So, it seems camera-based surveillance is everywhere these days. Some find it obtrusive, Big Brother-ish even, but I think they definitely have their place.
Over the last COVID lockdowns in NSW our team member Sharleen and I trialled out a couple of variants of Wi-Fi cameras from Uniden. These have been on the scene for a while, and we both had different intentions for the installations which we will go into below, but we were both unanimously happy with the result.
Indoor – App Cam Home + – Kalen’s Garage
I decided to trial the indoor camera to monitor my garage. I’ve got an interesting conundrum at my place – the garage has a single-entry point, the garage panel door! At times I wonder if I actually closed it, but laziness prevails and I can’t really be bothered walking out to check. So, what I needed was a way to check that the door was closed, but also to just keep an eye on things and be alerted to any unwanted activity.
Removing the gear from the very well packaged box was easy and it was immediately evident based on the weight and just the tactile feel of the unit that this was a well build bit of kit. There were various ways to install and looking back I probably could have put it on the ceiling, which I may do in due course. 3 green plugs had me quickly securing the camera to the wall and plugging it into a power point close by.
Setup was a breeze – with easy guidance through the Uniden Solo app which saw me connecting to the local wi-fi network and commencing to explore what felt like an endless list of different settings to control everything from screen resolution exposure and backlight, detection alarm sensitivity levels, push notifications, sirens and backup settings. There really is so much to this unit. The motion sensor tells you when there’s movement, you can talk through the app and be heard via a speaker in the camera, trigger an alarm, record and take a photo of what the camera is seeing, even listen to local noise where the camera is. Each of these functions have options for settings, which is daunting, but the reality it is great out-of-the-box. So unless you’re really OCD there’s not really any need to change anything
The only function I played with was the motion detection sensitivity. This was one of the things that was most important to me, so I’ve settled on a “mid” setting but also removed certain areas that I don’t want detection to occur using the app. I was getting a few false alarms usually a period of time after the door was opened or closed, so I figure perhaps movement of dust in the air was the issue. It’s pretty bang on for my needs right now.
The only issue is I can’t disappear to the garage and be left alone anymore!
What I liked – easy to setup and use
What I disliked – late night false alarms from the motion detector
Outdoor – App Cam Solo PT Kit – Sharleen’s place
I recently got myself a new fur-baby called Scout who has been a godsend during COVID. However, being a work from home team member, I’m usually at my desk and like any new pup, Scout does get into some mischief. My husband and I wanted a way to monitor her whilst at home, but also when we were away. So, my requirement was to increase the security of our home in general, but also a way to keep an eye on Scout at all times.
We chose two solar powered App Cam Solo PT kits, as we wanted to monitor the outside of the house predominantly. With the two set up, we can now monitor 99% of our yard at anytime from anywhere we may be. I was actually surprised at how small the solar panel was, but it was all really well built and felt super solid which was reassuring.
Like Kalen, the install and setup were such a breeze. A quick download of the App, get on the network, scan the QR code and that was it! For us this was purely a way to monitor, so whilst there were many other functions, we haven’t yet played with them a lot. Even just using the camera to monitor, the range of options and settings are huge and whilst we’re happy with the way it functioned out-of-the box, we are still refining things. One thing we didn’t experience was the motion detection sensitivity that Kalen had. Apparently, this camera has a feature called Thermo Sense which detects body heat and movement which reduces the chances of a false alarm.
One thing we did find a bit fiddly was the controls to move the camera. They just seem a little sensitive and we have yet to figure out how to keep continuously monitoring without it going into sleep mode after 20 minutes.
Overall, I give the units a solid 9/10. It does exactly what we wanted it to do. Our next step, now that we are happy with the locations is to tidy up the wiring to the solar panels!
What I liked – being able to monitor our property and puppy wherever we are
What I disliked – camera movement control is a little fiddly
These Uniden units provide a relatively low-cost way to monitor your home and provide an extra level of security that can be very useful should something go wrong. The ability to be alerted to motion, listen and talk through the cameras as well as record footage can not only deter theft, but offer critical evidence to the authorities to apprehend criminals.
If you love your four by, you need to get one!