Homeboy

While Wi-Fi cameras have been around for some time, truly wireless, battery-powered cameras like the Homeboy are just appearing in the market. It’s very small, nicely packaged, and attractively designed. The camera is also magnetic, and the system includes a magnetic mount with a sticky backing in case you don’t have a refrigerator door nearby. The spherical unit can be adjusted to any angle, and it can be recharged via USB every three months (according to the company).

The Homeboy camera ($150) can be attached anywhere in your home, runs for three months on one charge. The camera begins recording once it detects movement and will send a notification to your phone. You can set up a geofence so that it only turns on when you’re not around the house, and you can set up an alarm to sound to scare off intruders.

Homeboy is one such contraption: a wireless, long-life, motion-detecting home security camera that can be monitored and controlled via your smartphone. It’s a funky little bundle of CCTV joy for your humble abode.

We’ve spent the past month with the Homeboy, putting it through its paces to see what it does, what it doesn’t, and whether it’s worth the $149 asking price.

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Homeboy isn't just another Dropcam Pro clone

Despite its more minimalist take on DIY security, Homeboy also has a built-in siren, arm and disarm modes tied to your phone's GPS location as well as its own IFTTT channel. These factors combine to create an elegantly-executed security camera that gives you just enough functionality without taking up a ton of bandwidth.

Richards says that beyond those distinctions, the camera was designed to be user-friendly for normal people, yet highly customizable for someone who is tech savvy. Out of the box, recorded video is stored on Homeboy’s servers, but you can also pipe it to a third-party storage service of your choosing. Advanced users can hook it up to If This Then That, so that it can post alerts to a Twitter account or connect with other smart home devices like Phillips Hue lightbulbs or a Nest thermostat. That means you could have a scenario where lights turn on somewhere in your house when it picks up motion by a window and you’re not home.

If you’re looking for an IP camera for home security, you'll want to know about Homeboy. It remedies almost every drawback I’ve seen in security cameras. It doesn’t cost a fortune. And you’ll be able to buy one soon—without having to participate in a crowd-funding campaign.

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5 trends coming to the smart home in 2015

The future of the connected home is continuing to evolve, and with more startups pitching products, the ship date of older crowdfunding campaigns hitting customer homes and big name companies warming to the space, I’m starting to see a few trends come together for 2015. I’m sure we’ll see more at CES in January, but based on conversations I’ve had and products I saw at our Structure Connect show last week, here are a few things you can expect on the connected home front.

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More fun with low-power Wi-Fi and IP cameras from Homeboy

People are keen on security cameras in their homes, but frustrated by the massive cord plugging those cameras into the wall and limiting their potential placement. But making a Wi-Fi camera that can operate for any length of time sans a plug is tough given the power demands of both Wi-Fi and taking video.

WiFi cameras like Dropcam aren't new, but while baking in wireless connectivity has helped cut one cord, they've always needed to be plugged into a power supply. Now, Homeboy claims to have severed that second tether, with its eponymous camera running on batteries and promising around three months of use from a single charge. That makes positioning all the easier, and Homeboy has taken advantage of that with a magnetic base that means the camera can be pointed in any direction or even hung upside-down from the ceiling.

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