29
Mar

Simplicam: Newest Blockbuster Security Camera or Newest Fad?

Published: Mar 29, 2016 at 08:00 UTC

There’s a new kid on the block that’s trying to shake up do-it-yourself security cameras as we know it and this bad boy isn’t backing down. Introducing, Simplicam: the security camera that’s trying to separate itself from the ever-growing field. Namely, this camera is in pretty direct competition with Dropcam.

One thing you will notice almost immediately about this camera is its styling. The makers seemed to take a little extra care when it came to the design — it is quite a beautiful camera. It’s a round, rich, glossy black camera atop a square, silver stand featuring a solid aluminum frame.

The juxtaposition of shapes makes it even more visually appealing. Another thing a user is sure to enjoy is the fact the frame swivels, so you can position to your liking. A cord cut-out on the bottom allows you to place the Simplicam on a shelf, if you so desire. Another feature is a flat cord that allows it to go almost undetectable.

While Simplicam has all of the hallmarks of a traditional security camera, there are a couple of extra features worth noting. How about facial recognition? Yes, it has that. Before you assume this the best and most perfect security camera ever made, let’s go over this camera from top to bottom to see how it stacks up and if it’s really giving Dropcam a run for the money.

Can We Go Over Some Features?

Yes, we sure can do that. Some note-worthy Simplicam features are:

• 720 pixel resolution
• Night vision
• 107 degrees field of view
• Live streaming
• Two-way communication
• Email and push notifications
• iOS and Android mobile apps
• Cloud storage plans
• Face Detection

We know that you’re giddy in your seats about the face recognition but let’s slowly build up to that one and go with the features that make this a security camera in the first place.

720p resolution is pretty much a minimum, must-have when it comes to a security camera. This gives a high quality, crisp, detailed picture. It’s not as high as its main competitor, Dropcam which boasts a 1080 pixel resolution, but it still gets the job done and then some.

Night vision isn’t just for secret ops carrying out top secret missions, but it’s a necessity when it comes to DIY home security cameras. You need to feel comfortable knowing that your camera works just as well as night as it does in the day as this is often the most vulnerable time when it comes to security.

Simplicam4Simplicam is actually decent at switching to night vision without a lot of hassle. The picture isn’t compromised which is another major plus.

A field of view of 107 degrees isn’t the best, especially when compared to Dropcam’s 130 degrees but for a smaller or mid-sized area, it’s not that big of a deal. It should still be able to capture the action if this camera is strategically placed.

When it comes to a home security camera, we all know how important it is for the video clips to stream live to a device near you. Since you aren’t home, you depend on the Simplicam to be your eyes and you can see what those eyes are capturing when you are able to view the video almost instantaneously. We’ll go over this later on and in conjunction with some other features to give you a clearer picture of how this all works.

In addition to being your eyes, the Simplicam can be your ears as well with two-way communication. You can both talk to and listen to whoever is on the camera. Is your husband about to eat your bake sale brownies? Shout at him remotely and save yourself a trip home. Do your kids want to draw all over the walls while you’re at work? Remotely, you can tell them not to make another move. This is a win-win.

Once some sort of motion or incident is recorded, Simplicam has the ability to alert you through email or a push notification. With movement detection controls, you aren’t getting all of those irritating, extraneous notifications to your smartphone like you do with some other cameras.

Simplicam has apps for both your iPhone and your Android device. Search “Closeli” and you can download the app. FYI: Closeli is the name of the maker. It walks you through the set-up process and includes a host of features that we will dedicate more time to later. Yes, we promise.

There are several cloud plans available based on how much backup you want. With the single day recording plan, you can store the last 24 hours of video and save 1 hour of your favorite clips in your cloud for $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.

Storing 11 days of recordings and 3 hours of favorite clips will run you $13.99 per month or $139.99 for the year. 21 days’ worth of cloud storing and 5 hours of favorite clips is $22.99 per month or $229.99 per year. Signing up for a subscription entitles to you face detection.

Simplicam security cameraNow, to the feature you’ve been waiting for: face detection. With the face recognition option, you are able to scan up to 10 faces. These are the faces that will be stored as recognizable. Choose the people who will more likely be in your home. We used co-workers for simplicity sake.

To get started, stand about 10 feet away and make sure that the entire face is visible in the preview panel. Then in the app, click “ready.” You will receive various audio cues that will direct you in different positions to get as many angles as possible. Name the person and you’re done.

