Netgear is jumping on the smart home bandwagon with what it is calling the world's first smart security camera
The Arlo camera is not only highly connected, but also wireless and lasts between four and six months using replaceable batteries.
"With the explosive growth and early adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), consumers are telling us they value smart devices that help them monitor property and loved ones to give them peace of mind," said Pat Collins, vice president of smart home products at Netgear. "But not everyone needs a professionally-monitored, expensive security system with 24/7 surveillance, and on-call personnel. Furthermore, people want to place cameras in places where a power outlet is difficult to come by."
The Arlo camera is an update to the VueZone camera line Netgear released two years ago and boasts a number of great new features, including the ability to record video at 720p. Once videos are recorded, they are sent to straight to Netgear's servers, where users get 200 MB of free storage, which amounts to around two or three weeks of footage. Users can also upgrade to a larger amount of storage under a monthly subscription plan.
The system works using a base station, which is necessary for low-power Wi-Fi as connecting cameras directly to a router would drain batteries in a matter of days.
Arlo comes as the Internet of Things (IoT) concept is gaining ground, with many companies releasing smart home devices that are connected to the Internet. Google's Nest announced an update to its smart thermometer on Nov. 4.
"Arlo is the only camera that can deliver secure monitoring in HD, without the need for a power outlet at all. Because the camera is battery operated, you can take it anywhere inside a perimeter of up to 150 feet from the base station," continued Collins. "Because it's easy to initialize with a push of a button, setup is super easy."
This 150-foot perimeter includes outdoors and the Arlo is able to handle most weather conditions that can be thrown at it in everyday life.
According to Netgear, the base station will also be the hub for future smart home devices from the company, suggesting the company aims for a more prominent role in the smart home industry than it has had in the past.
The base station will also likely be compatible with products from other companies. Netgear also announced it is now part of the AllSeen Alliance, which is a group of companies working toward making IoT devices compatible with each other, regardless of brand.
The Arlo smart home security camera system costs $349.99, which includes a base station and two cameras. Add-on cameras will be sold separately for about $170, but purchasers must already have an Arlo security kit.
A rival company to Netgear, called Homeboy, also offers connected cameras, however these cameras connect directly to the user's router.