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Smart Cameras for the Home

by Chad Curry, Managing Director, Center for REALTOR® Technology

Istock 000019845834XsmallWith the advent of the Internet of Things and smart home devices, there are more options than ever to intelligently control and monitor your home. According to a recent Harris poll survey, 35% of consumers would consider smart security cameras for purchase in the near future. What would be even better, is if a new homeowner were to receive one of these cameras as a closing gift. With a price point of about $199 this could be a great gift to give. Not only will you be giving them something that will help them remember you, but you're giving them peace of mind with a solid security product. Today, we are going to look at three different smart cameras on the market and talk about the features of each one.

With smart-connected cameras, you can do more than just monitor your home. There’s been a lot of attention paid to design and detail by manufacturers in this space. But beyond aesthetics, there’s a ton under the hood. From HD quality infrared video with wide angles to the ability to review on demand video. As a REALTOR®, being aware of what’s on market in this space will help you help homeowners make decisions about what type of cameras to purchase. Let’s take a look at some of the best on the market.

The Cameras

Canary is one of the better smart camera options on the market. The form factor resembles a speaker, so it's not obvious to the casual observer that it’s your camera. Canary claims it stops up to 5 burglaries a week. Video displays at 144 degree angles with very little distortion from the wide angle. Some of the features I like with the Canary are an emergency call button and 90 decibel siren in the app. What's great about these two buttons in the app is that you can be alerted to motion in your home, and take action to stop any sort of malicious activity. Another feature I like with the canary is something they call Home Health. It allows for environmental sensing through the camera. This environmental sensing data will tell you temperature and humidity as well as particulate matter. This gives you a total health picture of your home. Canary also has tiers of stored video you can purchase. It comes with 12 hours worth of video storage out of the box, but you can upgrade to a week's worth and then some more. The HD quality video also works with infrared. This means you can capture video at night as well and have a clear picture of what's happening.

Nest is a company you may already know because of their thermostats. A couple of years back, they purchased a company called Dropcam, and have since rebranded it as NestCam. The great thing about the NestCam is how well its integrated into the nest ecosystem. So if you have a nest thermostat and a nest protect as part of your home system this camera will work with those systems very seamlessly. It has a microphone and speaker so you can talk to someone on the other side. Like the Canary, Nest also offers online storage options for you.

NetAtmo (think Networked Atmosphere) has an indoor camera called the Welcome. This camera is unique because it has facial recognition built into it. It also stores data on a micro sd card on the back of the camera. The camera’s form factor is similar to the Canary, only slimmer. You can review the video on your smartphone and also add larger micro SD cards for more storage capacity. The Welcome also listens for sounds that could indicate a smoke alarm or alarm system going off so it will alert you and send video immediately to your phone. Unlike Nest and Canary, the night at move camera does not offer any online storage options.

There are a lot more other cameras on the market, but these three above are some of the best out there. They offer a range of features that give homeowners peace of mind. In our next piece, we'll continue on the theme of security and talk about smart locks.


NOTE: If you need photos of the products, here are links to each press kit:

Canary: https://canary.is/press/
Nest (click the more button below the nest thermostat images): https://nest.com/press/
NetAtmo Welcome (at the bottom, in the middle column): https://www.netatmo.com/en-US/site/press

Chad Curry is the Managing Director at the Center for REALTOR® Technology out of the Chicago NAR office. Chad is available as a technology speaker for Women's Council Chapters.  He can be reached at: chad@crtlabs.org.

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