Ecobee has updated its SmartCamera home security camera with several new features that make it easier to use as a baby monitor. The new Baby Monitor mode, enabled during camera setup, adjusts camera settings to dim LEDs on the front, makes it harder to accidentally enable the camera siren alarm, and, most importantly, only adds sound to streaming options that allow you to continue listening. interference even if you switch to another application or lock your phone.
Using a home security camera as a child monitor is hardly a new idea, but this is the first to my knowledge that actually makes it easier for me. Although traditional video monitors provide a constantly-on feed to a dedicated screen, home security cameras require the use of your phone and apps, and loading can be slow and cumbersome. The Ecobee audio streaming mode effectively turns the camera and your phone into a constantly on audio monitor from which you can tap the app to check the video feed when you hear interference.
The SmartCamera is also compatible with Apple’s HomeKit platform (including HomeKit Secure Video) and Amazon Alexa, allowing you to watch a video feed from the Echo smart screen or the Home app on an iOS or macOS device. The dedicated Ecobee app is the only way to access audio monitoring and other dedicated features like scrolling and zooming on the SmartCamera.
One thing that the new baby monitor features don’t particularly address is the security concerns inherent in pointing an internet-connected camera at your baby’s crib. There are numerous security camera accounts accessed by an unauthorized user, and children’s privacy has been violated through cameras, speakers and microphones. Ecobee has a two-factor authentication for its accounts, which helps prevent these types of attacks, but that may not be enough consolation for some parents.
Ecobee notes that at any time you can switch between baby monitor (which disables some home camera security features) and standard security camera modes, so when you no longer need the baby, you can repurpose the camera elsewhere in your home.
In addition to new baby tracking features, Ecobee is now selling a package that includes a SmartCamera and SmartThermostat for $ 299.99. The SmartCamera is available separately for $ 99.99.