As someone who used to work in the security industry, I often find myself evaluating the safety measures of any building I enter. Here’s a tip you can take to heart: never neglect the psychological dimension.
Did you know that you can buy both fake video cameras and ones intended to be hidden in light switches, furniture, or walls? The reason all comes down to psychology. Sometimes you want people to know that their antics might end up on Youtube (people tend to moderate their behavior when there’s a risk of social exposure and prosecution), and sometimes a security manager has to find out what people get up to when they think they’re alone (just know that employees and visitors have a legal expectation of privacy, and covertly filmed video footage is almost never allowed as evidence in court).
Taking this line of reasoning a little further, why do you think budget stores tend to have big, obvious surveillance mirrors covering the aisles and sometimes a large screen displaying their CCTV feed to customers? You’ll rarely see anything similar in high-end establishments. This is psychology once again: people about to spend several hundred dollars are less likely to do so if you treat them like potential shoplifters.
The exact same thing applies to your home: putting bars on the windows and rolls of razor wire on the perimeter wall neither looks elegant nor makes people feel safe. Similarly, there’s no reason to rub your family and friends’ faces in the fact that they’re being recorded, even when this is for legitimate security purposes or watching the baby.
There are numerous CCTV cameras out there that are discreet or disguised in some way, but we’d like to recommend this one in particular. In the first place, it comes in three very attractive designs and also functions as an exterior lamp controlled by Alexa; you can order a matching smart light without a camera, too, if you want to keep things symmetrical. Linking up with your home automation system also lets you receive alerts or view video on your phone in real time, and even have a conversation with whoever is standing near your lamp. If politely asking them to get off your lawn doesn’t do the trick, you can also trigger the 100 decibel siren.
With no night vision capability, 720p resolution, and a wide-angle lens, you shouldn’t expect the same performance you’d see from more advanced cameras, but this will rarely be a real drawback. What will annoy more people is that it doesn’t offer many integration options: some people have experienced problems even connecting it to Alexa, while using a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) is a non-starter. If you want to store footage, you have to use the manufacturer’s cloud service, which will set you back a few dollars per month.
To sum this all up: don’t expect high-quality footage from this camera. Instead, see it as an outdoor lamp with basic security camera capabilities.
On a much more positive note, the AI that senses motion and decides whether or not to send out an alert is very good at its job. A human will generally trigger one, but not a swaying branch or exploring puppy.