Netgear has made a big move into the home automation world with the release of Arlo, a friendly mini-camera system that seems to be just the start of Netgear’s ultimate smart home plans.
Arlo is a fairly simple smart security system on the surface. Designed for the growing DIY home security market, the kit comes with two wireless cameras that you can place wherever you want. These little guys (seriously, the design is surprisingly cute) offer 720p quality video and are easy to mount on their accompanying magnetic bases. They are also weatherproof and have both motion alert and night vision features, making it easy for you to use them outdoors. Batteries last for up to 6 months.
Netgear uses its experience in cloud services to offer cloud storage for the video cameras, which means you can access all their footage online, from anywhere. Each kit comes with 200 MB of free storage – after that, you’ll have to do some deleting. Apps are available for both iOS and Android so you can manage the cameras through mobile means.
The two kit cameras come with a hub that connects them to your wireless network. This hub device is particularly interesting, because it obviously lays the groundwork for other Netgear smart devices in the future. The hub can support up to 15 cameras if you want to buy extras, and is no doubt ready to connect other Netgear devices (sensors? door locks? light bulbs?) when they become available. Netgear has already announced a partnership with Lifx, allowing you to control Lifx light bulbs with the hub and Arlo app – perhaps more partnerships are also on their way.
Arlo will be available for purchase starting in 2015 on the new Arlo website. The kit will cost you $350, but remember that it comes with two cameras and the hub – laying the foundation for future Netgear devices. However, consider the widening number of competitors in this sector with plenty of devices already on the market – Google’s Nest system, for example – Netgear would be well advised to hurry up its product releases.