I’ve used a lot of network connected cameras in many years of testing and for the most part they are clumsy to install, not the most amazing quality and are let down by a disappointing app and feature set.
If you’re looking for a security and monitoring solution around your home then a system like Netgear Arlo has lengths on almost all competitors, but for single cameras installed to capture motion in one part of the home or to be used to trigger other actions in a “connected home” the choices aren’t great.
Until now. Available at Apple Stores and online the Omna 180 Cam HD is a pretty sensational little product.
The first camera to work with Apple’s HomeKit this opens up a world of simplicity and advanced features.
Out of the box the setup is just so simple. Plug in, download the app and pair with a code on the camera or in the manual – just like scanning an iTunes voucher code.
Once installed, through the Omna app you can live view the camera with two way audio, and take screenshots.
Throw an SD card into the bottom and all motion can be recorded locally, and played back on your smartphone when you are on the local network or away from home.
D-Link describe this as the first in the “Omna family” of Apple HomeKit enabled devices, meaning we’re in for a whole stack more for sure.
You can get on-screen notifications including the picture from the camera, and begin integration with your smart home right through Apple’s HomeKit.
I’ve got Philips Hue lighting around my home, and the Omna 180 Cam HD allows me to set an action to turn on when motion is detected.
D-Link ANZ MD Graeme Reardon said, “Omna is the first in our range of connected home devices that uses all of D-Link’s very latest technological advancements and features. Being the first to launch an Apple HomeKit-enabled camera makes this product and those to follow even more exciting for consumers.”
But most of all, I love this camera for it’s field of view and quality. The 180 degree view gives you a whole room look in one shot. I’ve had it in the EFTM studio and can see almost wall to wall.
Then there’s the quality, man o man is the picture great. And when you’re viewing remotely the bitrate continually adjusts – just like watching Netflix.
And of course, it looks nothing like most cameras. The Netatmo Welcome (now known as Security) would be the closest match, but in this league it’s a design winner.
The Omna 180 Cam HD is available now online and at Apple Stores for $329.95 ($349.95 in New Zealand)
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.