The Problem

 

Top 3 Problems with Today’s Smart Home Security Cameras

Smart home security is a growing trend that millions of Americans are buying into. It seems like a novel idea. Spend a few hundred dollars on a smart home security camera so you can keep an eye on your home, your pets and your children right from your phone—anywhere, anytime.

But in reality, these devices don’t live up to their “smart” titles. Here we break down the top 3 challenges we face with the current smart home cameras on the market.

1) WIRELESS DOESN’T MEAN ZERO WIRES
Many smart home cameras use the term “wireless” in their consumer marketing. At first read, it’s easy to think, “Great! My home has cords everywhere so I’d love to buy something that doesn’t have any wires.” Often the wires are even removed or hidden in photographs for a cleaner look. The truth, however, is that in the smart home world, “wireless” refers to Wi-Fi, meaning the device connects to the internet from your home Wi-Fi.

Most of these cameras function off of good old fashioned electricity, which means you’ll be running the power cable to the nearest outlet. This significantly limits camera placement. Often the best angle for the camera is nowhere near an electrical outlet, leaving you with the choice of sacrificing the view, rearranging furniture or getting out the extension cords.

UNHELPFUL NOTIFICATIONS & ALERTS

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Behind every smart home camera is a mobile app that connects you to the system. The app is what makes the camera useful (or at least it’s supposed to). If the camera detects motion while you’re away, the app will send an alert or notification to your smartphone. Again, the idea is sophisticated but the execution is not.

The notifications lack any sort of context. They simply state “motion detected” or something to that effect. If you have a pet at home, their movement around the house can set off dozens of notifications each day. After seeing a few and realizing that it’s just the dog, it’s easy to ignore the alerts and go on with your day.

But what if you end up ignoring an alert and it turns out that it wasn’t the dog? What if there was an intruder in your home and you don’t realize it until after the fact?

These notifications need to be contextualized so that doesn’t happen. Rather than simply stating “motion detected,” it should read “pet motion” or even better, “Rascal is moving around the living room.” By providing information that’s actually useful at a glance, you’d be able to make an informed decision on whether or not to take action.

 

CURRENT DESIGNS DON’T BELONG IN THE HOME
Unless you are Mr. and Mrs. Jetson, your home décor probably doesn’t resemble a spaceship. Then why are all of these home devices designed with a futuristic space aesthetic? They are either shiny or matte plastic and you might have a choice of white or black. While countless hours are spent on perfecting the features and specs of the device, hardly any effort goes into the external design and appearance.

Similar to personal style, home décor is an extension of one’s personality. Whether your taste is cozy chic or mid-century modern, you put thought into the look and feel of your furnishings. A black plastic camera with an orange extension cord detracts from your home décor and tarnishes the room.

WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
The Halo smart home security camera. Designed with premium materials and a luxury aesthetic, Halo is engineered to enhance your home in every way. No wires. Intelligent notifications. Beautiful design.

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ROBERT CHONG