Often times, the best products come about when someone gets fed up with a situation and decides to take the matter into their own hands. Such appears to be the case with Homeboy, a motion-detecting security camera launching today into an already crowded market.
Homeboy is the creation of Mark Richards. After having his home broken into three times, Richards decided to put his background in low-powered Wi-Fi chips and VoIP to good use by designing and building his own security camera over the past four years.
Like some other systems already available, the Homeboy is a wireless affair that relies on rechargeable batteries. But unlike the competition, this camera can run for about three months before needing a recharge.
It’s able to pull this off because it doesn’t constantly record video like some other products do. Instead, it relies on a motion detector to trigger recording (and a loud siren to spook crooks). What’s more, it only captures images at SVGA resolution so we aren’t talking about a top-of-the-line device here. Video can be sent to your smartphone via Wi-Fi or to the cloud storage provider of your choice.
That doesn’t mean the Homeboy is a stripped-down device, however. For more advanced users, If This Then That integration allows the camera to trigger other connected devices like a Philips Hue light bulb or a Nest thermostat.
Homeboy isn’t weather-sealed so you’ll want to keep it out of the elements. It does, however, feature basic night vision so it’ll be effective in the dark.
Furthermore, Homeboy won’t send a distress signal to local authorities – not yet anyway. Instead, the camera system allows you to designate a group of trusted friends or family members that can receive alerts from your camera in the event your smartphone is out of range, has a dead battery or you otherwise can’t handle the alert.
The Homeboy is a compelling option given its feature set. I suspect it won’t meet the needs of everyone but at $149, it’ll no doubt attract a number of buyers.