Homeboy’s a Camera That Thinks It’s a Security System

homeboy

Homeboy is an amazing IP camera. It’s wire-free, it works with IFTTT, it has a free mobile app, an open platform, and … I don’t want to give it all away in my first sentence! However, they don’t want to be “just another cool camera”. They want to be “the world’s most accessible home security system.”

What did you just call me???

Homeboy CES

Homeboy at CES

Homeboy is completely different from other cloud cameras. They’ve really approached the challenge from a unique perspective.

First of all, Homeboy attaches magnetically to its base. The base can set on a counter or you can mount it but the magnets make it easy to remove Homeboy for recharging or repositioning.

Second, Homeboy is truly wireless. Of course there are other truly wireless cameras like Butterfleye (not yet shipping) and VueZone (crap) but Homeboy is a reality and it’s not crap. The Homeboy battery is said to last for 3 months on a single charge and the wireless design means you can place the camera creatively to protect areas not near a power outlet.

Third, Homeboy offers up to 30 days of free cloud storage. There are other cameras offering free cloud storage but Homeboy has options like Google Drive and Dropbox. The extra options are possible thanks to IFTTT integration.

Which brings me to the fourth reason that Homeboy is awesome and different – IFTTT.

Homeboy Mobile App

homeboy app Homeboy has an app on iTunes and on Google Play. Their app is highly rated and allows users to view instant video, get motion detection alerts, setup push notifications, setup geofence based arm/disarm, and also setup integration with IFTTT. However, once you setup integration with IFTTT you can also control Homeboy with IFTTT. Why? The real question here is why not? Through IFTTT you can connect Homeboy to other home automation devices using recipes to create a desired end result. If you aren’t the creative type you can mooch off of what others have already created for Homeboy or browse for ideas on their channel.

Through the Homeboy channel you can create several scenarios but also setup free storage. Homeboy can record to Google Drive or to Dropbox. Dropbox Basic accounts start with 2GB of free space and Google Drive offers up to 15GB of free storage to share across Google services, but if you need more space you can always pay for more through Google or Dropbox. In addition to setting up recipes for storage you can connect Homeboy to your Philips Hue, Wemo, Nest, or even your phone. For example, you could create a recipe to receive a text when Homeboy detects motion or you could setup an email reminding you to change Homeboy’s battery.

Homeboy alerts you in the way you want. Whether it’s a notification to your mobile device, a Twitter or Facebook message, or a ping to your crew, we’ll get in touch immediately.

Is it REALLY a security system?

homeboy

Cloud cameras are an important component in any home security system. Through integration with IFTTT you could connect to SmartThings and through SmartThings you can connect traditional home security components like sensors, detectors, and even a siren. However, Homeboy has announced that they have plans to move further into home security in early 2015. In their own words, “Beginning in early 2015, Homeboy owners can strengthen their home security system with optional professional monitoring on a flexible, non-contract basis.”

However, Homeboy is somewhat limited for home security. First of all, the motion detection sensor can only reason 15 feet. Second, they do not offer live streaming which is something many people want in a camera for security. These were intentional decisions to extend the battery life but also limit Homeboy’s ability to protect a home without help form other devices.

The Tech Specs

  • 640×480 Resolution
  • Night Vision via a Built-in Light
  • No Two-Way Talk
  • Battery Backup
  • Free Cloud Storage

The Verdict

Gosh they are close. I wish the resolution was better, I wish they would have included a two-way audio feature, I wish they offered real night vision, and I wish there was an option to add a SD card for local storage BUT free cloud storage, battery backup, IFTTT, and a $150 price tag? I’d say that earns them 4.5 GEMS. You can learn more about Homeboy or buy one on their website.