The thing about surveillance cameras is that they need continuous power to keep recording. Being that they need to be plugged in, it limits you in where you can place the camera. The GeckoEye is a new concept in that it can be charged through solar power, and that, combined with its small, 1.7-inch hockey puck of a body, opens up many new places where you can stick a security cam. That means you can easily move it around the house, or use it inside a car as a dash cam. The GeckoEye is currently seeking funding via Indiegogo, with a goal of $100,000.
The camera is actually part of a two-component system that includes a base unit. With support for up to three camera modules, the GeckoEye Station communicates with them over direct Wi-Fi; the station also connects to your home network over Wi-Fi. Unlike the camera, however, the base unit must be powered the traditional way, but it has high-capacity battery (up to 240 hours) that makes it mobile. The station is where video is encoded and transmitted to a cloud-based storage (50GB included), although it also has 128GB of built-in memory. Users can access the station with a companion smartphone app (iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia [which we assume means Windows Mobile], or via Web browser) from anywhere, and view live-view footage or archived video recorder earlier.
If you plan to use it in a car while driving, obviously the camera and base won’t have access to a Wi-Fi network. For those situations, you can either access the recorded footage later or pop in a SIM card so that it’s connected to a cellular network; the base unit contains a GSM slot. This setup also lets you take it along on vacation, the office, a party, or wherever you think you might need a surveillance cam.
As for the camera unit itself, The GeckoEye Cam is made out of either polycarbonate or aluminum, depending on the model you choose. Interestingly, there are two wide-angle HD cameras, one on each side. So, for example, it can record activity inside and outside a room, when stuck on a window, or record the road and activity inside a car while driving. Besides motion detection, the camera has GPS for geotagging purposes (you can pinpoint the exact location of a car accident, for example, should you unfortunately find yourself in one) and a microphone to capture audio. The solar-charged battery takes three hours to fill up. The camera has motion detection and can send you alerts via e-mail or text.
We would have liked to see an all-in-one solution instead of this two-component approach, but we can see the benefits. One, it supports multiple cameras, and, two, in case your camera gets lost or stolen, you technically still have the base unit that contains all the footage, and we imagine it should be easy to replace. For storage, the GeckoEye takes the best of both Dropcam and the recent Samsung SmartCam HD Pro we reviewed. You get local storage, but you also get a secondary archive in the cloud. We’re not sure if the GeckoEye is a suitable as a complete home security solution, but it’s useful for keeping tabs on pets, the elderly, babysitter, or any activity inside and outside the home. Being that the GeckoEye is in its prototype/design stage, we can’t tell how well the GeckoEye will work, based on the specs, but it’s an interesting concept in home camera surveillance. As of this writing, the company, which is based in Latvia, has raised only two percent of its goal, although there’s still 25 days left.
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