CES 2018: Smart Home Cameras Overview

CES 2018: Smart Home Cameras Overview

After three days of wandering the Vegas desert, we’ve come back from CES with an idea of what’s cool in the smart home sphere.

The smart home camera market grows big with new, advanced solutions for smart home security. So, what’s trending in 2018? Simple motion detection is getting an upgrade to advanced human detection and facial recognition — cameras use AI to identify a person (Butterfleye) and even alert you when something doesn’t look or sound right (Cocoon).

New ecosystems are built to include sensors, sirens, smart locks, and doorbells to accompany smart cameras and create a unified security system.

It’s a turn from a wide-open platform where you can mix devices from different brands to a single vendor ecosystem with just a few exclusive partners to join in. These closed ecosystems potentially expose less vulnerabilities when it comes to security, though they also limit your choice to one particular product line.

Among other trends we’ve noticed is the return to local storage, so you can keep your videos private. With all your videos being stored to cloud storage, you might be wondering who’s got access to them; the good thing is that some of the new cameras have cloud storage as an optional and not a mandatory feature. So it’s up to you which storage to use.

Now let’s take a closer look at the smart home cameras that caught our eye at CES 2018.


SkyBell Plug-in Camera

SkyBell Plug-in Camera

From smart video doorbells to video cams, SkyBell is creating innovative security solutions for smart homes. The new SkyBell Plug-in Camera is a very fun product to use due to its flexibility. As its name suggests, you can plug it directly into an outlet — there are no wires to hide or batteries to change. This approach allows you to quickly set up monitoring anywhere in seconds.

This is a 1080p camera with a 180-degree field of view, motion sensor, two-way audio, and free event-based cloud storage. And what we really like about the camera is the option for two-way communication. If you’re in front of the camera, you can initiate a live conversation with anyone who’s got access to the camera. How? Instead of waiting for the motion sensor to start the video stream, you just press a button on the front of the camera.

It’s like having a slightly altered version of the SkyBell HD Smart Video Doorbell minus wiring, plus flexible and easy setup indoors into any outlet. What are the benefits? The SkyBell Plug-in Camera is just perfect for keeping a loving eye on senior parents or children. You’re always connected to your loved ones, and what’s more — they can just press a button on the camera to talk to you directly instead of using a phone.

The SkyBell Plug-in Camera can even be used as a chime if you already have a SkyBell HD Smart Video Doorbell. Also, SkyBell announced integration with Google Home platform. So, now you can just use your voice to trigger your SkyBell to take a photo, record videos, and to turn the silent mode on or off. The price? $199. You can expect to see the SkyBell Plug-in Camera sold on SkyBell.com in early Q1.

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Brief Overview of the SkyBell Plug-in Camera:

  • 1080p Full HD camera
  • 180-degree field of view
  • Motion sensor
  • Microphone and speaker for two-way talk
  • Alerts
  • On-demand livestream from the camera’s button
  • Free event-based cloud storage
  • Works with Google Home platform

For more details check the SkyBell Plug-in Camera landing page.


Reolink Argus 2

Reolink Argus 2

Reolink is one of the leading providers of smart home security solutions. To add to their wide range of PoE and WiFi cameras, the company unveiled quite a few new cameras at CES 2018: Reolink Go, Reolink Argus 2, and 4K security cameras. Which camera caught our eye? The Argus 2 — a 1080p, wire-free smart camera with rechargeable battery and the option for solar panel charging.

The Argus 2 is the follow-up to the original Argus camera. The cameras are very similar, though the Argus 2 comes with a few notable improvements, like better night vision and power options. You can either recharge its lithium battery every so often or choose pickup a Reolink Solar Panel for the Argus 2 camera separately ($29.99) for non-stop power.

The Reolink Argus 2 looks like a straight competitor to the Arlo Pro 2 with its high-quality video, two-way audio, 130-degree field view, and a micro SD card slot for local storage. This might not be good news for Arlo especially with its recent outdoor power adapter accessory recall.

We can’t wait to get a closer look at the Argus 2 and see if it holds fire to the competition. The Reolink Argus 2 is already available globally for $129.99. Besides the standard setup, you’ll find two mounting hardware options and one skin in the box. Subscribe to our newsletter or notifications to stay tuned with all the updates.

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Brief Overview of the Reolink Argus 2:

  • 1080p Full HD with starlight night vision
  • 100% wire-free
  • Place & move anywhere
  • Flexible power options: rechargeable battery or solar powered
  • PIR motion sensor
  • Intelligent alerts
  • Two-way audio
  • Weatherproof
  • 130° wide viewing angle
  • Live view anytime anywhere
  • Built-in siren
  • Local storage (SD card)

For more details check the Reolink Argus 2 landing page.


