Smart Home

iCamPRO robot tracks intruders, keeps eyes on them everywhere

The home security camera market is crowded with devices, but consumers tend to get what they pay for. For example, low-cost models tend to be stationary, lacking the ability to track moving objects.

Amsterdam company Amaryllo calls its iCamPRO FHD (full high definition) the first affordable, robotic camera that can see, hear, sense and automatically track moving objects. Algorithms were designed to make sure that the camera always keeps objects in the middle of the viewing area.  When an object starts to move away from the pixels in the middle of the viewing area, the camera tracks the object until it’s in the middle again. If two people are in the tracking area, the algorithm is designed to follow the first object detected until it stops moving.

The HD camera stands just over 3 inches tall and is powered by a high-speed central processing unit with a multi-sensor network. The iCamPRO features multiple motion sensors that always remain on, and it can see objects even in a dimly-lit environment.

Real-time object tracking like this is costly and has tended to only be available in military or professional surveillance systems in the past. The company already passed its goal of raising $1,000. Indiegogo backers can get either a white or black iCamPRO for $149 in May if they order now. That’s half the price that Amaryllo plans to charge at retail.

The camera offers a lot of promise and seems like an especially good deal at $149. But whether many consumers who are content with a cheaper Dropcam or Butterfleye will pay considerably more for an iCamPRO remains to be seen.

Smart Home

HUUM portable security system keeps you humming along without a worry

More and more, security systems are coming into their own in this new era of connected technologies, fitting into smaller packages and accomplishing as much or even more than they ever have. The HUUM is another addition in this space, offering a portable security system with a diverse array of features to keep users safe with minimal effort.

The HUUM is as small as a pencil case, but packs motion tracking, temperature monitoring, flood detection, and location tracking within. And since it’s portable, its possible uses aren’t limited to just the home. Although the system is compatible with both iOS and Android devices, the latter is able to utilize NFC tapping technology to easily activate or deactivate your alarms, change settings, or set up new devices, eliminating the need to input codes or any other form of authentication. In addition, multiple smartphones can be connected to a single system to keep everyone informed on an open window on a rainy day or even intrusions, all without monthly fees. The campaign is looking for $20,000 CAD (~$14,500 USD) to get the $89 CAD (~$77 USD) device out to backers by March 2015.

The HUUM works over Wi-Fi and, while that affords it impressive range, it’s also a drawback in that if something is wrong with the connection, it won’t be as effective. Other products, like the Canary and the WataSensor, are similarly handicapped but offer more features than the HUUM. The HUUM’s portability and size are its prime traits and its price compared to other similar systems sweetens the deal.