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More fun with low-power Wi-Fi and IP cameras from Homeboy

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People are keen on security cameras in their homes, but frustrated by the massive cord plugging those cameras into the wall and limiting their potential placement. But making a Wi-Fi camera that can operate for any length of time sans a plug is tough given the power demands of both Wi-Fi and taking video.

That’s why this adorable, round camera from a Sydney, Australia-based company called Homeboy is so interesting. It’s a $149 IP camera that sits on your wall for about three months before needing a recharge on its battery. When it needs more juice, you unstick it from the base (where it attaches using magnets) and plug it in via USB. While it’s on the wall (or wherever you want to put it) it can shoot 30 seconds of video when it detects motion. It also has an If This Then That integration that allows you to set other triggers for video capture as well.

Homeboy CEO Mark Richards says the company has been working on the camera and design for four years. From my demo with the device, it’s a good solution for someone who wants to see what has happened but not if you want to capture high-resolution images (It records video at SVGA resolution.). You can see people’s faces and what’s happening, but you aren’t going to play this on a giant monitor screen.

That’s by design according to Richards. Lower resolution helps conserve battery life, but he also said the company designed the camera to work specifically with mobile devices because that’s where people want to control these systems. You can check out the device at our Structure Connect event happening Tuesday and Wednesday in San Francisco.

3 Responses to “More fun with low-power Wi-Fi and IP cameras from Homeboy”

  1. I’ve ordered 5 awesome wireless PTZ (well, no Z) cameras from China for $40/ea. They don’t come with built in batteries, but those 12v gray UPS pods everyone uses with uVerse and a voltage regulator to 5v makes them ideal “critter cams” for my purposes. Battery lasts about 20 hrs. POE also works great. There’s a lot of great features built in the “P2P IP Camera” if you’re willing to hunt them down, and you can build your own interface that can issue any command the camera knows by shooting a crafted url at it. They come with basic recording software, and they’re compatible with any webcam snap saving software and home security systems like Zoneminder which offers motion detection.