Home camera systems from baby monitors to full-blown security systems are nothing new, but living with them can be about as comfortable as living in the novel 1984. Making its debut at this year’s IFA electronics show in Berlin, the Withings Home video and environmental monitoring device tries to dispel that vibe in a user-friendly package that blends into modern home decor.
Aimed at "inspiring [the] user to make healthy choices," the Home consists of a plastic and wood casing with an LED night light base and a magnet for flexible mounting. Inside is a high-definition 5-megapixel camera with a 135-degree-wide viewing angle, four-power zoom and night vision capability. There are also two digital microphones and a speaker with audio echo cancellation and noise reduction for two-way audio communication.
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According to Withings, the Home can detect noise or motion within its immediate area and is specially designed to recognize crying and people. On detection, the Home records five seconds of video and audio and uploads it to the Cloud where it stays for two days. From there it can be viewed and downloaded by a smartphone or Web app, which are also used to control the device itself. The company says that though Home is aimed at security applications, it can also be used to capture memorable events that are compiled into a video diary that is available to view on the aforementioned mobile or Web apps.
In addition to audio and video, the Home also acts as an environmental monitor by detecting changes in temperature, humidity, and levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – which are potentially harmful chemicals commonly found in the home – and sending an alert if something is amiss.
"Home security cameras can often look ugly and indiscreet," says Cedric Hutchings, CEO of Withings. "Just like the rest of our product range we put extra attention to the design to make sure we create the emotional link that ensure long-term adoption by the whole family."
The Home is priced at €199.95 in Europe and US$219.95 in the US and is available in white and natural wood with special editions to be issued later.
The device can be seen in action in the video below.