Keeping an eye on the house while you are out with the Withings Home

The overall package of the Withings Home looks elegant and blends easily into your house's interior and furniture.
The overall package of the Withings Home looks elegant and blends easily into your house's interior and furniture.PHOTO: WITHINGS

You can get live video feed from the Withings Home anywhere so long as you have an Internet link

There are not many home network cameras that look as good as the Withings Home.

About the size of a coffee mug, the white cylindrical device has a nice wooden shell with a hole for the camera lens to peek through.

It also comes with a magnetic disc for the Home to sit on. The overall package looks elegant and blends easily into your house's interior and furniture.

At the back is a micro-USB power port, a USB 20 port and an Ethernet port. Two environmental sensors measure the volatile organic compound in the air.

This network camera is able to let you monitor your house via a live high-definition video feed on the Withings Home app (available for Android and iOS).

The app also allows you to receive motion- and noise-detection alerts. Thus, be it at work or when overseas, you can keep tabs on what's going on in your house as long as you have an Internet connection.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $379

    CAMERA: 5-megapixel 135-degree wide-angle

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth, Ethernet, Wi-Fi

    WEIGHT: 295g

    RATING

    FEATURES: 3/5

    DESIGN: 5/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 3/5

Setting it up is a breeze. Connect the power cord, download the app on your smartphone, pair the app with the Home via Bluetooth, and follow the instructions to connect the Home to the Internet via an Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection. Installation took me less than a minute.

The app has a Live screen as well as a timeline below. Each time the Home detects noise or motion, it will record a short video or photo and post it on the timeline.

Great when you are on a long-haul flight and want to check what has happened back home when you land.

In addition, it has a feature whereby a tap replays the past 24hr in the timeline. It is like watching a cool time-lapse video.

Double-tap the Live screen to go full-screen and for more features. Here, it allows you to take a photo, set a tune to play, as well as press and hold a virtual button to talk with your family back home.

The two-way audio communication worked well for me.

The Home can play music and emanate light from its bottom area not covered by the wooden cover. There are nine tunes and corresponding light colours to choose from.

It is a great feature, but it would be even better if you get to choose your own tunes and customise the colours of the light.

Image quality of the photos and videos are not particularly sharp and exhibit visible chromatic noise. But it does not matter as long as you can see your baby or family. The camera has infra-red filters that allow you to see footage clearly at night.

On the downside, it doesn't tilt and pan like some network cameras do. Also, I am not too sure about the air quality monitoring, as I have yet to get an alert about the air-quality deteriorating.

•Verdict: If you are looking for an elegant and capable home camera that will not spoil your house interior's aesthetics, the Withings Home is a great bet.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2016, with the headline 'Keeping an eye on the house while you are out'. Print Edition | Subscribe