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CES 2017: Withings Debuts HomeKit-Enabled 'Home Plus' Baby Monitor and Security Camera

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At this week's Consumer Electronics Show, Withings introduced the next-generation version of its "Home" smart security camera and baby monitor, which adds HomeKit compatibility.

The new "Home Plus" is one of the first security cameras on the market to integrate with HomeKit, allowing it to interface with other HomeKit-enabled products and be accessed through Apple's own Home app.

Like many security cameras on the market, the Home Plus streams HD video to a smartphone or tablet, allowing users to keep an eye on their homes when away, or on their children when in a different room. The Home Plus sends notifications out when there's unusual noise and movement, and it's able to monitor indoor pollution.


Design wise, the Withings Home Plus looks similar to the original Withings Home, introduced in 2015, with a wood enclosure and white accents that house a wide-angle camera. It has the same HD camera with night vision support and the ability to store video for up to 48 hours with no subscription plan needed.

Withings plans to make the Home Plus available for purchase during the first quarter of 2017. It will be priced at $199.


Withings has also begun selling its new Withings Steel HR, an analog fitness tracking watch with a built-in heart rate monitor. First introduced in September, the Withings Steel HR looks like a traditional watch, but features heart rate and activity tracking. The Steel HR is available for $179.95 to $199.95 from the Withings website.

Article Link: CES 2017: Withings Debuts HomeKit-Enabled 'Home Plus' Baby Monitor and Security Camera
 

avanpelt

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Jun 2, 2010
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For the same price, the Nest indoor camera is a better option, I'd say -- especially when you can usually pick the Nest Cam up for less than $199 on Amazon or on sale somewhere.

Nest also requires a subscription to store video in the cloud; but it offers a 10-day option as a minimum, which, to me, is more useful than 48 hours. I know some people don't need or want 10 days worth of video stored in the cloud, though.

We use the Nest Cam in conjunction with a baby monitor app that works over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. We have the baby monitor app set for audio only and have it running on an old iPad that isn't useful for much more than a baby monitor these days anyway. We do it that way because the Nest app doesn't continue to stream audio when the app is in the background, unfortunately. The setup works very well for us.

I'm still not sold on HomeKit. All it takes is for Apple to decide to change the standard and suddenly, all this HomeKit-compatible stuff could be rendered not HomeKit compatible any more. Sadly, I no longer trust that Apple wouldn't do something like that -- and then call it "courageous", to boot.
 
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Planet Telex

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Sep 4, 2006
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We use the Nest Cam in conjunction with a baby monitor app that works over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. We have the baby monitor app set for audio only. We do it that way because the Nest app doesn't continue to stream audio when the app is in the background, unfortunately. The setup works very well for us.

What app do you use?
 
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Applebot1

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I think it's best to try and choose products that are not platform specific. I wouldn't buy anything that's just Home Kit compatible.
 
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centauratlas

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I'm still not sold on HomeKit. All it takes is for Apple to decide to change the standard and suddenly, all this HomeKit-compatible stuff could be rendered not HomeKit compatible any more. Sadly, I no longer trust that Apple wouldn't do something like that -- and then call it "courageous", to boot. ...

This is my concern as well. It is the main reason when I got my CarPlay equipped car, I made sure it also had Android Auto. ... just in case ...
 
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macfacts

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I think it's best to try and choose products that are not platform specific. I wouldn't buy anything that's just Home Kit compatible.

If I was Withings, I would make these products work with platforms other than Apple's as well. Never know if Apple might ban sales of them in Apple stores or deny their support apps for iOS. ;)
 
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MrX8503

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Sep 19, 2010
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I'm still not sold on HomeKit. All it takes is for Apple to decide to change the standard and suddenly, all this HomeKit-compatible stuff could be rendered not HomeKit compatible any more. Sadly, I no longer trust that Apple wouldn't do something like that -- and then call it "courageous", to boot.

Other vendors could drop support too just as easily. Homekit requirements are very strict, so if something supports Homekit, most likely it supports Alexa, Google, SmartThings, etc.

I refuse to buy non Homekit smart devices because I want to have everything be accessible through the Home app. Homekit is also very secure providing full encryption,.... which is what you'd defintely want for a security cam.
 
