Netgear's Arlo cameras have traditionally lacked some features that you get with competing wired cameras. The completely wireless nature of Arlo cameras makes things like person detection tricky, but Netgear announced it was working on that and more last summer. The "Arlo Smart" add-on service has been in beta testing for months, but now it's finally rolling out to customers. Not only do you get person detection but activity zones, rich notifications, and more.
Here's everything you can expect as part of Arlo Smart.
Arlo cameras are designed to conserve battery life, which is why they can run for several months on a charge. That also makes it infeasible to constantly scan footage to recognize people. So, the Arlo Smart service is cloud-based. The heavy lifting happens on Netgear's servers, which allows you to cut down on the number of notifications you get. Similarly, cloud activity zones let you focus detection on specific areas of the frame. Arlo cameras on power have this feature built-in, but on battery you need Arlo Smart to enable the server-side processing.
Arlo Smart also adds rich notifications on Android. When the app fires off an alert, the notification will include an image. That could save you from opening the app to check on things if you can discern it's non-critical from the notification. If there is a problem, Arlo Smart also supports E911 calls in the US. That means 911 operators will see your home address as the call location even if you're someplace else.
The Arlo Smart release comes with some new plans. You can add Arlo Smart to any camera for $2.99 per month. With this option, you still just have the standard 7-day video storage. For $9.99 per month, you can have up to 10 cameras with Arlo Smart and 30 days of video storage. For $14.99, you get up to 20 cameras on Smart with 60 days of storage. These are all very competitive rates compared to the likes of Nest and Logitech.