Oct 7, 2014
As we become more connected, having everyday devices, gadgets and even appliances that can be accessed and/or manipulated via mobile device are becoming less of a novelty. I almost expect electronics I acquire to have such functionality when there is a bona fide use case involved.
When it comes to cameras and surveillance, some watchables are more valuable than others. When my daughter was born, I had eye fatigue from watching her. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. Something like the TRENDnet Wifi Baby Cam could definitely have come in handy.
The review packet TRENDnet sent us is clearly made to reflect the design aesthetic of the camera, which is mostly white and lime green with grey and black accents. It is pretty small, with the main “head” set on a base via swivel. The swivel is a nice touch, allowing for movement that is somewhat surprising in its rage. The front of the main unit as the lens embedded, and there are speaker perforations on the top, bottom and back of the main unit. At the very top is a WPS connect button, and at the back is a mini-USB port. As noted, it is diminutive, at 2.6 x 2.8 x 3.5 inches and 3.6 ounces. The package also contains a setup CD, mini-USB power source, mounting materials and documentation.
Setup is not too difficult; the user documentation guides one step-by-step, and it involves connecting the device to power, and then connecting an Android-based device to the camera and setting up an account and then re-connecting to local wi-fi. The heavy lifting is done via the companion app, TRENDnet CloudView, which also serves as the control portal for the hardware. I like the fact that, via the newly set up camera credentials, additional devices hosting the app can access the camera as well.
After set up, this fixed camera simply works. There is a minimum of lag, but the different resolution options somewhat alleviate this. The speaker and microphone are especially useful, and afford the unit the additional feature of being a simple intercom. The LED light is a simple indicator, and the ability to play some of the included lullabies is a very nice touch. The subtle size does help it to be unobtrusive too. the camera snapping utility is easy to manipulate, and the viewing angles are quite adjustable.
It’s a wifi camera, so, the obvious need for reliance on connectivity can’t be dwelled upon too long. The app can be a bit temperamental at times, and the clarity of transmissions could be improved.
All in all, the efficacy of this solution translates beyond just baby monitoring, and this extended functionality is what makes it enjoyable to use. For a fixed unit, it is a vibrant option, and quite affordable.