If you’re going to be away from home this Christmas - whether you’re travelling for work, going on holiday, or visiting relatives - you’ll probably end up with that little thought at the back of your mind that won’t stop worrying about home. You’re not there, so how can you be sure everything is going smoothly?
Has someone broken in, are your cats ok, are Mum and Dad coping without your famous roast potatoes? All of those are concerns for the people who are spending the festive season away, but they needn’t put a damper on whatever it is you’re doing. Not when the Canary smart home security camera is around to help you keep an eye on things.
The Canary has been available in the States for a while, with an outdoor model called the Flex recently going on sale. The Flex won’t be available for pre-order in the UK just yet, but the indoor camera is available in time for Christmas.
The Canary is a video camera designed to keep tabs on your home when you’re not there, and connects to a mobile app (available on Android, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV) letting you stay in the know - regardless of where you are. Everything is so simple that it only takes a few seconds to set everything up, and once that’s done you can start streaming Canary’s Full HD video to see what’s going on. It has a wide angle lens to capture more of your home environment, and even has night vision, so it can constantly keep watch like a faithful electronic guard dog.
You’ll also be glad to hear that video is not a blink-and-it’s-gone type situation. Each camera comes with 24 hours of free cloud storage that lets you look back at everything that’s been going on throughout the day. And when we say it’s free, we mean it’s free. There are no hidden subscription fees or mandatory payments to worry about after you’ve bought the camera.
While it isn’t forced on you, if you feel you need more cloud storage you can opt to pay for a Canary Membership. Canary Membership costs £7.99 a month for a single camera, and increases your storage limit from 24 hours to 30 days. Prices do increase for users with multiple cameras, however. Having two cameras will cost £12.99 a month, and three cameras will cost you £17.98 a month. After that every additional camera will add £4.99 onto your monthly bill.
If security isn’t that important to you, constant monitoring also means that everything in your home gets captured on camera. That means if something incredibly memorable happens at home, like your baby takes their first steps or a pet does an incredible trick, you don’t have to start frantically messing with your phone to capture it on film. Canary’s already doing that for you, and you’ve got plenty of time to make a copy of those precious moments to show everyone else.
For those of you who are security conscious (which should be everyone), be safe in the knowledge that Canary uses bank-level encryption to make sure your video streams aren’t accessed by nefarious hacker-types. That said, it’s still probably a very good idea to disable the video features when you have *ahem* guests over.
But, I hear you say, why buy this when you can stream real-time footage from inside your home using a dirt-cheap webcam and a bit of tinkering? Recording footage is only part of what Canary is capable of doing. That’s the most important job it has, sure, but there’s plenty of other stuff it can do as well.
There are built in motion sensors that can notify you whenever movement is detected, a 90-decibel alarm to scare the living daylights out of any intruders (or your flatmate, if you’re so inclined), and the option to contact the emergency services directly from the companion app. It doesn’t matter where you are either, since Canary automatically pulls in information about the local emergency services to make sure you get through to the right people.
You don’t need to worry about constantly getting notified because you keep wandering in front of the Canary. It knows whether you’re home or not, and automatically switches modes to keep things easy and convenient.
You can even use the Canary to spot Santa Claus. Just put milk and cookies where your Canary can see them and Canary HQ will monitor your room for any signs of Saint Nick. All you need to do to activate Santa Mode is email a clip of your milk and cookies along with your Twitter handle to firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll want to hurry though, because the closing date for entries is Christmas Eve.
At this point you may have realised there’s something we missed. The smart aspect. What’s so smart about a security camera? Allow me to explain.
These days it’s not uncommon to have a multitude of interconnected gadgets in your home. Canary is another such gadget thanks to its built-in HomeHealth feature. HomeHealth monitors the interior of your home, keeping a close eye on temperature, humidity, and the air quality. That means in addition to being able to see what’s going on all the time, you can make sure the home environment isn’t completely borked and won’t cause any adverse effects to your own health.
So if you want complete peace of mind this Christmas and beyond, it’s worth having something that can keep tabs on your home. You can’t go wrong with the Canary, and if you buy one for yourself (or as a present) between 18th and 31st December you’ll get £20 off the usual £159 price.