Netatmo Welcome ................................................
T he Netatmo looks more like an ornament than a security camera, and all its features revolve around convenience and user-friendliness instead of fine-grained control.
Once paired with your phone – an odd process that involves turning the Welcome upside down for the first few minutes – it will start recording and look out for new faces. When it’s comfortable that it’s capturing images of the same person (typically after a couple of hours of them walking past) it will ask you to name the identified face and then confirm that the photos it’s taken are indeed them.
The idea is that it builds up a picture of who’s in your family and is then able to flag the appearance of a stranger. You’ll then get an alert that something odd is happening, and can tap to see a recording or a live view. Because you’ve probably chosen to only be notified of strangers appearing, you know you should take note of the alert. That’s one of the Netatmo’s best features, as it’s easy to drown in notifications.
All the recordings are made direct to the 8GB microSD card that comes with the Welcome – note it needs a power supply and is indoor-only – but you can link your Dropbox account or upload to an FTP server without an additional fee. Netatmo also saves the best image to the cloud, so even if your Welcome is stolen by a ne’er-dowell then you’ll have a record.
While there is a website you can log into, configuration is easy via the excellent Netatmo app. A thumbnail of a face sits next to each clip – saying either “Unknown face seen” or “John seen”, where John is one of the people you’ve set as recognised already – which you tap to see a full photo of the scene. Press play to watch, switching to landscape view to enjoy it in full glory.
Video is recorded in 1080p and the live view is suitably detailed, so long as lighting conditions are good. While it does record audio as well, this isn’t two-way, so you can’t chat to the dog while you’re at work.
I wouldn’t put it past Netatmo to somehow retro-fit this feature – perhaps a microphone that plugs in to the micro-USB port – because it’s keen on adding features as time goes on. In the US, you can already buy a three-pack of sensors for US$99 that will alert you when someone opens a window, say, and recently announced a 110dB siren to scare the bejesus out of burglars.