Wisenet-SmartCam N1 and N2

Wisenet-SmartCam N1 and N2

Hanwha Techwin America announced two smart home security cameras at CES 2018: the Wisenet-SmartCam N1 (white) and N2 (black). Both cameras feature 1080p monitoring, two-way audio, face recognition, and SD slot for local storage, though cloud storage is optional too. What’s the difference? The SmartCam N2 has better audio detection capabilities — it features what they call “Abnormal Sound Detection,” meaning you’ll get a notification whenever sounds like glass breaking, screaming, or a baby crying is detected.

The cameras also feature the human detection technology along with facial recognition. Just like the Nest Cam IQ Indoors, the Wisenet-SmartCam N1 and N2 can detect a person’s face. Once you assign a name to the person’s face via the Wisenet SmartCam+ app, the cameras will be able to recognize the face for future alerts.

As you can tell from the picture, the Wisenet-SmartCam N1 and N2 are wired cameras. You can use them for indoor use only. And the price? The SmartCam N1 and N2 are priced at $149.99 and $199.99 respectively.

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Brief Overview of the Wisenet-SmartCam N1 and N2:

  • 1080p Full HD with night vision
  • Two-way audio
  • Motion zone select
  • Face recognition, human detection
  • 32ft (10m) viewable length
  • Noise reduction
  • microSD and SmartCloud (optional) storage

Besides the above mentioned, the Wisenet-SmartCam N2 also features Smart Abnormal Sound Detection.

For more details check the SmartCam N1 and SmartCam N2 landing pages.


Clarity by Cocoon Cam

Clarity by Cocoon Cam

Clarity is the new version of the Cocoon Cam Plus — a smart baby monitor with unique features, like real-time breathing monitoring. The baby monitor deviates from traditional smart cameras: Clarity features 1080p HD resolution, night vision, motion detection, alerts, and two-way audio.

What makes Clarity so unique? It comes with advanced monitoring to send you alerts whenever high activity, low activity, or breathing issues are detected. It’s a contactless breathing monitor to keep an eye on your baby 24/7.

Clarity also has a very notable design: it looks like a mix of a golf club and a floor lamp. It’s definitely a breath of fresh air if we compare it to other smart baby monitors like Netgear’s Arlo Baby and Owlet.

The price? $299. The Cocoon Cam’s Clarity baby monitor is expected for sale in the second half of 2018.

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Brief Overview of the Cocoon Cam’s Clarity:

  • 1080p HD video with night vision
  • Real time breathing monitoring
  • Non-contact breathing monitoring
  • Sleep insights and trends
  • Two-way audio
  • Instant alerts & insights

For more details check the Cocoon Cam’s Clarity landing page.


D-Link Wire-free Smart Cameras

D-Link Wire-free Smart Cameras

The D-Link DCH-212KT is a wire-free, full HD camera kit with sights clearly set on Netgear’s Arlo Series. The new D-Link cameras feature full HD 1080p resolution, 140° field of view, two-way audio, and cloud or local video storage. Plus, just like the Nest IQ Indoor and Netatmo Welcome Cameras, the D-Link wire-free cameras feature intelligent video analytics for human detection, so you’ll get fewer false motion alerts.

When it comes to smart home integration, the cameras are expected to work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Also, the IFTTT service should be available at launch as well.

The wire-free cameras are IP65 outdoor rated, so you can use them both inside and outside, it’s up to you. The price? $350 for a kit that includes two wire-free cameras and a base station. There’s also a more budget friendly option — a one-camera kit with a base, which is priced at $250. And in case you’ll want to add more cameras to the D-Link base, it’ll cost you $220 per camera.

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Brief Overview of the D-Link Wire-free Smart Camera:

  • 1080p Full HD resolution
  • Intelligent video analytics for human detection
  • Rechargeable battery life up to 11 months
  • 140° field of view
  • IP65 outdoor rated
  • Cloud or local video storage
  • 25 ft. night vision
  • Two-way audio

The D-Link wire-free cameras will be available sometime in the second quarter of this year 2018. For more details check the D-Link Wire-free Smart Camera landing page.


D-Link LTE Smart Camera

D-Link LTE Smart Camera

Just like the new D-Link Wire-free cameras, this LTE camera also offers 1080p resolution, night vision, sound and motion detection, and cloud and local storage for recordings. In addition to that, the D-Link LTE Camera (DCS-1820LH) has flexible connectivity options: either via Wi-Fi or the Verizon LTE network.

This D-Link LTE Camera is a straight competitor to the Arlo Go Camera. They both have very similar features, though when we’re talking specs-wise, the Arlo Go has a wider field of view (130° vs 113°) and more options for LTE connection (Verizon, AT&T, and Arlo Mobile).

