Last week in San Francisco NETGEAR launched their first foray into the Internet of Things – the Arlo™ Smart Home HD Security Camera. Arlo™ is the first truly wireless WiFi security camera with high definition video. I got to experience it firsthand at the Arlo launch press conference, and I was excited enough by the product that I wanted to share my first impressions with you.
I love Arlo’s mounting system, it makes it so easy to move the camera between locations. It uses a dome shaped metal mount that attaches to the wall, with a concave surface on the camera – making a kind of magnetic ball and socket joint. It is really easy to adjust to different angles and very simple to move from one location to another, they even include extra mounts with the system to facilitate easy movement. It can also be mounted via a standard tripod screw mount or sit on a table or other flat surface.
The Arlo camera is small and light enough to easily fit in your hand, and with no wires at all you can use it even in places where there is no power outlet. It is waterproof and designed to stand extremes of temperature, so you can easily use it outdoors as well as in. The camera is battery-operated and NETGEAR estimates the batteries will last 4-6 months with normal use. One reason for the long battery life is the camera spends a lot of time in power-saving mode – it only switches on when it detects motion or when you are viewing the camera feed. When it does detect motion you can set it up to send you an alert and then view the live or recorded video on your computer, smartphone or tablet. The Arlo Camera connects wirelessly to a hub in your home, you can view up to 4 video streams at once, and connect up to 15 cameras to each hub. At the press conference we were able to view the video stream from several cameras set up in different parts of the country and the video quality was good with sharp, clear images.
NETGEAR plans to partner with other companies to bring more connected home products to the Arlo platform, and the first partner announced is LiFX® who sell Smart, multi-color, LED light bulbs. So you will be able to have activity picked up by the camera trigger the lights – a great security feature when you away!
I can already envision all kinds of uses for the system in and around my home, and I love how easy it is to move the cameras between locations. When the kids are sleeping I can use it as a video monitor, then use it to watch them playing in the garden or living room whilst I prepare dinner in the kitchen. I also love the idea of being able to see if someone is at the door or if a package has been delivered; as well as the security and peace of mind of being able to watch my pets and property when away from home.
I’m looking forward to testing out Arlo™ when it is released this winter, it is available for pre-order for $349.99 from Amazon for the starter kit including 2 cameras, hub and mounts.