We're innundated with wearables and connected home gizmos at T3.com, but Withings' kit often seems a cut above the rest. We checked out its new Home sensor.
1. It's stylish and chic, unlike certain home-monitoring devices we could mention - cough cough Piper cough cough. As with wearables, where many tech firms seem to feel that looking like a Dr Who prop circa 1982 is going to make for a mass-market hit, too many connected home devices are just plain ugly. Home, from French firm Withings, however, is most debonaire, with a certain je ne sais quoi, panache and, er, hee-hong hee-hong. Just like its Activité fitness watch, in fact.
2. As well as letting you monitor your kids, pets and visiting members of the burglarising community in 1080p quality (pretty crisp in our demo, albeit struggling with movement, as most web-connected cams of this type do), Home also keeps an eye on temperature and humidity. More impressively, it's also got a Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) sensor to monitor air quality, letting you know to open a window if your home is filling up with fumes from cleaning products, smoking or the chemical refinery next door.
3. The app has a simple interface, showing events (movement, sound, etc), the view from selected cameras and thumbnails of all your other ones (you can have one in every room if you like, though perhaps that's overkill). One problem: it doesn't work with Withings' excellent Health Mate app, which is where the data from all its other devices goes. It should reconsider this in our view, but it's not a deal breaker.
4. An intercom facility is supplemented with a remote-control LED nightlight and the ability to play soothing music to your child/pet/burglar.
5. Down sides? Well, it's not cheap (it'll be over £150 when it launches in late November), it's currently iOS only - the aesthetic is VERY Apple, and it will hook up with HomeKit. Are we entirely sold on the need to have cameras and sensors in every room of our house? No. Do we think it taps into urban paranoia, and even feeds it? Hmm, maybe. But there is one other major plus to Home that supercedes those reservations: the fact that Withings insisted on showcasing this, and all its other devices, in the swank-o flat shown below. It was inhabited by two actors who had to pretend to be a couple who spent their entire lives interacting with Withings products. It was like being in the future.
More info: here, homeboys.