Home security camera over-stimulated? ArcSoft found a way to cut down on false alarms

ArcSoft Simplicam security camera review stand scale
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
One tricky part about having in-home security cameras is balancing the alerts you receive to your smartphone or email. If a camera is notifying you every time the air conditioner ruffles the curtains, you’re going to shut down the notifications altogether. That means you could miss something really important.

We recently reviewed simplicam ($150) for ArcSoft and had some of these issues. One of our biggest complaints was that you could either get notified for every single event — including motion and sound detection and facial recognition — or get a summary every 10, 30, or 60 minutes. It was always easy to tell when the cat was awake.

simplicam Detection Zones security cameraIn order to cut down on some of this unnecessary noise, ArcSoft released a new feature today called Detection Zones. In the camera’s accompanying Closeli app, you can use this option to make the camera “blind” to certain areas of the room, like the cat tree. Under “Preferences,” users can set the “Detection Sensitivity” for both sound and motion, from “Whisper” to “Bam” and “Tiptoe” to “Crash,” respectively. Below that is the “Detection Areas” option. The five-by-five grid lets users block out, square by square, where the don’t want the camera to pick up motion. Even if there’s a “Crash” in any of the unselected areas, the camera won’t record or send an alert. We played around with the new feature a bit, and there’s a whole chunk of time where the camera wasn’t recording, because were hanging out in the “dead zone.”

Related: Forget Wi-Fi, Panasonic’s new security cam sports 4G connectivity

The firmware update, which ArcSoft will gradually roll out to users after they update the app, also has a few other changes. The ability to adjust the night vision and the motion sensitivity settings are both new, as is the ability to completely delete a video from the cloud whenever you want. “It’s gone from the cloud forever and ever and ever, right away,” says Caroline Tien-Spalding, ArcSoft’s Senior Marketing Director. “It’s a very nuclear option; there’s no taking it back,” she adds, explaining why this ability wasn’t originally included. Unless you save a video, it automatically expires after a day, 11 days, or 21 days, depending on how much cloud storage you’re paying for. That hasn’t changed, but now you can erase any videos of you stumbling to the kitchen half-naked for a glass of water at 3:00 a.m.

The new features can be used in concert with any of the camera’s existing options, like Beta facial recognition or scheduled do-not-record times to further customize how closely the simplicam is watching you.


The Cat S48c is the phone designed for construction workers (or the clumsy)

The Cat S48c is a rugged smartphone that's available from Sprint. It mixes midrange specs with a huge battery wrapped in an extremely tough and protective body. If you need a phone that can survive the construction site, then this is it.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Data breach compromises 773 million records, 21 million passwords

A security researcher was alerted to a collection of breached data that included more than 773 million compromised records. After digging deeper, the breach was revealed to contain more than 21 million passwords.
Product Review

Ring Video Doorbell 2 is the simplest entry into a smarter doorway

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 may lack the style and sophistication of premium door-dingers, but few can match its simplicity and versatility. The device, available in both wired and wireless configurations, is easy to set up and adds instant…
Smart Home

Thinking of buying an Instant Pot? Here's what you need to know

The Instant Pot is a powerful kitchen appliance that does everything from pressure cook to to slow cook to steam. Heck, you can even make yogurt in it. Here's all you need to know about the magic device.
Smart Home

Want a smarter home? Ditch the keys with these great smart locks

A good smart lock should offer a combination of security and convenience. Fortunately, these devices keep your home protected, your family safe, and your belongings secure from possible intruders.
Smart Home

Busted: Facebook Portal gets 5-star reviews from company employees

It's fair to say that Facebook's Portal smart display received a tepid response at launch, so it was something of a surprise to see lots of glowing reviews of the device on Amazon. Turns out some were written by Facebook workers.
Smart Home

The best sous vide machines cook your food perfectly, every single time

Want to make four-star meals from the comforts of your own kitchen? Here are the best sous vide machines available right now, whether you prefer simple immersion circulators or something more complex.
Smart Home

Idaho mother says her child’s light-up sippy cup exploded

After a mother filled a Nuby insulated light-up cup with milk, the cup allegedly exploded. The incident caused burns to the mother's hand and face and a stinging sensation in her lungs that required a trip to the hospital.
Smart Home

Project Alias is a ‘smart parasite’ that stops smart speakers from listening

Two designers chose to do something about nosy smart speakers. The result is Project Alias, a "smart parasite" that whispers nonsense to Google Home and Alexa until it hears a specific wake word.
Smart Home

DS3 Clean water-free swatches could be the future of cleaning products

DS3 Clean swatches were on display at CES 2019. The small swatches come in several types, including shampoo and toilet cleaner. They're great for travel, but their real impact is in how such supplies will be shipped and stored.
Smart Home

Amazon patents a technology to help Alexa fight fake voice attacks

Amazon filed a patent this month for a new technology that looks like it would help its digital assistant Alexa fight fake voice attacks that could potentially fool Alexa's biometric security protocols.
Smart Home

Amazon Prime members number more than 100 million in the U.S., survey says

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated there were 101 million U.S. Amazon Prime members as of December 31, 2018. Last April, CEO Jeff Bezos wrote there were more than 100 global million Prime members.
Smart Home

The Instant Pot Lux is a gateway drug into the pleasures of pressure cooking

The 3-quart Instant Pot Lux is one of the most affordable Instant Pots you can buy. Is it still a solid pressure cooker? Here are our thoughts on the Instant Pot Lux, a great IP baseline model.