Monday 10 February 2014

WatchBot Home Security

Apps and the Internet are a great equalizer when it comes to putting high tech-and often very valuable-resources into the hands of just about everyone. Luckily we live in a secure area, if we didn't the WatchBot camera network that we're reviewing would be more than handy it would be simply indispensable.

Possibly the easiest home security camera to set up?
We've had the WatchBot for a little over two weeks now and have put it through its testing paces to see what it is capable of. Plug and Play is the first word that springs to mind with set up taking no more than five minutes from unboxing to downloading the app, to seeing its view into our home. That five minutes would also have been greatly reduced if we'd read the instructions(a one sided minimal text intro card covers the basics of setting up) properly in the first place and hadn't inputted the wrong password!
WatchBot App on Android
App supported Home Security
Why we're reviewing the WatchBot in the first place is not just because of our love of tech and gadgets but also the fact that you, our readers, are primarily here to read about apps. Like any modern product of any credence WatchBot is supported by both IOS and Android apps. We've had a little difficulty trying to find the IOS app, but haven't really made a concerted effort as it quite happily speeds along on the supported Android app, which we use to access the app away from the home network(more about that later.) The app is very comprehensive allowing access to a host of features that the camera hardware is capable of. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but some of the features that we've found quite useful:
Remote viewing of your camera's coverage.
Two way audio communication
Taking of still pictures
360 degree remote panning of the camera
Access to all the cameras on your network(you're able to link up a lot more WatchBots into a comprehensive home or business network that covers all areas of interest and vulnerable areas).
Ways to access WatchBot
Aside from the accompanying apps the WatchBot is also supported by a PC/Mac program that also allows access to all of these features. Whilst I'm only reviewing this home security solution from the comfort of a private home the connectivity options should look really favourable for small business solutions. The remote viewing capability that we previously referenced is a fantastic feature. In our trial we were able to access the camera from any remote location view the app and password. Put this and a few companion WatchBots in a large warehouse for example and easy network access makes any distance needed to be traversed by a security guard immaterial. However as we are looking at a product with a sub two hundred pound pricing it's an easy recommendation for business owners with low budgets who can easily , for example, access their store or other business after hours. IR Capability makes WatchBot an even more versatile app supported home camera and functionality in low/no light conditions is just fantastic.

Issues encountered 
To have a balanced review it's of course necessary to mention any negative points about the product. Realistically though these points that are mentioned are nitpicking over an excellent product that more than justifies its price. Problems with set up have already been mentioned, but a little fault finding soon showed the flaw was ours with a wrong inputting of the code. 
The IOS app still remains elusive(although it must be pointed out that our satisfaction with the Android app hasn't made finding the app necessary), the initial link from the instructions didn't work and the link from WatchBots website accessed an app without the same functionality of the Android WatchBot app. Admittedly we haven't looked very far but it's a pity that we could instantly access the Android App via QR.
IR/Daycam confusion:we've only seen this issue once and it hasn't really affected the functionality of the device. The camera is placed beneath the television in the living room and whilst watching with the lights off the TV glare would sometimes cause some confusion between camera modes.
(Yesterday while remote viewing the house we wanted to check up on the new babysitter with the children and we couldn't access the camera. This caused some consternation and a little loss of faith in the remote camera. The issue was soon rectified when we returned home and found that a Spiderman outfit and been accidentally placed on the camera! My distress at not been able to access the camera really shows how important this little bit of home safety is becoming.)


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