These smart lights can also monitor your home
WiZ is launching a new home monitoring feature that leverages the smart lighting company’s existing motion-sensing Wi-Fi smart bulbs. Paired with a new $70 indoor security camera, WiZ Home Monitoring can alert you to potential intruders in your home. Using WiZ’s unique SpaceSensing feature — which detects changes in Wi-Fi signal strength caused by movement to turn lights on or off the lights — the system can send an alert to the WiZ app when motion is detected. The new camera can then show you what’s going on.
The WiZ Home Monitoring Starter kit, which includes three WiZ A19 full-color smart bulbs and one camera, will be available starting June 15th for 159.99 Euro with US pricing not set. Or, if you already have a couple of WiZ bulbs or lights, you can pick up the camera for $69.99 (89.99 Euro) later this month. (At least two bulbs are needed for SpaceSense to work.)
Wi-Fi sensing is a very promising ambient technology for the smart home, and this isn’t the first system to leverage it. Hex by Origin Wireless is a smart security system that uses the tech and Linksys Wi-Fi routers can detect motion in your home.
However, WiZ’s option is a super simple solution from a hardware perspective. While not as robust as a full security system with sensors on every door and window, it’s infinitely easier to set up: most people know how to screw in a lightbulb.
There’s no hub or siren or professional monitoring. Instead, when the “alarm” is triggered by any motion, the lights can be set to flash erratically to scare off a potential intruder. The Home Monitoring feature is free and works in WiZ’s newly launched WiZ V2 app. You can also customize the monitoring to just certain areas of the home. That may be useful for making sure your roommate doesn’t pinch your leftovers from the fridge.
You can set customizable routines that control the lights and activate the monitoring, which can be turned on and off manually in the app or set on a schedule. The monitoring feature also includes presence simulation, which can turn lights on and off automatically to make it seem like someone is at home.
WiZ, which is owned by Signify, says 80 to 90 percent of its existing lights and all its new products work with SpaceSense and will be compatible with Home Monitoring. That includes all Connected by WiZ brand lights.
At launch, you do need the new WiZ Indoor Camera to use the home monitoring features. WiZ says the camera is the first of many home monitoring products the company is planning.
The WiZ Indoor Camera streams and records in 1080p and has a 120-degree field of view. Infrared night vision, image-based motion detection, and two-way audio add to its security features, plus the camera’s onboard microphone can listen for sudden loud noises and send notifications when it hears glass breaking or a smoke alarm going off.
An onboard microSD card can record footage locally, or you can subscribe to cloud storage for up to 30 days of recordings (pricing for this was not announced). The company said all cloud footage is end-to-end encrypted, and even the local SD card storage is encrypted, with footage only accessible through the WiZ app. The subscription also adds the option of using activity and privacy zones with the camera and the ability to start a manual recording while streaming.
The camera is fairly basic in terms of hardware, but it’s the software features that are the star of the show here. If the system can deliver what it promises, the simplicity and low price point make it a very intriguing home security solution, particularly for apartments and smaller homes.