My kids are going back to school next week and I know, as always, there will be a period of adjustment while we get used to the new routine. And with my oldest off to Grade 6 and the increased independence that entails—it’s not just the kids who will take a while to adjust to the new world order. With a home that’s on a busy street in a big city and a new routine and, safety is a big concern for me, so when I was offered an opportunity to review the Netatmo Welcome Camera, I jumped at the chance.

What is the Netatmo Camera?

Netatmo’s Welcome Camera is a security camera that recognizes faces, detects movement, records video and sends clips to your phone. But for this overworked mom, it’s a great way to make sure that my kids are safely home from school. And if the camera sees a stranger’s face pass by in front, it will send an alert. Simple! It also comes with motion-sensing Tags (three of them) that can be placed in different locations up to 80 metres (260 ft) away. The sleek, non-intrusive design fits in unobtrusively around the house and I’ve placed the main camera unit on the shelf in front of the main door so that it can record anyone who enters my home.

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Setting it up

My husband and I (well mostly my hubs) set this up in 30 minutes. This is including the time it took us create our profiles and add in photos to identify us as “safe.” We set the camera up using their app (available in both iOS and Android) and after selecting our wi-fi connection, all we had to do was flip the camera upside down until the flash of the blue light. And then we went on to our profiles—justifiably the most time-consuming task of the lot since the camera is required to have a number of different photos of “safe” people.

Using the Netatmo Welcome Camera

The camera has a 130-degree field of view and will record once it detects an “event.” I liked that the “event” could be customized, whether it was just motion or a stranger’s face. It does seem to take a while for the camera to get the faces right to make sure there is no confusion in poor lighting or different angles. I can get behind that, it’s a sophisticated bit of gear.

Features I like

The biggest reason why I am excited about this technology is its ability to view and transmit feed of what’s going on in the house. Now this may make me sound like an obsessive mother, but as our household grows and more people go in and out, it’s really beneficial to have an extra set of eyes around. Or at least one astute mechanical eye!

I also like that I can customize notifications for certain people (family members and regular friends and play dates) and frequency of visit.

I think it’s amazing that it doesn’t only detect when people are home through face recognition, but also through the location of their cell phone. This is especially useful this year as my oldest now has her own phone. Did I already mention that this is a big year with increasing responsibility? Whew!

When an “event” is detected, the video clip is recorded to the MicroSD card in the camera and there is a potential for linking this up to your Dropbox for automatic saving.

I really like that we can customize the status of the house to declare the house ’empty’ with one button-press, whether it’s a vacation type of empty or for 4 hours etc.

When the Welcome camera hears any alarm whether it be a smoke alarm, CO alarm, security alarm or even just a siren on the street, it will send a notification AND record a video. I love this, but have not been able to test this capability yet.

I like to live simply and even though I’m a blogger, I can honestly say that I stay away from technology where possible. Safety however, is something I do not compromise on, and now that I’ve become familiar with the Netatmo Welcome Camera and the many mom-peace-of-mind features it offers, I can see it becoming a permanent fixture in our entrance hall.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.

Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma

Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma

Puneeta lives in Toronto with her husband and two kids, and loves the colour her Indian roots bring to her life in Canada! You can find her at MapleandMarigold.com where she writes about family, food, kids, and how to make every day enjoyable, healthy, and delicious.

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