My eldest son will soon turn eight years old. To me it seems like only yesterday he was a baby. I remember dutifully selecting all those products that I felt would serve my husband and I wisely in our new parenting experience. Those items now seem archaic. In eight short years technology has advanced in ways I certainly never would have guessed. Back in 2004 there was no iPad, no iPhone, instead only painful-to-operate digital video cameras and simple monitoring systems. Life without an app was a sad world indeed:)
I’m sure in another ten years what I think is amazing now, will be old technology. It’s just the nature of the beast. But our new HD Wi-Fi video monitoring system is amazing. Its the extra set of eyes a mother needs. I can only be so many places at once and can only do so many things. For instance, my boys play area is downstairs, but the kitchen is upstairs. And their bedrooms are upstairs, but my bedroom is downstairs. You get the idea. To only truly understand what is happening on those particular levels I always had to actually be there.
If you are worried that all this new exciting technology is difficult, I can assure you it isn’t. I had the camera working and was able to view the live feed from my computer and iPad in a few minutes.
Plus its small!
This little tech tool is capable of-
- capturing images in the dark using night vision
- creating push notifications and emails based on noise and movement within the viewable area of the camera
- two way communication
- recording and saving video
So what about the image? Obviously the images are much clearer with proper light. Using the night vision in a dark room creates images that are not clear, but still apparent. I monitored my five year old son in bed and I was able to see him asleep even in his dark room.
I also used the cam on my youngest in the picture above. As you can easily see he is still in a crib, when I took the picture he was awake. He called for me, and I talked to him through the cam letting him know I would be there in a minute to get him. I could tell he was trying to figure out where my voice was coming from. It was pretty funny!
If there is a sudden noise or movement, the system will notify you via email and/or a push notification. I unplugged the camera and about a half an hour afterwards I received a notification via my email and iPad that it was unplugged. If you want to use this system to alert you to your child’s needs at night you will have to have your email and/or push notifications set up to be loud enough to alert you. You won’t actually hear your child until you go into the app or online program. Therefore the volume of the notification is pertinent.
Keep in mind there is about a three second delay. This doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. Since everything is being transmitted via Wi-Fi its only natural there will be a slight delay. Obviously if you have a poor Wi-Fi signal, this delay could be more. I read a review online by a person who was quite “put out” by this few second delay. All I could think was “Really? Three seconds is too long for you?” I know we live in a fast paced world, but waiting all of three seconds for a response isn’t bad to me.
Obviously with the live video feed there is also audio. But what is also great is that I can merely click or tap the “talk” button and talk through the camera. Yep, when the boys are downstairs playing and I’m upstairs preparing supper, I can keep an “eye” on them and also let them know when they need to tone down the antics. I can officially be two places at once!
Obviously there are a plethora of possibilities with the Dropcam. Everybody has their own unique situations and use for a live video camera.
Here are some ideas-
- keep track of your pets
- view your house when you are away for security measures
- keep a camera outside your front door so you can see who is there before you open the door
- keep track of your older (teenage) children when you can’t be at home with them
I also used the camera just today when my youngest son took a nap. He doesn’t normally take a nap, but today was my lucky day:) I wanted to workout while he slept, but normally I wouldn’t have been able to as he naps all the way upstairs and I am in the basement working out. Sure I have an audio monitor, but I prefer to workout listening to my iPod. Therefore I can’t hear him when I’m running. But this time I was able to put my iPad on the treadmill and watch him the entire time I was working out. It was so awesome! Let’s just say I think I will be encouraging him to take more naps now:)
For a limited time (2 weeks) the live feed can be recorded and saved for future viewing. However after the two week trial this function does require either a monthly or yearly fee. I can’t imagine I will need the recording option, but it is an option for those that find it necessary.
So you’re probably wondering what is the price tag on this little piece of advanced technology? The price is currently $150. Not exactly inexpensive, but considering what it is capable of I would say the price is fair. Inexpensive video cameras cost around $100 and this video camera has many more possibilities. Perhaps its even a good deal, I’ll let you be the judge.
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I received the above mentioned product for review purposes, all opinions are my own.