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Various companies have launched in recent months technological gadgets that help us keep our home safe. Among them is Netatmo, which introduced a security cam called Welcome (Check on Amazon.com).
We have tested it for a while and here are our findings. Netatmo Welcome is a small cylinder made of anodized aluminum in gold color. It’s very graceful and quite unobtrusive. As long as you don’t have very dark or vintage furniture, it’s easy for it to blend well with any modern decor. On the front we find a camera with a 130° aperture and an infrared sensor that controls the room at night. On the back there is a power connector (microUSB), a microSD memory slot and an Ethernet connection. However, there is also a Wi-Fi antenna that we have used without problem throughout our test. The installation is easy and you only have to follow the simple instructions using the free Android and iOS app.
Once set-up Netatmo Welcome will work continuously following your instructions. It will send you an alert for every movement and every face it detects. Face recognition is the most important feature of this device. Initially, of course, you will have to train it by inserting the name of the person, but after less than a dozen alerts (which will probably all happen on the first day of use) it will stop questioning you about that person. After that, you can decide how long after the last known person left the premises the device can enter into “away” mode. You can then decide whether to receive motion notifications every time they happen or only when no one else is at home (which is the most logical option, especially for people who have a pet) and if you want to record videos each time the smart cam “sees” a new face. The data is saved to the local microSD card, and a snapshot of the event will be stored on the Netatmo cloud. This will save money on cloud storage. However, you can also upload these videos on your own security service.
Videos have good quality and you can also stream them through the smartphone app. The quality of the streamed video is also remarkable and you will be able to clearly recognize who is in the room, even in night mode. You can also watch live at what is happening at your house. For each person you can then set a different privacy setting, by choosing for example that certain persons never be registered and thus guarantee them absolute privacy.
The only real flaw is that the camera must necessarily be positioned relatively close to a power outlet and must also be directed towards an area where faces can be visible and not directly against a window (for obvious light reasons). Oh, and make sure that your device doesn’t get a glimpse of the TV, even through a reflection on a window or mirror or each new actor will correspond to a new notification.
Netatmo Welcome costs (Check on Amazon.com), a price consistent with similar products but has two important advantages over the competition: it allows you to recognize faces and will not make you spend a penny more on cloud services.