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Brief Overview of the D-Link LTE Smart Camera:

  • 1080p Full HD resolution
  • Intelligent video analytics for human detection
  • Wire-Free (Verizon LTE or Wi-Fi)
  • H.265 video compression
  • IP65 outdoor rated
  • Cloud or local video storage
  • 113° field of view
  • Two-way audio

The D-Link DCS-1820LH LTE Camera is priced at $300 and will be available in the second quarter of this year. For more details check the D-Link LTE Smart Camera landing page.


Somfy’s Outdoor Camera

Somfy's Outdoor Camera

Somfy is a french company which is well-known for their motorized blinds, shades, awnings, and curtains. However, this year, Somfy steps out from smart window solutions to tackle smart home security with its new outdoor camera.

The Somfy’s Outdoor Camera was awarded with the CES Innovation Award 2018. Besides standard features which you’d expect any high-end camera to have, the Somfy outdoor camera comes with person detection software, called SomfyVision. This is how it works: whenever a visitor approaches your home, they’ll be informed that they have been detected via an audible alert. Meanwhile, you’ll get a notification about the visitors. If the visitors stay in range within a preset time of your choosing, the built-in 110-decibel siren will sound.

The human motion detection helps prevent false alarms. This feature is extremely beneficial for people who have pets wandering around the yard or are on a road with moderate traffic. From our own experience, these types of false alerts can be so annoying that you start ignoring the alerts altogether; which is absolutely the opposite of the original intent. However, with Somfy’s Outdoor Camera, you can enjoy advanced smart motion detection to its full extent.

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Brief Overview of the Somfy’s Outdoor Camera:

  • 1080p Full HD camera with night vision
  • 110 dB built-in siren
  • Human detection
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • IP54 rated weather resistance
  • WiFi connection
  • Wide 130° angle
  • Two-way talk
  • Compatible with Somfy Protect products
  • Integrates with Apple HomeKit, Amazon’s Alexa, the Google Assistant, and IFTTT
  • Available in black and white

The Somfy’s Outdoor Camera will be available summer 2018.
For more details check the Somfy’s Outdoor Camera landing page.


Butterfleye Security Camera Powered by AI

Butterfleye Security Camera Powered by AI

Ooma announced a replacement for the original Butterfleye camera as a part of their smart home security kit, along with a siren and a smoke detector. The new-gen version of the camera hasn’t been changed much, it even has the same name as the original Butterfleye. Ooma acquired Butterfleye last December for its home security service to provide advanced connected home solutions.

The Butterfleye security camera is powered by AI and features facial & person detection. So, the camera can recognize people from the video and send you alerts about their whereabouts. This is a great feature for both business and home security systems. For example, you can easily track employees clocking in and out protecting your business from fraudulent activity.

You can use the new wire-free Butterfleye camera as a standalone security product or as a part of an Ooma smart home security system.

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Brief Overview of the Butterfleye Security Camera:

  • 1080p Full HD camera
  • 100% wire free
  • Human detection
  • Face recognition
  • Two-way audio
  • Works during power & internet outages
  • Built-in thermal, sound, and motion sensors
  • Flexible power options
  • Available in black and white

The Butterfleye camera is priced at $243.66 on Amazon.
For more details check the Butterfleye Security Camera landing page.


Brinks Array Smart Light with Smart Camera

Brinks Array Smart Light with Smart Camera

The Array Smart Light fixtures are perfect for replacing your standard outdoor lighting. Brinks offers different style options for the fixtures: whether you want to use them on your porch or backyard you can choose between the coach-style LED light and the dual-head security light.

The light fixtures come with a built-in camera and motion sensor. They’re part of Blinks Array Simply Smart Security and will be a perfect addition to the Blinks Array Smart Deadbolt. The Array Smart Light coach-style fixture will be priced around $300 whereas the dual-head security light might costs more since it also features a siren.

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Brief Overview of the Brinks Array Smart Light with Smart Camera:

  • 1080p HD camera with night vision
  • Person detection
  • Live streaming
  • 270-degree motion sensing
  • Pan, track and zoom
  • Two-way speaker and microphone
  • Machine learning capability
  • Built-in siren (only in the dual-head security light)

CES 2018: Smart Home Cameras — Our Thoughts

CES 2018: Smart Home Cameras — Our Thoughts

Smart home security is one of the leading industries when it comes to smart home automation. This might be due to the business model built in: you can get budget friendly gadgets in return for years of subscription fees. This makes smart home security area more attractive to service providers, thus we end up having dozens of cameras to choose from, unlike smart lights or thermostats.

The year 2018 brings us a lot of new cameras. Some of them are there to outbid the price of existing cameras with almost the same features, whereas the other cameras have new technology to offer.

Do you want your camera to recognize you? Or are you looking for more privacy by saving all your video clips locally only? Good luck choosing the right one for your home! Meanwhile, we’ll try to get our hands on the new cameras to come back with detailed, in-depth comparisons. So, hang on tight for updates!



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