Consumer security cameras have become a huge product category in the last couple year with the likes of Google, FLIR, and Logitech taking a swing at home monitoring. Your options are greatly reduced if you need a camera that operates for long stretches on battery or in the great outdoors. This is something Netgear has attempted to address with its Arlo security cameras. The new Arlo Pro adds a few features to the lineup, bringing it to parity with standard wired cameras. However, the wireless aspect means you'll have to make some compromises.
Logitech has been making cameras of the web variety for years, and it recently got into the home security camera market with Logitech Circle. The initial reviews were alright, but Logitech was lacking some important features that other cameras had. I guess it took the criticism to heart because a series of app and firmware updates have added lots of new stuff to the existing hardware. It's actually gotten much more capable, and the pricing remains competitive. Taking another look at Logitech Circle, it's a great option for home video monitoring.
When I first heard about the Blink security cameras, I was immediately impressed and intrigued. Having tried both the Piper and Canary in my pharmacy, to more or less mitigated results, the Blink seemed like the perfect solution.
Piper (full review) suffers from one major flaw: the camera doesn't turn itself back on after a power failure if the back-up battery is empty (and since we have lots of blackouts here in Lebanon, I got tired of buying new batteries every two or three weeks). It also doesn't have a native scheduled arm/disarm feature; I really shouldn't have to manually arm and disarm my cameras when a simple time-based schedule is easy to implement.
The Pixel phones have been out for several weeks now, and a lot has been said about the camera. I will try to comment on some of the things that I’ve felt have been a bit overlooked, in a deeper dive into the Google Camera 4.2 on the Pixel XL. Most of the issues, if not all, should also apply to the smaller Pixel phone.
A note on pixel size, sensor size, and aperture
Starting with last year’s Nexus phones, Google has been advertising “bigger pixels” in their camera sensors, frequently pointing out their 1.55µm size in marketing materials. Relatively speaking, they’re larger than the ones on most other phones and should lead to lower noise, at least according to common belief.
In recent years, Dropcam has been the leader when it comes to smart home security cameras. FLIR recently jumped in to the market with the FLIR FX wireless security camera. This is a mobile-centric security system that offers cool ways to review your video and receive alerts on your phone when something goes down at home. Let's see how it performs.
Piper is a nifty little gadget that combines a number of recently deployed technologies to create a connected and hyper-aware home automation hub. The project has been getting a lot of press since it appeared on Indiegogo a couple of weeks ago, and it passed its $100,000 funding goal today. There's another twenty days before the project ends, so the creators won't be wanting for funds.
Piper is essentially is a little box that's stuffed with a ton of sensors and WiFi connectivity, making it the hub of a connected house. It functions as a security and monitoring tool first and foremost, thanks to a panning wide-angle webcam and microphone.