Security cameras are the most commonly purchased connected objects in people’s homes, according to both Staples and Lowes, so the news that Withings has added a $219 connected camera to its lineup is not terribly surprising; especially in the wake of Google buying Dropcam for $550 million. The Withings Home device is both a camera and an environmental monitor containing humidity, temperature and VOC (volatile organic compound) sensors.
The camera might not seem to fit with Withings’ current lineup of health-oriented devices from the scale to a connected blood pressure cuff, but a camera would be a powerful ally in any telemedicine effort, which is why I’m guessing the company is taking its connected lineup in this direction. We can certainly ask Withings president Philippe Schwartz at Structure Connect in October 21 and 22, since he’ll be there talking about the divide between the quantified self and FDA approved medicine.
In the meantime, the camera has some interesting built-in features. It offers a 135-degree field of vision and both night and day settings, but it also can detect crying and the presence of people. I could imagine tying the camera to algorithms that can detect a person’s pulse as the Microsoft Kinect could. That offers all kinds of promise for the health-focused features Withings favors. The camera is available now, and Withings is an Apple HomeKit partner, so we can expect to see more news coming from the company soon about its products.