Updated on 10-23-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in news regarding the launch of a Welcome-specific IFTTT channel.
Welcome gets its own IFTTT channel
Netatmo, the company behind the Welcome camera, has announced the start of a partnership with IFTTT, a platform where apps and devices can be connected together using action-based recipes. The result is a dedicated channel on IFTTT’s website, more versatility for the camera, and more uses for the innovative face recognition feature.
What’s available right now? The Welcome camera recognizes faces, so when that happens an IFTTT recipe can be used to turn on a Philips Hue light — in a particular color if that person isn’t known — send out a tweet, save a photo to Facebook, or send an email with a screenshot of who triggered the alert.
The possibilities don’t stop there. The company also suggests recipes for linking the Welcome camera up to your sound system to start a playlist when it sees you’ve arrived home. Or, if you want to enter the house to Vader’s Imperial March theme from Star Wars, that’s possible too. Check out all the available recipes for the Netatmo Welcome here.
Welcome goes up for sale in the UK
Netatmo’s Welcome camera is on sale in the UK, where it costs £200, or around $310. It can be purchased directly through Netatmo’s website, or via Amazon and John Lewis retail stores. Unlike many other smart connected cameras, the Welcome doesn’t have any subscription program attached, so once you’ve paid for the camera, there are no additional charges to using it.
Slick design houses some clever tech
There are plenty of connected cameras to keep watch on your home while you’re away, but none that have an eye as sharp as Welcome’s. The camera picks up a 130-degree range of view as it scans from its tall aluminum body – it looks kind of like a can of Arizona tea – plus infrared LEDs to help it see in the dark. What it captures is then streamed in 1080p and accessible from anywhere.
That’s where the facial recognition comes in. If an unfamiliar face pops up on screen, Welcome picks out the stranger and alerts the owner that someone it doesn’t recognize is at the door. For family members and those who the camera does know, smart notifications alert the user when a person arrives home. It’s an easy added peace of mind in home monitoring.
Video is stored on a MicroSD card, and it’s one of the reasons why there’s no subscription needed, because you don’t have to pay for cloud storage space. You’ll need to own a smartphone to monitor the Welcome’s feed, and it’s compatible with iOS 8 and up, or with Android phones running version 4.3 or later. A web interface is coming in the future.
Day and night security protection
The lens will shoot footage at night in high quality thanks to an infrared LED array. It can be connected using Wi-Fi or with an Ethernet cable, and there is a microphone in the body for picking up audio. The app provides a livestream from the camera, and notifications can be customized so you’re only alerted to unrecognized faces when no-one is home, or at all times. Handy depending on where the camera is placed.
Connected cameras can sometimes raise questions over privacy, and Netatmo is ready to address them. Privacy settings are customizable, allowing the owners to decide which notifications they receive and if footage is stored. All saved video has to be kept locally on the MicroSD card and connection to the streaming footage is encrypted to what Netatmo calls ‘bank level encryption,’ to ensure it stays safely protected.
Welcome debuted at CES 2015, where the device won four honors in the CES 2015 Innovations Awards, with nods in the categories of Smart Home, Home Appliances, Digital Imaging, and Tech for a Better World.
Updated on 06-15-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in news of the Welcome’s official release, plus its final price.
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