A couple of days before the UK launch I was invited to a breakfast briefing in a swish Kensington hotel to see this conference room camera in action. It is designed for a meeting of between say five and ten people and also remote connections can connect to become part of the meeting. I emphasize part of the meeting as normal conference room cameras do not do this.
The "Meeting Owl" conference webcam measure 10cm across at the base and slightly less at the top of its 28cm height. Its camera is a range of cameras around the top under a 1cm dome hence the name ‘Owl’ as it sees all round without moving, whereas with normal conference cameras they take a viewpoint and if someone at the periphery of the view is speaking even if speakers pick up the remarks the camera view cannot change.
While I must confess to already being a convert to Nest as I have their Smoke Alarm/Carbon Monoxide detector their Indoor Camera was new to me having been brought to my attention by an on the ball PR person trawling through previous reviews.
Installation is just a matter of downloading the Nest app from the iOS or Android store, scanning the cameras code and attaching the supplied USB lead to the supplied USB fronted plug, the link takes place and you can then view the camera output on your phone. One big advance over some other cameras is that this offering from Nest knows the difference between ‘motion’ and ‘person’.
If you have a phone of Tablet that you no longer use you could couple it with this App from Manything to let you know what is happening when you are not there, it allows your phone or tablet camera to keep you updated on who eat the last sandwich, left the milk out of the fridge or even wrecked the lounge was it Brutus or just maybe it was innocent little Simon.
Some will say this is spying, others will say if it’s your home then it’s your rules but you need to make that choice yourself. Manything offer a range of offerings with the basic one of ‘Liveview’ being FREE. Place your old mobile in the position most likely to confirm your suspicions and assuming it’s your home then you are probably entitled to see what is happening when you are away.
As always I start by opening the box and looking at the components before I go anywhere near a car, if I need to refer to the Quick Start Guide then for me anyway the setup is not that straightforward, here I needed to study the Guide before I worked things out.
While a display is not essential this is the first such unit I have seen that does not have one, my first thought as the unit was not new when sent to me was there was a part missing, I was wrong. It works in a different way in that a powerful sticky 6.5x3.2cm pad is attached to the side of the back of the web cam and arrived in a separate bag giving me the wrong idea. Once clipped into place on the camera unit all became clear.
A dramatic title but today there are people out there determined to make you crash into the back of them by their actions so unless you have an ‘independent’ witness the fact that you hit the car in front makes you automatically guilty.
A Dash Cam can tell via satellite and video the speed you were doing, the exact time and date as well in some cases if you were talking but more importantly it gauges where that vehicle you just hit came from if it has crossed lanes if it has braked excessively etc. Most importantly it is classed as an independent witness. So any money you spend on a Dash Cam is an investment against the possibility of losing your extremely valuable no claims bonus.
This is an external light and a camera and it runs on a standard power lead so if you already have an external light – with or without a sensor – you can just replace it and this will come on when something is sensed and it also records automatically.
This is certainly the most expensive security camera I have reviewed. It is external and has an integrated light so it is a two in one device. Open the box and there is the light camera unit at 20.5x10.5x6.5cm and a backing plate that fits without overhang on the rear of the unit. There are two screws and raw plugs together with a small Philips screwdriver. Lift the snug fitting padding to find three 44 page manuals and one of these is in English.
This is the latest – and certainly the best – Nest indoor security camera that I have seen, the information about when and what was seen along with the video quality makes this a wow product for any internal security purpose you may have.
The initial email notification will say ‘Someone’ or ‘Something’ has been seen with a still image you can then click on the link and see a very high quality video with exact timeline. It is possible for you to identify people so it can say change this message to ‘Mother’ or ‘Jimmy’ for example and if they have access you can then ignore the message.
Having recently told you about internal and external security cameras that are controlled by Apps here I go one stage further with a complete Security System, they do different configurations the one I was sent does not include a camera but they do internal ones and I was sent a camera to add to the other offerings in the complete Security System.
I was sent what they call a ‘Starter Pack’; this contains one of each of the four items, Cube One which contains a 110db siren. Contact Sensor designed to go onto anything that opens like doors or windows. Motion Sensor which detects movements in a 90 degree arc from where you place it and a remote Tag that allows you to arm the system without opening the App.
NETGEAR continues to develop its Arlo home security systems with the release of its Pro product.
Following on from the original Arlo and Arlo Q offerings, the NETGEAR Arlo product has now reached its third generation with the Arlo Pro. For those not familiar with the Arlo family, this product range offers HD security camera facilities. In the case of the Arlo Pro, the product combines indoor / outdoor, 100% wire-free connectivity with 2-way audio capability. I have had the opportunity to check out the basic VMS4130 model of the product.
Y-Cam has been producing home security cameras for a while. There latest offering is what I am scrutinising here. It is the EVO, possibly the easiest camera I have even setup. This unit is intended to be used indoors only and it is powered by USB.
