored.

Support for masking with the Canary Flex is arguably an even more valuable feature than it was on the company's indoor models, as there's a whole world of random events taking place outside, when you only want your smart camera to focus on what matters to you. With this update you can set your Flex to ignore cars passing on the street, or a flock of hungry birds congregating on your feeder—while still letting you know when someone enters your yard.

Unlike some other advanced Canary features that require a paid membership, masking on the Flex is available to free and paid users alike. Your Flex will need its latest 3.1.0 firmware to take advantage of masking, but that release should be heading out to cameras this week.

Press Release

Masking with Canary Flex

Masking is now available as a free feature for Canary Flex users

Canary app 2.14.0 is now available for all Canary users, and it brings with it a feature that makes your notifications even more intelligent, with Masking now available for Canary Flex.

Last year, we introduced Masking for Canary All-in-One and Canary View devices, allowing you to mask out certain areas of your Canary’s field of view for which you didn’t need to receive notifications or capture motion. If you haven’t enabled Masks on Canary devices inside your home, you can get a quick refresher on how it works here.

Since we released Masking, we’ve heard from a number of Canary Flex users, requesting Masking for their outdoor camera, and today’s the day! We’re also happy to report that Masking is a free feature—available now across all devices and to all users.

Read on to find out all the details on how masks work, and how to set them up for your Canary Flex device.

Note: Your Canary Flex will need to be running firmware version 3.1.0 to create and edit masks. This firmware update will roll out automatically to all Canary devices over the course of this week.

Customizing Your Experience

Every Canary sees something different, which is why we design features that allow you to tailor your Canary experience to the dynamics of your unique environment.

Masking adds a layer of customization that helps you filter activity that doesn’t need your attention, improving the intelligence of notifications you receive from Canary.

Masking is simple: add a mask to exclude zones in your Canary device’s field of view. By creating a mask, you tell Canary that any motion in this area should neither be recorded, nor trigger a notification from the Canary app.

Masking on Canary Flex

If your Canary Flex is at your front porch, you may receive unimportant motion events in your Timeline as cars drive by, or as leaves flutter in the breeze. Or you may receive a Person Detected notification for a dog walker on the other side of the street.

With Masking, you can ensure that all motion recorded, and notifications you receive from Canary are for areas that are important to you, such as your driveway or front porch.

How It Works

In the example below, we’ve used a couple of masks to mark out the road, the sidewalk and the houses opposite—this way we’ll only get notifications and recorded motion when there’s activity in our driveway.

One thing to be mindful of when setting up masks on your Canary Flex is that because the device is so versatile and adjustable, many people regularly change Canary Flex’s positioning on its magnetic base. If you do change your Canary Flex positioning, bear in mind that you will have to recreate or update your masks to ensure the exact same areas are covered as your device’s field of view will have changed.

To use Masking, go to a location’s Settings, choose your device, and tap Add or Edit masks. Then, just draw a mask to cover a certain portion of a Canary’s field of view. You can drag the corners to increase or decrease the size and shape of the mask to your specific needs. Note: videos in the Canary app will continue to appear and play without the mask present. Masks are only visible from a device’s Settings.

Get in touch

As a product that people are relying on for home security, actionable notifications are important to us. Today’s update, combined with recent updates such as Person Detection and upcoming features like Package Detection are making Canary even more intelligent over time.

We’re continuously working to refine and enhance your Canary experience, so be sure to get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, or over on our Community with feature requests and suggestions. If you have any questions or need help with your device, check out our Help Center or tweet us @canarysupport.