Adding security with a smart camera
Security cameras have been in use for years, long before the DIY smart home revolution. While there have been a lot of great smart cameras on the market, in general we have hesitated to install a security camera inside and have it on all the time, because frankly, we are afraid of being watched.
But since it is useful to know what is going on when we are not home, we have been experimenting for a while with a Samsung camera, the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro. We chose the Samsung because it allowed us to store video on an SD card and didn’t require a cloud service to use. Less chance of being watched, and no cloud storage subscription required.
We have the camera connected to a ZWave switched outlet, so we are able to control it remotely and turn it on when we are not home. Right now we are turning it on manually through the Samsung app since we have not been able to connect it to our Zipato Zipabox hub, even after working extensively with their support. We recently tried to connect it to our SmartThings Hub so we can use the presence detection, but we found that in order to connect the camera we need to upgrade to the next gen hub, something we haven’t gotten around to yet.
The camera itself works great. We are able to see our living room clearly from our phones wherever we are and it gives us peace of mind to be able to check on the house from time to time. False positives have been a bit of an issue – we have figured out that the lights coming on triggers the motion sensor, but we haven’t been able to figure out some other false positives we’ve had. Generally when we get the motion notification, we check it out and don’t see anything. It can be a bit unnerving if you are on a long trip.
Right now our camera is not quite as smart as we’d like it to be, but it gives us a bit more peace of mind. If the thermostat changes from away or the smoke detector goes off when we are not home we can take a peek in our house and see what is really happening.