Thursday, 13 November 2014

D-Link DCS-825L EyeOn™ BabyCam WiFi Video Camera Baby Monitor - Review

No - you haven't missed any announcement. I don't have a new baby. Madmumof7 is still madmumof7, not 8. So what possible use might I have for a BabyCam video monitor I hear you ask.

Well, yes this was the question I was asking myself at a recent showcase of the best in Taiwanese tech in London where I met the lovely folk from D-link and was shown this clever gadget - the EyeOnBabyCam, otherwise known as the DCS-825L.

 I knew I wanted one but did I need one? Well if I actually had a baby younger than my youngest who at 6 does not really qualify as a baby to anyone but me, then yes, I would get one of these in a heartbeat.

I know, I know there are all of these scare stories about weirdos hacking into webcams and watching your baby sleeping and even talking to them. But D-link assure me their security measures and password system prevents this. Anyway walking round the supermarket when my baby was a baby I often had odd old ladies watching my baby sleep in their pushchair and talking at him. You know the type of conversation:"Ooh hello - you are a beautiful little girl aren't you?" To my son who was dressed from head to toe in shades of blue.

I digress. About that password system - so effective that while testing the camera over a number of weeks I regularly forgot my password and couldn't watch my own family! Thank goodness for "remember me"

And as to why I needed a BabyCam - well I realised that actually my teens needed more watching than any baby and with the camera installed in a corner of my living room I could not only see them but hear them too with this device!

iphone video screen showing feed from D-Link BabyCam camera
Checking up on myself...... note alert symbols on bottom and temperature display

 I could also tell what temperature the room was and turn on alerts if they moved or spoke too but I'm guessing those features are more for people with real babies not my five foot tall versions.

It was great to think I could be enjoying a glass of something cheeky at my friends in the evening and not only babysit my teens through the iPhone app as they babysat my younger children, but I could also bark instructions at them through the mydlink ™ app on my phone! (Also available for iPad and Android of course.)

This led to many fun moments as I scared the living daylights out of them a few times with my disembodied voice coming at them from the corner of the room telling them to go to bed- and I could watch them jump on the video monitor on my phone through the app!

Hmm. The app. Well  the app itself was easy to download from the app store (free of course).

I had a few issues getting my BabyCam all set up so I could watch it through the app on my now wifi but I think a combination of temperamental wifi, outdated firmware on the BabyCam (which the D-Link people quickly sorted for me) and my general muppetness contributed to that. 

Checking out other reviews online no-one else had my issues so I would not mark D-Link down on my issues. And don't worry if you aren't techy - There are online guides, support firmware updates etc to help if you are as muppet-y as me.

The camera is a nice looking bit of kit. The angle of the camera is very easily adjustable as is the focus and it produces a very clear 72p HD picture. It comes with two coloured rings in the box to customise your camera and has five built-in lullabies, and a built-in microphone and speaker so you can hear (and obviously see) your baby and if it's only a "there, there" reassurance of your voice they need, sooth him or her without leaving the comfort of your bed. 

You can even take it away with you - it has its own wireless network so even in places with no wifi, 4g or 3G available you can still use it. Take it when you stay at friends or family, on holiday, in hotels or even a tent! It will run on batteries too if you have no electricity supply.


Heres the official Techy info:

Features
Monitor
  • HD resolution (1280 x 720)
  • Night vision with infrared LEDs that turn on automatically when it gets dark
  • 802.11n wireless lets you place the Monitor anywhere
  • MicroSD/SDHC card slot2 for recording snapshots and video triggered by motion or sound
  • Can be powered by an external USB battery1
  • 5 gentle lullabies built-in
  • Interchangeable blue and pink accent colour rings
Intelligent Baby Monitoring
  • Sound detection alerts you to loud noises, such as a baby crying
  • Temperature sensor and indicator light informs you if the room becomes too hot or cold
  • Built-in motion detection lets you know if the Monitor detects movement
  • Notifications can be sent to your mobile device for detected events
  • Two-way audio lets you hear your baby and allows you to respond and calm your child
Secure and Safe
  • Secure wireless connection and remote access prevents unauthorised access
Convenient Control from your Mobile Device and Computer
  • Uses the free mydlink™ Baby app for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices
  • The mydlink™ Baby app helps you set up your device and gives you easy access to all functions
  • View and control through the secure mydlink™ web portal
Technical Specifications
Monitor
Monitor Hardware Profile
  • 1/4” megapixel progressive CMOS sensor
  • 5 metre night vision with infrared LEDs
  • Minimum illumination: 0 lux with IR LEDs on
  • Built-in microphone and speaker
  • 4x digital zoom
  • Tripod screw mount
  • Focal length: 3.3 mm
  • Aperture: F2.2
  • Angle of view:
    • (H) 66.18°
    • (V) 35.9°
    • (D) 76.22°
External Device Interfaces
  • 802.11n wireless
  • microSDHC card slot2
  • Reset button
  • Lullaby, Volume Up/Down, and Power buttons
  • Power port (Micro-USB)
Image Features
  • Configurable image size
  • Time stamp and temperature overlays
Video Compression
  • H.264 format video compression
  • JPEG for still images
Video Resolution
  • 1280 x 720
  • 640 x 360
Audio Support
  • AAC
Baby Monitoring Features
  • Sound detection with adjustable sensitivity
  • Motion detection with adjustable sensitivity
  • Records snapshots and video to microSD when triggered by motion or sound
  • Temperature detection with configurable alert range
  • Sends notifications when sound/motion/temperature change is detected
  • 2-way audio lets you listen and respond to your child
Mobile App
  • Free mydlink Baby Monitor app available on the Apple App Store and Google Play
  • Compatible with iPhone and iPad using iOS 6 or higher3
  • Compatible with Android smartphones and tablets using Android 4.1 or higher3
So there you have it - the very clever D-Link DCS BabyCam monitor - not just for babies! I think it would also be great if you are concerned about elderly relatives, sleepwalking children, and of course for children when they are ill. 

It was a real comfort to me one night after my son had been vomiting all day - I was concerned he would be sick in the night so I set up the camera to alert me if he made a noise. It worked perfectly! I could blearily blink at my phone, establish he was not choking on his own vomit and go back to sleep without leaving my warm duvet. 

The BabyCam is available in a number of stores - currently I understand it's £99.99 in Currys and PC World. (Nov 2014) Always a good idea to check for deals online.

Disclaimer: I was given a BabyCam device for the purpose of testing it for this honest review. Views and opinions are my own.

1 comment:

  1. This looks great, I would have loved something like this when my two were small. It must give you that extra peace of mind with the issues you are facing at the moment.

    ReplyDelete

I'd love feedback- but keep it clean and kind.