Feb/Mar 2013

I don’t know about you, but I pretty much expect to be on video any time I’m on the highway or in a public place. Video cameras monitor roads, gas stations, entrances, checkout counters, busses, and parking lots. Any place where children congregate likely has multiple cameras looking on. Up until now, I believed I was off-camera at home; whether mine or someone else’s. But I’m not so sure about that any more.

That’s because the options for in-home video surveillance have exploded, with systems ranging from sub-$100 video toys to $400+ 24×7 monitored services finding wide consumer adoption. Video-only offerings such as nanny cams and closedcircuit security cameras have been home video staples for decades. Lately, video calling has been gaining ground, with just about every flat-screen TV shipping with an embedded camera for Web-based video calling from the couch.

There’s even a line of videoenabled “spy toys” available from Target or Toys “R” Us: The EyeSpy “Spydercam” is a small HD video camera designed to be set on a shelf or clipped to a fence, while the XPLORER is a remotecontrolled mini-tank with video. Both cameras stream daylight or night-vision HD video to a nearby receiver that can store up to 16 gigabytes. Video also rides into the home on the coat tails of other products and services. Baby monitors began transmitting video in addition to audio a couple of years ago, both to watch the baby and the baby’s room. Home automation and security systems also include video these days, usually to capture a clip of who’s entering a door. These systems range from do-ityourself Wi-Fi video networks to manned, 24×7 security services offered by some of the leading home security companies.

Today’s home video surveillance systems offer a wide array of features, including cloud storage and access, motion-activation, and camera pan, tilt, and zoom, plus the ability to control home lighting, environment, and energy consumption. Notifications from the system can be provided as an alert to a PC, smartphone, or tablet, a text message, phone call, or email message. These systems can detect water leaks, fire, dangerous gasses, and unusual temperature fluctuations, and operate with higher levels of security and reliability than prior generations. With the high-end, modular systems, it’s possible to monitor just about anything in your home.

Here’s a run-down of some of the leading home video products and services for your consideration.

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When it comes to home video, it’s time to join ‘em, not fight ‘em.

You oughta be in pictures.


Laurie Lamberth helps to connect companies and technologies to passionate and engaged customers through strategic marketing and business development. Learn more about Laurie’s consultancy and browse her prior publications at www.laurielamberth.com

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