When we first came across this item, our first thought was that calling it a security device was a little absurd. An intruder could simply kick it out of the nearest window.
Unlike a normal CCTV camera, where you don’t lose your recordings if somebody should yank it out of the wall, it seemed like you would lose all footage if a burglar walked off with your “toy”.
Then I remembered how feckless, unreliable and generally useless most alarm systems are. Almost all police departments simply ignore them unless an actual person can verify that a crime is in progress – otherwise, they’d spend all of their time chasing false alarms.
So, say that you’re at work, or even abroad. You get a notification on your phone that a window may or may not have been forced open. What is your next step? If you don’t have internet-connected cameras in your house…it is basically to do nothing: whatever is happening will have happened by the time you can get there.
Unless, of course, you have a little unit like this – in which case you simply pick up the phone, drive your security robot around and check whether you’re dealing with a thief or perhaps just a stray cat.
Its camera is capable of taking 5MP stills or recording in 720p, which is really all you’ll ever need indoors, and also has night vision. Further functions include facial recognition, movement detection and two-way audio: you can talk as well as listen. It can pick itself up should it fall over, and actually drives itself onto its charging station once it’s within a certain distance – the battery needn’t run out during an extended holiday.
The one real drawback to this product, for which there is no simple solution, is that video and photos are only recorded (on your phone) when the app is running and connected. While this is no problem when you’re at home and on wi-fi, cellular charges would be murderous if you did this constantly while on the road.
Still, you can set it to watch a door or window and alert you if someone comes through it, use it to investigate possible incidents from afar, or just take a quick virtual tour around your house to check up on things. You could even use it as a baby monitor for your triplets. 90% of security lies in peace of mind, after all, and this product seems to be a pretty economical way of providing exactly that.