WiZ is launching a new home monitoring feature that leverages the company’s existing motion-sensitive Wi-Fi smart bulbs for smart lighting. Paired with a new $70 indoor security camera, WiZ Home Monitoring can alert you to potential intruders in your home. Using WiZ’s unique SpaceSensing feature – which detects changes in Wi-Fi signal strength caused by motion to turn lights on or off – the system can send an alert to the WiZ app when motion is detected . The new camera can then show you what’s going on.
The WiZ Home Monitoring Starter Kit, which includes three WiZ A19 full-color smart bulbs and one camera, will be available from June 15 for 159.99 euros without US prices. Or, if you already own a pair of WiZ lights or bulbs, you can pick up the camera later this month for $69.99 ($89.99). (At least two lights are required for SpaceSense to work.)
Wi-Fi detection is a promising environmental technology for the smart home, and this is not the first system to use it. Hex from Origin Wireless is a smart security system that uses the technology and Linksys Wi-Fi routers can detect movement in your home.
However, WiZ’s option is a super simple solution from a hardware perspective. While it’s not quite as robust as a full security system with sensors on every door and window, it’s infinitely easier to set up: Most people know how to screw on a lightbulb.
There is no hub or siren or professional monitoring. Instead, when the “alarm” is triggered by motion, the lights can be set to flash erratically to scare off a potential intruder. The Home Monitoring feature is free and works in WiZ’s recently launched WiZ V2 app. You can also tailor the monitoring to specific areas of the house. This can be useful to ensure that your roommate does not squeeze your leftovers out of the fridge.
You can set up customizable routines that control the lights and activate surveillance, which can be turned on and off manually in the app or set on a schedule. The monitoring feature also includes presence simulation, which can automatically turn lights on and off to make it appear that someone is home.
WiZ, which is owned by Signify, says 80 to 90 percent of its existing lights and all of its new products will work with SpaceSense and will be compatible with Home Monitoring. That includes all lights from the Connected by WiZ brand.
At launch, you will need the new WiZ Indoor Camera to use the home monitoring features. WiZ says the camera is the first of many home surveillance products the company is planning.
The WiZ Indoor Camera streams and records in 1080p and has a 120-degree field of view. Infrared night vision, image-based motion detection and two-way audio add to the security features, plus the camera’s built-in microphone can listen for sudden loud noises and send notifications when it hears glass breaking or a smoke detector going off.
A built-in microSD card can record footage locally, or you can subscribe to cloud storage for up to 30 days of recordings (prices for these have not been announced). The company said all cloud footage is end-to-end encrypted and even local SD card storage is encrypted, with footage accessible only through the WiZ app. The subscription also adds the ability to use activity and privacy zones with the camera and the ability to start a manual recording while streaming.
The camera is pretty basic hardware-wise, but it’s the software features that are the star of the show here. If the system can deliver what it promises, its simplicity and low price make it a very intriguing home security solution, especially for apartments and smaller homes.