VueZone Wireless Security Cameras – No Network Cable – No Power Supply
I've seen several security camera systems for domestic use that are marketed as being wireless. Which was true in a sense, since they have a wireless network connection to connect to your home router. What was not mentioned clearly in the descriptions, however, was that they still need a power source – a wire, in other words. At the other end of the spectrum, there are cameras that can get their power via the network cabling, eliminating the local power supply but requiring data cabling at the place of installation. Avaak has announced for this summer the Vue Personal Video Network that lives up to the promise of being truely wireless.
Since I live in a popular neighborhood – popular with burglars, that is – years ago I installed a burglar alarm. This was before we had a burglary in our home, unlike most neighbors who installed it afterwards. When there's an alarm, it calls out to my cell phone and plays a voice message. But then what? Since we can't see what's happening, we don't know if we should call the police, the armed forces, or if it's just a power cut. Calling the neighbors helps, of course – if they're at home and awake.
Being able to access a webcam from a remote computer would be great in such circumstances, but we've been putting off such an installation because of the lack of cables. A first glance of the Vue Personal Video Network looks quite promising, saving time and effort during installation.
First of all, the way the cameras are mounted: They attach magnetically to a base in the shape of a half sphere, which itself can be stuck to a wall or another object in the house. Since the base is round and the attachment is magnetic, you can swivel the camera simply by gliding it over the base and point it in any direction you want. It's simple, it's aesthetic – I love it.
Need to move the camera? Just stick the base elsewhere and you're done.
You don't trust Internet security and don't want cameras pointing at you all the time? Since they're so easy to fix and detach, simply put them in a drawer and stick them back when you need them – or simply point them at the ceiling.
Then there's the wireless system. It uses "Vue FrameMesh" wireless technology (is this ZigBee technology?) that uses very little power – the camera works on a button cell, and Avaak claims a battery life of about a year! On a personalized web page, you'll be able to see the battery status of your cameras.
The cameras communicate with the Vue gateway, which plugs into your existing broadband router. When you want to view the cameras, all you need to do is to log in to your personal page at http://my.vuezone.com from a PC with a web browser or from a Flash-enabled mobile device. You can view up to 50 cameras on a single gateway, and record, play, and share video footage – even perform a one-click upload to YouTube or Flickr.
- No wires for network; no wires for power; no drilling
- Battery-operated cameras; one-year battery life claimed
- Magnetic mount, easy to install, easy to move and point the camera
- Range +- 300 ft
- Gateway connects to existing broadband router
- Up to 50 cameras per gateway
- View images via http://my.vuezone.com
- Record, playback & share video footage.
More technical data can be found at the VueZone website.
The base package, available on pre-order at the time of writing, consists of a gateway, two cameras, and four magnetic mounts. So you can install more mounts than cameras and move a camera to another spot in seconds whenever you need it.
Where to buy
You can buy the Vue Personal Video Network and accessories from the Amazon.com website and other places.
Approx. price: $300 for the base package (February 2010)