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bartvk

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Dec 29, 2016
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Have a look at Baby Monitor 3G. You install it on two devices, one is the "baby station", the other one the "parent station". I've installed it on an Android phone, a MacBook, an iPad and an iPhone. It just works everywhere. Great stuff. (Just a satisfied customer, not related to the company in any way).
 
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avanpelt

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Jun 2, 2010
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I refuse to buy non Homekit smart devices because I want to have everything be accessible through the Home app. Homekit is also very secure providing full encryption,.... which is what you'd defintely want for a security cam.

Fair point about encryption. The unfortunate thing with HomeKit is that, like too many other products that Apple has released in the last several years, it was released in a not even half-baked state and took way too long to get up and going. Think about it...it was announced essentially two years ago, as I recall, to great fanfare; and then Apple left it sitting out there doing nothing for the last two years. Now, all of a sudden, they have a "Home" app in iOS 10 (which they should've had from the beginning).

Remote home control/automation is nothing new. It has been around in various forms for a decade or more (i.e. x10). For Apple to come late to the game and then leave their offering floundering for two years with no real indication that they gave a damn about it really pisses me off. It also tells me that their team could wake up one morning and decide to completely abandon the entire thing, as they recently did with external displays and possibly with routers, as well.

I love my Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch; but Apple doesn't have a vote of confidence from me with HomeKit. Similarly, when Apple Maps was released, Apple didn't have my vote of confidence; and they still don't with that product. Apple is still taking baby steps in the area of navigation, which is already mature and many end users are satisfied with the current offerings from Google and other providers.

It took Apple way too long to correct glaring flaws with the Apple Maps data; and their product is still inferior when it comes to the practicality of Google Maps and Waze. Like HomeKit, Apple Maps was released several years too early and lacking features that most people would want to have (that the competition already provided). I notice that there have not been any recent announcements of new Flyover cities. Maybe Apple finally realized that Flyover was largely a gimmick that was a waste of their money and their team's time. Most of us have known that for years.

Apple is still reasonably good at making hardware (so long as they don't make stuff so thin that it overheats and fails). Their software and services, though, are leaving more and more to be desired everyday, as far as I'm concerned.
 
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loekf

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Mar 23, 2015
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I have the current version of this camera. Looks like the new version is all about software, so pity they release a new version pretending it is an updated product. The camera itself did not change. Would be great if they added 802.11ac or 5 GHz, because the current hardware can be tricky if your Wifi is a bit flaky.
 
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MrX8503

macrumors 68020
Sep 19, 2010
2,284
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Fair point about encryption. The unfortunate thing with HomeKit is that, like too many other products that Apple has released in the last several years, it was released in a not even half-baked state and took way too long to get up and going. Think about it...it was announced essentially two years ago, as I recall, to great fanfare; and then Apple left it sitting out there doing nothing for the last two years. Now, all of a sudden, they have a "Home" app in iOS 10 (which they should've had from the beginning).

Remote home control/automation is nothing new. It has been around in various forms for a decade or more (i.e. x10). For Apple to come late to the game and then leave their offering floundering for two years with no real indication that they gave a damn about it really pisses me off. It also tells me that their team could wake up one morning and decide to completely abandon the entire thing, as they recently did with external displays and possibly with routers, as well.

I love my Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch; but Apple doesn't have a vote of confidence from me with HomeKit. Similarly, when Apple Maps was released, Apple didn't have my vote of confidence; and they still don't with that product. Apple is still taking baby steps in the area of navigation, which is already mature and many end users are satisfied with the current offerings from Google and other providers.

It took Apple way too long to correct glaring flaws with the Apple Maps data; and their product is still inferior when it comes to the practicality of Google Maps and Waze. Like HomeKit, Apple Maps was released several years too early and lacking features that most people would want to have (that the competition already provided). I notice that there have not been any recent announcements of new Flyover cities. Maybe Apple finally realized that Flyover was largely a gimmick that was a waste of their money and their team's time. Most of us have known that for years.

Apple is still reasonably good at making hardware (so long as they don't make stuff so thin that it overheats and fails). Their software and services, though, are leaving more and more to be desired everyday, as far as I'm concerned.

I would agree that Apple dropped the ball by taking two years to get Homekit up and running, which is why I never bought any smart devices until now. I'm still not totally satisfied with Homekit, but I prefer companies that put in the effort to support it because that tells me that they stand behind their product. I'm not willing to take a gamble on other smart devices simply because the majority of them suck.
 
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