The days when the old Macworld Expo was host to tons of cameras and camcorders from major vendors like Canon and Nikon are long gone. However, exhibitors at this year’s Macworld/iWorld previewed several intriguing new variations on the imaging theme for the consumer and prosumer markets. All will ship soon.
Simplicam with Closeli
ArcSoft, familiar to most photo nerds as the company behind software like PhotoStudio, Photo+, Panorama Maker, and the recently released Perfect365, debuted Simplicam a Wi-Fi video monitoring device from which you can view what’s going on at home remotely from your smart phone.
The camera, which can record HD video at 720p, features an easy setup, night vision with enhanced low-light contrast, a way to schedule recordings remotely, and two-way talk.
With Simplicam, you can greet the kids when they get home from school and tell your cat to quit eating the plants (though Simplicam does not guarantee that your cat—or your kids for that matter—will follow orders).
The hardware works in tandem with Closeli, an app that works with both iOS and Android phones and tablets. It also offers a streaming video recording service to which you can subscribe for $50-$229 per year.
Closeli’s advanced options include built-in facial tracking technology that lets you watch for specific people or animals and alerts that monitor noise or motion. An optional recording service lets you archive, record, and share Simplicam video clips with friends, family or, if necessary, the police.
Simplicam is available for preorder now for $150.
How many times have you almost broken your neck falling into a pitch black fire pit at an unfamiliar campground at night, or looked for your lost cat in the dark recesses of your basement or garage, or suspect there may be a leak behind a drywall?
Those are not a trick questions, but rather speak to the utility of certain technologies—heat vision on your iPhone, for example—that you may not think would actually come in handy.
Flir One is an infrared camera that attaches to the back of your iPhone 5 or 5S. When you use it with its companion app, it translates thermal energy into real time color images that will let you identify obstacles and danger spots in the dark.
Flir One has more than 40 years of experience in manufacturing infrared technology, so these folks know what they’re doing. The product is slated to ship around June for $349 and is currently available for preorder.
➤ Flir One
Petcube lets you watch over and even play games with your furry friend from any location. The cube, a four-inch square made from aluminum and glass, is designed as a stylish addition to your home, complete with customizable skins to suit your decor.
The cube contains a wide-angle camera that can stream HD video, a safe, low-intensity laser pointer on a movable platform, and a microphone and speakers. A companion iOS app facilitates interactive video play. And of course, you can share cute pictures and videos with your friends. You can even give a shout out to Fido or Fluffy to make sure they’re OK.
A social component lets you interact with a network of other cube owners so you can play with other pets, follow favorite petcubes, or share access with friends and family so your friend will never get lonely while you’re at work.
Petcube is available for preorder now for $199, and will ship in May.