Turning a house into a smart home can be an exciting, fun (yay decorating!) but also stressful process. It’s definitely a learning experience as well. I’ve done it several times and it doesn’t seem like I’m done yet. In fact, I’m in the casita (home) conversion process once again, but since it’s not my first rodeo, I’m doing things a little smarter this time and adding some elements that will make my home a littler smarter too. Among those additions is an alarm system that I can enable from my cell phone, a couple Bluetooth enabled speakers, a Bluetooth enabled printer and what I’m sharing in more detail today, a Wi-Fi video camera called dropcam pro.
(You have a chance to win a dropcam pro. Details on how at end of post)
The dropcam pro, is a wi-fi video monitoring system for your home, baby, pets and/or business. It’s an easy, affordable and fast way to set up video monitoring almost anywhere you have electricity and Wi-Fi. And I mean simple. As much as I love technology and the internets, if a gadget set-up comes with a fat pamphlet of instructions, I’m out.
The dropcam pro package is small and includes a total of four pieces: the camera, USB cord, power unit and a set of screws. That’s it.
To set up the device, you either connect the camera to the USB port of a computer or download an app on your smart phone. I chose to connect through my smart phone. Here is what I did step by step:
- Download the app. You will get a set of emails from dropcam, a welcome email and one to confirm your email address.
- Connect the USB cord to the camera, select your camera destination and plug into a power outlet close by (yes, you have to be close to a power outlet) Here is where the USB cord connects to the dropcam pro.
- Set up the camera by connecting to WiFi network. Here is a series of quick steps to expect when connecting via your cell phone.
4. Wait for the camera to go live!
That’s it! The entire process took a less than five minutes. Now that’s smart! Now, I can make sure things are still So Fly even when I’m not around.
The dropcam pro runs about $199.99. It has a 3 megapixel image sensor, 130 degree field of view, 8X zoom, dual band radio and sends motion and sound alerts to your mobile device. You can even subscribe to a cloud service that will record the footage for either a week ($9.99/m) or a month ($29.99/m) at a time. For about $50 less, you can get a regular dropcam with similar features.
For your chance to win your very own dropcam pro and learn about The Smart Home. Join #VZWBuzz team on Twitter Friday at Noon PT . Other prizes include a Samsung Galaxy Note 4! RSVP here http://ow.ly/DozYD. People really do win on #VXWBuzz Twitter parties. Take it from me; I won! Yup, I got my hands on this sleek camera thanks to the online chat.
I am a Verizon #VZWBuzz Ambassador and receive products for trial. All opinions are authentic and my own. All photos were taken with my Samsung Galaxy S5 powered by the Verizon network.
In addition to the standard home automation products that give you active control, some products actively monitor systems and arm the homeowner with knowledge, insight and guidance to achieve greater control and energy efficiency.