You also have the ability to auto-delete footage that you don’t need such as you asleep on the couch and there are more advanced settings so you can customize your saved people. We found that to be pretty useful.

This is one of the most awesome features of all, but of course, it’s not with issues but we’ll save that for a little later on.

Can We Go Over Some Drawbacks of the Simplicam?

While this is an awesomely cool camera, it’s not without its faults. Now is the time to get back to facial recognition and the issues associated with it. Since you can tell that it’s still in its infancy, there are some things that definitely need to be worked out.

The company even acknowledges this and says it will take some time for things to get better and for the Simplicam to be able to distinguish between faces better. Simplicam can easily confuse faces and sometimes people who aren’t even input into the system can be recognized as someone whose information is stored, which could be a huge security issue.

Problems with actual facial recognition can occur whether a person is super-close to the camera or at a fair distance. This leads to our next point which is a cause of concern. Since the facial recognition isn’t always up-to-par, if someone walks past the camera a little too quickly, this can cause a motion alert to be sent rather than a facial recognition alert.

In order for Simplicam to consistently get it right, the person would need to pause slightly. It hardly seems like you’re going to remember to slightly pause every time you pass in front of the camera. This is another issue the camera maker needs to look into.
The company encourages you to provide feedback so they can get the kinks worked out for the next generation of Simplicams.

We already touched on the fact that the resolution at 720p is less than some other notable models and the 107-degree field view is also less than other comparable cameras, so these are a couple of other issues to keep in mind before purchasing this camera.

simplicam security cameraCan We Go Over the Set-up?

Since you’re so polite, of course, we can. Setting up should be a breeze, especially with the assistance of the ever-helpful app.

In fact, as soon as you open up the box, you will notice that a good portion of the work is done for you. The Simplicam is smartly and cleverly packaged in layers so as to guide you in the process as you unpack.

The app will guide you in the process:

• Plug the camera in and press the set button until it begins to beep.
• Scan the QR code until you hear the camera beep again.
• When the LED light on the camera starts flashing green, it’s beginning to connect.

Now, your Simplicam is ready to use. Pretty simple, huh? One caveat: some people have received various error messages which required them to try using a different phone to set up.

These messages can read:

“Uh-oh, we couldn’t reconnect to your network. Remember to select a 2.4GHz network and make sure your network name and password match.”

Or —

“Uh oh…
We couldn’t connect to your network. Make sure your network name and password match?”

You may need to simply cancel the set-up and start over. If it continues to happen, you may have a defective unit and may need to return it.

Can We Look at the App a Little More Closely?

Yes, that’s a good idea because there are a few features we would like to touch on to make your experience a little bit easier.

If you’ve ever used a Dropcam, you will notice that Simplicam’s apps are quite similar to Dropcam’s. It’s actually pretty to use, even if you’re not the most tech savvy person in the world.

The interface features the same sort of timestamps and color-coded information that is visible directly on the video feed. Closeli is also capable of managing multiple cameras at one time, so if you have cameras in different locations, no problem.

The apps also feature lots of way to customize your camera to really make it work for you and your home. Through the app, you can turn your camera off and on without physically being near the camera. You can even set different times of the night and day where you want it off or on. In addition, you can control the frequency of your email notifications or push alerts so they do not become a nuisance to you. Night vision and the two-way communication can also be controlled by using the app.

Just imagine remotely accessing the mic and scaring somebody who shouldn’t be there. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Can You Tell Me How Much the Simplicam is Going For?

Now that you know all of the ins and outs of this camera, it only seems fair that we give you the price on it. The MSRP is $149.99 which we believe is quite the steal for what you get in this little camera.

This is pretty competitive when compared to other similar models and in some cases is even more of a value because of the facial recognition features. Under $200 for home security sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

Can We Go Over Everything One Last Time?

simplicam security camera

You seem like a very intelligent and cautious consumer, so let’s do one last assessment.

Pros:

• Sleek, stylish design
• Easy to set up
• Night vision
• Email and push notifications
• Two-way communication
• Live streaming
• Easy and useful apps
• Cloud storage available
• Facial recognition capabilities
• Price under $200

Cons:

• Some major kinks in facial recognition
• 720 pixel resolution
• 107 degrees field of view

Can You Give Me a Final Verdict?

We would give a pretty resounding yes on the Simplicam. There’s a lot of value in this camera. It’s far from perfect but it does everything it needs to do plus a little more. We’d give it a solid 3.8 out of 5.

 
No Comments
Add your comment

Leave a Reply