A security camera with a goal of whole home monitoring, Angee can rotate its head 360 degrees and watch you as you move throughout a room. That might sound creepy, but like the Netatmo Welcome , Angee is designed to get to know you and your family. Once it learns who’s who, the spec sheet says it’ll carefully track unknown individuals, but can be told to leave you and your family alone and can even turn to face the wall when you’re around.
Complete with Bluetooth door sensors that talk directly to the main camera, Angee aims to keep track of who comes and goes both on your phone via Bluetooth and through voice recognition software built into the camera. If you take your phone beyond the range of the geofence around the sensors, the system will arm. Bring the phone back into range, and it’ll disarm. If your phone’s dead, you can simply speak a password to lower Angee’s guard.
With the system armed, you’ll receive an alert if the camera detects motion. You can use the iOS or Android app to see the clip surrounding the trigger, or pull up a live feed.
Designed by electronics startup Angee, Inc, you can preorder Angee now via the company’s Kickstarter campaign for the product. At retail, Angee will cost you $430 for the camera and one sensor. A few deals with first come, first serve preorder discounts are still available if you’re so inclined. It’ll ship anywhere in the world. The price converts to around £283 and AU$612 for our readers in the UK and Australia.
$430 is by no means cheap, given that other capable competitors such as Nest Cam , Piper , and the Netatmo Welcome cost as little as $200. Angee gets points for offering both local and cloud storage of clips for no subscription fee. It’ll only record suspicious activity, and it’ll fine tune what it finds suspicious over time as it learns your family’s behavior. It’s also scalable, as multiple cameras and sensors can talk to the same system and communicate with each other about who’s home and who isn’t.
If you need to scale it, the price will obviously increase further. Angee will talk directly to your router, but the compatible sensors need to be in Bluetooth range of the camera to be effective. So if you have a home bigger than an apartment, you’ll probably need to pay for multiple cameras if you want to make full use of the system’s ability to monitor all entry points.
Angee tries to stand out by not only packing in voice recognition, but the ability to understand voice commands. Supposedly functioning similarly to the Amazon Echo, Angee will be able to search the Web, remind you of your calendar events, and tell you when members of your family arrived or left. All you have to do is ask. The idea of the Echo’s capabilities packed into a rotating security cam is quite appealing to me. And since Angee will arm and disarm itself autonomously, it checks the right boxes in terms of doing enough to look competent and cool, but not so much that it doesn’t sound feasible.
That’s not to say that I don’t have concerns about Angee. Will it lose track of who’s home if a person’s phone is off and he or she isn’t in the same room as the camera? How can it effectively track your kids if they don’t have a phone? Perhaps most importantly, how good will it be at voice recognition?
So far, we’ve seen two cameras with facial recognition, and that’s a stretch goal of Angee if it earns enough funds from Kickstarter. Neither of the two existing cameras employed face recognition tech seamlessly, though the Netatmo Welcome came closer than the ArcSoft Simplicam . I’ll be curious to find out if voice recognition is easier to implement than facial recognition.
The daily calendar software is also a stretch goal for Angee, and without it, the voice control and reminder options begin to look bare bones, especially compared to the Amazon Echo. The Echo can interact directly with your phone, communicate with other smart home devices, and play music from your library. We’ve also seen a few voice control hubs fall on their face in terms of their ability to actually understand what you’re saying and respond with useful information.
Between the promise of whole home security, voice recognition and voice commands, geofencing, and motion sensing rotation, Angee has a lot of potential as a central smart home device, but it’s also set up quite a few potential pitfalls. It needs to avoid most, if not all of those, to prove worth its $430 price and beat out the steep competition in the connected cam market.
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