It comes with a small stand so is easy to move around, however it can be fixed to a wall or ceiling with the provided screws. The base of the stand is magnetic so anything metal it is placed upon provides a firm base. Every movement within range is tracked and all video clips start around four seconds before the movement occurs and within a timeframe continue till after the movement stops.
This is not a Sat Nav – but it always knows exactly where you are – it comes with a lifetimes updates for safety cameras – which sounds better than speed cameras – and gives an exact view of what happened should you ever have a crash it even captures audio.
There are three parts, the camera unit, the windscreen sucker which forms the rear of the unit and a cable to go to your cars cigar lighter and this should fit into the back of the unit near the sucker. On the face of it attach the cable through the windscreen sucker part and click into the camera.
According to recent research, 29 of the UK’s major insurers will now accept evidence from in-car cameras as part of an insurance claim. Some insurers, such as Swiftcover, even offer a discount on motor insurance premiums if you are using a recognised in-car dash camera.
Having launched various cordless cameras Netgear now go the other way and attach a cord but instead of this being an Ethernet one it is a generous length USB one meaning it takes power from the cable – no batteries – and sends the signal it receives to your account.
My review has taken longer than normal simply because this relies on a SmartPhone to function, either an iOS one or an Android one. Just before this unit arrived I was reviewing a Windows Phone and this was followed by another such device and the statement on the box ‘One App for all Arlo Cameras’ has a flaw, no support currently for Windows Phones as far as I could find. It is rectangular with all the edges set at 45 degrees so it looks more diamond shape. The camera is 11x6.5x3.
Following the release of its original Arlo home security camera system last year, NETGEAR has now produced the Arlo Q. This is a 1080p HD Security Camera that offers two-way audio features operating as an intercom.
With the design of the Arlo Q, NETGEAR has instigated a number of changes to the appearance and performance of this home security device. For a start the “Q” is a tethered, rather than wireless, device. That is not to say that this camera lacks support for Wi-Fi. In fact it is a Wi-Fi device. The wireless aspect of this product refers to the means of drawing power. A lengthy 300cm USB lead and power plug are provided.
Protect your home while you are away is something that many companies seem to be producing items for, some insurance companies even offer a reduction in your premium if the item selected meets their criteria. Here is a solution from Nest.
I thought the setup for Nest Protect was easy, this is even easier, select a site for the camera attach it to the magnetic dock provided, plug in the camera to the 3metre micro USB to USB lead a 13amp USB plug front is supplied and start watching what the camera shows on your phone or Tablet.
Home security continues to be a hot topic with the next candidate offering a welcome.
Developed by Netatmo, a company founded in 2011, the Welcome is a security camera that comes with the promise of delivering face recognition without the need of a contract or subscription fees. The product consists of the camera unit, power lead, Ethernet cable and an 8GB micro SD card for storing any captured content. You also get a mini booklet which relies of illustrations to get its message across regarding setting up the device.
In view of the spate of deliberate car collisions perpetrated by insurance fraudsters upon unlucky and unsuspecting motorists a forward facing video recorder in one's car is a very useful defensive tool. As well as meeting this need, the Transcend Drive Pro 220 car video recorder (aka dashcam) also incorporates a number of other useful features.
Home security continues to be a popular area for manufacturers with this latest offering arriving from Samsung Techwin.
The last Samsung Techwin security device that I looked at involved multiple cameras (four units), physical cable linking and PVD storage making the product far more suitable for a small business environment. Now it is the turn of a more home environmental based product in the form of the Samsung Techwin SmartCam HD. This is a single camera kit that offers 1080p live streaming and WiFi connectivity as it links to a home network.
As part of its Wireless Smart Home portfolio, Smanos has developed its IP6 HD WiFi camera product. Offering 720HD video of a targeted location, this camera unit can either be used as a free-standing or wall-mounted device. Live video content can be viewed with a free iOS or Android app as you check what is going on in your home when you are away.
This Smanos product consists of the camera unit attached to a circular stand; a packet containing screws. Rawl plugs and a reset pin; a power lead with a 3-pin plug; and a Quick Guide booklet covering the English, German, French and Dutch languages. The supplied power plug has a diamond shape which does require slightly more room that a standard unit. The camera stand has a mounting template which can be removed for attaching the camera to a wall if that is the way you decide to go.
This next review brings together a couple of Belkin products that offer to provide some assistance in protecting your home.
The Belkin Netcam, as its title might imply, allows you to keep a check on what is occurring within an area of your home when you are absent. With my review unit being supplied by QVC, the kit consists of a Wi-Fi camera with night vision, power lead, screws and rawl plugs for wall mounting, plus a Quick Install Guide. You will also need an Android or iOS smartphone along with a Wi-Fi router for Internet connection.