A security camera with high-tech face recognition
£199 Manufacturer Netatmo, netatmo.com Camera resolution 1920x1080 Connectivity Ethernet, Wi-Fi Storage 8GB micro-SD card (removable)
There are several home security cameras that have been released in the last few months, but the Welcome camera from Netatmo has two important features that the company hopes will give it an edge over its rivals.
Most security cameras can detect motion and tell you when there’s someone moving around in your home. However, the Welcome goes one step further by using face‑recognition technology to differentiate between people that you trust – such as members of your own family – and unwelcome strangers. You can use the camera’s iOS app to set up profiles for family or friends, and you can even tailor the notifications it sends you, perhaps telling you ‘Jenny is home’ when one of your kids comes back from school.
Some security cameras also require an online subscription so that they can upload and store your video recordings on the internet. However, the Welcome stores its HD (1920x1080) recordings on an 8GB memory card and simply sends you a notification with a photo snapshot whenever it detects motion or a face that it doesn’t recognise. You can then decide if you want to use the app to stream or download the video recording from the camera to your phone, or just call the police!
The initial set-up process is fairly straightforward, as the Welcome has both Ethernet and Wi-Fi for connecting to your home network, and the iOS app guides you through the process of linking the camera to your iOS devices, or to a web browser viewer for Macs and PCs. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t really explain how to set up profiles for people’s faces, and we found ourselves randomly tapping on various menu options until we eventually figured out how to set up a profile for our own face. Once that was done, the face-recognition features did work well, even in relatively dark lighting, so the Welcome camera is certainly worth considering as a way of keeping an eye on things when you’re away from home. However, Netatmo could do a better job of explaining how the face-recognition features work for first-time users. Cliff Joseph The Welcome’s facerecognition technology is really useful for home users, but it could be explained much better.
As well as detecting motion, the Welcome can even recognise family and friends.