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Netatmo's Welcome connected camera recognizes who's home

Jamie Rigg, @jmerigg
January 4, 2015
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Whether you wanna keep an eye on your pet, kid or reception room, there are plenty of connected cameras for the job. Netatmo, best known for its quirky weather station and smart thermostat, thinks there's still room in this swelling product category, today announcing the "Welcome" home-monitoring camera. Through iOS, Android and PC/Mac apps, users can remotely tap into a live 1080p broadcast from the camera, which has a 130-degree field of view and infrared LEDs for night vision. By far the most interesting feature, however, and one that's becoming more common to smart home gear such as cameras, is facial recognition.

Gallery: Netatmo Welcome camera | 19 Photos

Check-in style notifications can be sent to your phone when someone arrives home -- when your child gets back from school, for example -- or the camera doesn't recognize a passing body (cats not included). To allay the obvious privacy concerns, Netatmo is keen to point out that all identification data is stored on a local SD card, as is any recorded video. And apparently, live broadcasting "is secured by a bank-level encrypted connection." Through the companion app, you can also choose how closely Welcome follows the movements of each family member. You can tell the camera not to send notifications for certain people, or do it only within certain time frames. Also, you can choose how often it'll record video, from never, to only the first time someone gets home, or every time they pass in front of the camera.

Accessories known as Welcome Tags that monitor the movement of whatever they're stuck to -- say, a door -- can also communicate with the camera, which in typical Netatmo style, is clad in anodized aluminum and lovingly designed so you'll be happy to put it in your home. And everyone will get that chance in second quarter this year, when Welcome goes on sale for an as-yet unspecified price.

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