The HD WiFi Baby Monitor from Safety 1st combines two-way speech with a motion and sound sensitive camera to increase your shut-eye.
In addition to the Back To Sleep campaign of the 1990’s, replaced in 2012 with the Safe to Sleep Campaign, The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that infants sleep in their crib/bassinet within the parent’s room for at least the first six months of life (12 months ideally). Despite the recommendations, many young children sleep in their rooms. Parents have a few options to monitor their children from Analog, Digital and WiFi receivers/cameras. Unfortunately, the cameras/receivers are not without their degree of risk. For anyone who has Facebook, has children or knows someone who has children, you have probably heard stories of data breaches, camera hacking, and major privacy violations. There have been stories of people talking through the speakers, panning cameras, and other fear-inducing activities. WiFi Monitors have traditionally been the most hacked of the cameras. To try to circumvent this, Safety 1st created an HD Wifi baby monitor with a physical security encryption chip, AES 256-bit data encryption, encrypted cloud storage and Secure Web transfer SSL/TLS. Despite these security features, it is still likely a good idea to make sure that the product updates its firmware automatically, to regularly update your home wireless network password and to limit those who know it.
The Safety First HD WiFI Baby Monitor arrived in a classy 8 1/2 inches tall by 7 inches wide by 3 inches thick retail package. The yellow on white coloration was visually appealing and successfully drew my attention to the device. On the white cover, you will find a beautifully rendered pictorial representation of the WiFi baby monitor, smartphone and sound/movement receiver. If you look closely, the box was designed to allow the top half to slide upwards and away from the lower half. Just below the separation point, the darker yellow inner box had five icons detailing the 130-degree wide angle lens 720p HD Crystal clear image, ultra night vision, two-way talk-back and custom alerts. If you rotate the packaging ninety degrees clockwise, you will see two baby room images demonstrating the wide-angle and narrow-angle view. Impressively, the wide-angle image showed the entire room whereas the narrow field only demonstrated the baby and part of the crib. The opposite side panel detailed seven icons (four were on the cover) detailing the 130-degree wide angle viewing, HD superior image quality, rechargeable audio unit, ultra night vision, Easy 60 second setup, custom alerts and low power/WiFi signal. The reverse panel was a little busy, providing numerous informational bullet points: App Features, Camera Features, Home Requirements, Security, and In the Box. The app promises two-way talk/snapshot options, digital zoom, customizable smart alerts, 24-hour timeline and free cloud storage, text/email/social media video sharing, and easy access for others. The camera features include HD720P video/audio, 30FPS, wall to wall, floor to ceiling view, 15 feet infrared night vision, set and forget pan and tilt, expandable beyond 4 cameras. To use the device, you will need an iPhone or Android device and a minimum of 1Mbps WiFi (if you have internet it should work).
To access the device, simply slide the top box upwards and then lift off the lid to the inner box. You will find the camera and the sound/movement detecting audio unit nestled inside of a molded plastic shell. Underneath the plastic shell, you will find the accessory packaging, which included a 118.5 inches long Type A wall prong to micro-USB charger, 40 1/2 inch USB-A to USB-micro cable, seven grey drywall anchors and 3/4 inch length screws, five power cable clips, and an instruction manual. To set up the kit, start by plugging the power adaptor micro-USB into the back of the camera and then the Type A wall outlet into a wall outlet. The instruction manual noted that the LED on the front of the camera should blink purple. Alas, the LED on my camera was solid red. I continued to follow the instruction manual and connected the smaller USB cable to the audio parental unit and then the USB A end into a wall charger (not included). After I pressed the power button, the LED on the audio unit blinked red but the instruction manual stated it should have been blue. With both the camera and audio units on standby, I navigated to the iOS App Store and downloaded the Safety1st app. I wish that I would have downloaded the app first because it walked you through the setup differently than the paper instruction manual. The app asked me to allow notifications, camera, and microphone use. The app was attractive and easy to navigate. To start, I selected the blue “sign up” along the bottom, entered my email, password twice (upper/lower/special character), and then entered the six-digit code that was sent to my email.
