Gadgets 3-Withings-Home_pack2

Published on March 14th, 2015 | by Greg


Withings Home HD Camera: More Than Meets The Eye!

Home monitoring is definitely getting simpler. Early indoor camera systems were finicky and complicated, with low resolution optics offering grainy footage and plenty of lag. They could be hard to setup and look ungainly, often with big antennas, limited or non-existent audio. But the IP camera market has improved greatly, and new models are simple and even friendly.

Few of them are quite as pretty, though, as the Withings Home, an HD Camera that includes a unique addition- air quality sensors. They claim that it is the first of its kind, with a 1080p five-megapixel sensor, capable of capturing 30 frames per second. With a wide angle lens that can grab 135 degrees, it won’t pan or tilt, but can get up to 12x zoom (though it is digital, not optical).

Like many competitors, the Home has two-way audio, so you can both hear what is going on and even talk through to the other side. It’s ideal for a baby monitor, or to interact with your pets while you are away. Unlike most, there are dual microphones which allows some level of noise cancelation. And the speaker is more powerful than most, especially considering the size of the unit. There is a night vision mode too, which worked well in our tests. The notifications are a little less of a bright spot, since there isn’t quite the level of control you might want, and there is no multi-camera support at this time. Perhaps most unfortunate, we had to use an iOS app to connect. No other platforms are yet compatible (Android is in development), and there is no way to access feeds from your computer. But the app itself is really quite good, with an easy-to-use interface and a time lapse recap function.

And the Home is definitely the best-looking IP camera that we’ve seen thanks to it’s lovely wood grain finish, and we definitely appreciated the unusual feature set. The environmental monitoring could seem a little wonky, with readings that could fluctuate even in normal conditions, and Withings doesn’t support using it for temperature or true smoke/fire detection or alerts. But setting up your Home is truly simple, easy enough for anyone, and there is not only wifi but Bluetooth 4 built-in. We’ve seen Withings gear in the past and always appreciated the design and detail, and the Home continues the trend. Available now for around $200, online and in stores.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Appleā€™s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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