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First Look: VueZone night-vision camera

updated 05:16 pm EST, Thu January 10, 2013

VueZone completes camera family

The VueZone team has been hard at work since the company was acquired by Netgear, introducing a new night-vision camera this week at CES. Electronista met with Netgear to learn more about the new camera, which is arguably the most intriguing new security product at the show.

The night-vision camera follows the same principle as the existing VueZone camera; an integrated battery enables true wireless operation and placement flexibility. The night-vision camera is no larger than the company's other VueZone models, which fit in the palm of our hand.

The night-vision model utilizes an infrared lamp to illuminate the scene. To ensure effective illumination without quickly draining the camera battery, the system uses a separate IR lamp that requires A/C power. Even though this adds a wire to the system, we believe it is the best approach. Users can mount the IR lamp outside for outdoor surveillance, or keep it indoors and pointed out a window. Inside, it can be mounted inconspicuously on the floor, shining at the ceiling to provide enough reflected light to see what is going on in a dark room.

Netgear lists a range of up to 25 feet, and we expect this estimate to prove accurate. Many other companies exaggerate the effectiveness of a few tiny IR LEDs placed on the camera itself, but we were surprised by the visible detail in a darkened room that was used to demonstrate the VueZone tech at CES.

VueZone was purchased by Netgear late last year, and their collaboration is still in its infancy. We asked about the possibility of storing the video recordings on a home NAS system, and a company representative confirmed that such features are currently under development. In the meantime, the video content can be viewed from a computer or via apps for iOS and Android devices. The company also offers upgrades to its cloud service, adding 250MB or 500MB of cloud storage, among other features, for just $50/year or $80/year, respectively.

The night-vision camera is available as an add-on bundle for $129. Users must also have one of the parent systems, which start at $199 for a single-camera package.

by MacNN Staff



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