When you’re talking about nanny cams — AKA internet connected monitoring cameras — Dropcam is by far the leader. If people have one consistent complaint it’s that the company doesn’t make a camera designed to withstand the elements while it watches over your home outdoors. Samsung to the rescue.
Meet the new Samsung SmartCam HD Outdoor surveillance camera ($US229) which is IP66 weatherproof by NEMA — so you know, it won’t get ruined outside. (The subdivision that makes Samsung’s cameras is called Samsung Techwin, in case you see that somewhere out on the Internet, but they’re the same company.)
The small, protected camera connects to a Wi-Fi base station and power source inside you house with an ethernet cable. The new camera got two indoor siblings, the SmartCam Pro and the (also just announced) SmartCam Pro HD. (You can check out a full spec comparison of the cameras in the chart provided by Samsung below.)
Samsung’s smart camera connects to your home wireless network and allows you to view what is going on from any internet-connected device. You can set up alerts for motion, and there’s a little microphone and speaker built in so you can talk to the intruder (or nanny) that’s in your house. All of these are features offered by Dropcam.
Besides offering an outdoor version of the camera, there are two important points of contrast between Dropcam and Samsung’s systems. First of all, Dropcam’s service is designed to record your stuff to the cloud whereas Samsung’s is primarily designed to record locally either onto a microSD card on the device or onto network attached storage. (You can record to the cloud with Samsung but you’ve got to use a third party service.) Also, Samsung’s cameras shoot 1080p video whereas even the top Dropcam HD only shoots 720p.
The big differentiator here ultimately will be software. Dropcam’s software is really slick. We haven’t had the chance to play with Samsung’s system yet, but traditionally, Samsung is pretty crappy at software — from the Wi-Fi interfaces on its digital cameras to the TouchWiz Android UI. We’ll have to wait and see who Samsung stacks up once Samsung’s system is fully available later this year.