I was very pleased with the way that the app led the setup. Each panel provided bite-sized instructional steps that were very easy to follow. On the first page, I selected “Add Product” and then selected the HD WiFi Baby Monitor. The next screen asked me if I had my WiFi network password, if the device was near an outlet, and to confirm that the device was connected to a 2.4 GHz Wi-FI network. If each of the requirements was met, one simply had to select each of the three checkboxes and then tap the “next” button. The app will take you to another tab that informs you that the device is working if you see a red light. Again, this was odd as the instruction manual and app provided disparaging information about the LED colors. Since I saw the red light, I chose to select “Yes” that I saw the red light. I entered my network password, held the top button on the camera and then the light turned purple. The next screen on the app brought up a large QR code that I had to hold in front of the lens. The LED on the front of the camera changed from purple to blue, and the app changed to the final stage, allowing me to name my camera. The app took about fifteen seconds and then the camera was set up and ready for use. Once the camera was set up, the App automatically navigated to the Audio Unit setup. I selected “Next” for automatic setup, and the app took about thirty seconds to finish the process. The LED on the audio unit was blinking red, and the app recommended to turn off the audio unit and then to turn it back on. Before you use the device, make sure that you remove the thin plastic cover over the lens.
One of my favorite features of the app was the video walk-through at the end of the setup process. The video did a great job detailing the settings and the utility of the app. I completed the setup process lying on my floor, typing on my MacBook Pro. With the camera to my left and the Audio unit towards my right, I found it very interesting that it was sensitive enough to detect the typing. I stood on the other side of my living room and snapped, clapped and whispered and the audio output of the Audio unit was incredibly clear. The app will alert you to motion and sound and will send a message to your notification tab. If you tap the cog icon along the top right of the app, you can change the volume, check the Firmware status, toggle the live stream background audio, and adjust the camera and audio alert sensitivity (Very low, low (extreme movements/loud cry), medium, high, very high). If desired, multiple people can download the app to link to the camera. You can turn off alerts and modify settings, but only those settings saved by the most recent user will remain in place.
I have used the camera in my living room, office and in my sons’ room. The camera was very responsive and worked great to provide information about their activities. I loved the ability to talk through the audio unit and the ability to communicate with them while I was at work. The app told me when the audio unit was fully charged and when it required recharging (daily). As an added bonus, the device worked while charging. I was pleased with the setup, with the app and with the clear picture of the camera. If I had a single complaint, I felt that the camera was a bit lopsided and fell over easily. There was no pan and tilt, and thus the camera would only show what it was pointed at. I would have liked to have seen a 1/4 inch thread on the bottom for a tripod and possibly a disc of 3M tape. I wish that the written instruction manual matched the app, as this was quite confusing. The ability to adjust the settings of the device and the inclusion of a night mode proved to be good for about 5-8 feet from the camera. Some reviewers have commented about the brightness of the lights on the camera and on the audio unit, but I did not feel that this warranted critique. The Safety1st device does require constant and reliable internet and my Comcast Xfinity 150Mbps service provided for that need. If you require a system to work without power, this device will not be the right one for you. It is important to note that the recordings are a preset thirty seconds. You will get one announcement/notification per event, and the device will stop recording after 30 seconds. You could then tune in to live view and see what the camera sees if desired.
The device is perfect for the tech newb and for those who do not want to feel overwhelmed with options. The picture quality of the baby camera was stunning, with full 130 degrees, whole room viewing. We are planning to have a new baby in the next year, but for now, we use the camera to watch our six and nine-year-old sons and our three-year-old playing. After testing the device, I have a few interesting uses for the device. Many of us have seen Eagle Cams and other animal cams. You could use this to monitor one of your animals, check on their health, or perhaps you want to check in on an animal laboring. For a different use, you could consider giving access to a grandparent so that they could see and talk to the grandchildren. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the day and night vision and with the device overall.