Devices like the Netatmo Welcome and Blacksumac Piper can provide a real-time video stream of your home, but they can only look in one direction. The newly-launched Branto Orb, however, can view a room in 360-degrees. It has a host of communications, security and home automation features.

The Branto Orb is one of a burgeoning number of devices that let you keep an eye on, communicate with and control your home. Although typically useful in a variety of ways, the multifunctionality of these devices can make them difficult to summarize concisely.

Branto has described its Orb variously as a "wireless smart home system" and a "personal smart assistant." The firm says it offers a cutting-edge level of communications with full remote presence and is designed to be "compact, portable and stylish."

The feature that makes the Orb stand-out from its competitors is its Full HD motorized video camera that rotates 360 degrees and can also look up and down. This allows users to see everything in the room and, coupled with built-in two-way communication, makes it well suited for catching up with family at home when you're away.

The video can be streamed to a user's mobile device via an accompanying app for Android or iOS. The app also allows the user to control the direction of the camera remotely, so that they can choose who to look at when talking to their family or when using the device for videoconferencing. The Orb can connect to a TV via Miracast and AirPlay to specifically facilitate such video calls.

The Orb's feature set also lends it to being a home security solution. Its video camera has night-vision functionality and the device also features motion and sound detectors. Users can be immediately notified via the mobile app if the device detects suspicious movement or noise and video footage can be provided so that users can see for themselves what's going on.

Users can control compatible appliance in their homes remotely using the Branto Orb, too. Its Infrared Control functionality makes it possible to control devices like TVs and air conditioners when away from home (or by way of a replacement for standard remotes), while Smart Appliances Control allows users to control devices like lights, sockets and thermostats.

It's possible to use the Orb to capture videos, such as during birthday parties, and users can create a network up to four Orbs, allowing them to monitor different parts of their home. Users can also stream music, radio, and audiobooks through its built-in speaker or via external speakers to which it is connected.

The Orb is charged via a wall socket and has a 3,000 mАh battery that can last from 3-12 hours depending on the type and amount of usage. There's 16 GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 64 GB and content can also be saved to the cloud. The Orb supports ZigBee 2.0, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

An Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign is ongoing for the Branto Orb. At the time of writing, pledges for one unit are available at US$279. Assuming all goes to plan with the campaign and roll-out, shipping is expected from December this year.

The video below is the Indiegogo pitch for the Branto Orb.

Sources: Branto, Indiegogo

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