The RemoCam baby monitor was on display at CES 2016. Their sales team provided a unit to the Utah Channel 3 tech team for review. I elected to elicit the help of my daughter to evaluate since she was expecting her first baby at the time. This article is based on her experience with the monitor.
60 seconds is all it takes to get Remocam up and running. Download the app and scan the custom QR code with your smartphone and you are instantly linked to your RemoCam. The user interface, once the camera is set, up is just as easy, intuitive, and responsive. Simple arrows at the edges of the screen allow you to rotate the camera up to 335° and tilt up to 95°. The 720p HD resolution allows you to zoom in with satisfying clarity. She was happily surprised at the ease of set-up and the crisp quality of the video feedback. The camera has a simple sphere and cylindrical design that is pleasing to the eye.
FYI: My daughter used the RemoCam before her little one arrived to spy on her dog and parrots while she was away at work. She used the 2 way microphone to hear them and to say a quick “hello” to them at lunchtime. She did this to gain confidence in the RemoCam before putting it into critical action.
Once her son arrived, she moved the RemoCam to the nursery, mounted the camera to a tripod that looked directly into the crib. The view allowed her to see most of the nursery and she could easily pan the camera using the app. The night vision capability (IR illumination) leaves nothing to be desired as she was able to see her baby in perfect detail- even the pattern on the bed sheets was clear. Her initial satisfaction was high but there was a major issues that needed to be resolved.
First, the app went into sleep mode after about 3 minutes of viewing. She called their customer service line and the representative explained that this was a security feature that could not be disabled. Unfortunately, this rendered the camera almost useless. She had the app active on her phone, and when she wanted to glance at her son, the video was in “sleep mode” and she had to manually log back in to see the live stream. Her desire was to be able to glance at her smartphone at will and see a live stream of her child. This was simply not possible with RemoCam. This limitation in the name of security was not well thought out.
Fortunately, the folks at RemoCam recently revisited the issue of putting the camera in sleep mode after 3 minutes, and have since updated their software to remove this limitation. She is now able to use the RemoCam as she intended and is extremely pleased with this high quality baby monitor.
The second issue involves the option to have a notification sent to your phone when movement is detected, however, each and every slight movement results in a notification – you will be bombarded with notifications. She decided that this feature was not useful and turned it off. I am hopeful that RemoCam will build in some tools to limit notifications based upon a duration of movement over a specific time.
All in all, now that the app no longer goes into sleep mode after 3 minutes, she is extremely pleased with the RemoCam baby monitor and highly recommends it.
By, Joe Schneider International Technology Reporter
Joe Schneider joined the Utah Channel 3 team in January 2016. Joe comes from the aerospace industry and has significant experience with international travel. Joe’s main focus here at Utah Channel 3 is to explore technology that is in use overseas but has not yet found its was to the US market.