You get notifications from all sorts of services — Facebook, Twitter, UberEATS — but what happens if your home has an issue? If you have an iPhone, a camera could just tell you what’s up.
This week, D-Link has launched the first device intended to keep you abreast of what’s happening at home if you have an iPhone, an iPad, or a really recent iPod Touch, with a camera that connects to Apple’s HomeKit system.
Called the “Omna”, it’s basically a camera built into what looks very much like an eye poking out of a silver cylindrical pepper grinder, except instead of adding spice to meals, this little device will watch everything in your home it’s positioned to see, informing you when things change.
The camera itself relies on a 180 degree lens, making it capable of watching pretty much the entirety of a room, while the technology inside is designed specifically for Apple’s ecosystem making it ideal if your family relies on the iPhone, the iPad, and anything else made by Apple with an “i” tacked onto the front.
Once connected with your HomeKit setup, D-Link’s Omna will allow you to login and watch your home remotely, while also alerting you through Apple’s notifications when something happens, effectively using the drop-drown notifications you’ve come to rely on for other services for something closer to home, pun intended.
“Omna is the first in our range of connected home devices that uses all of D-Link’s very latest technological advancements and features,” said Graeme Reardon, Managing Director for D-Link in Australia and New Zealand.
“Being the first to launch an Apple HomeKit-enabled camera makes this product and those to follow even more exciting for consumers,” he said.
It needs to be noted that the consumers excited for the D-Link Omna have to have an Apple iPhone or iPad to really get this camera. While few cameras rely hard on one platform over another, the Omna is specifically built for the Apple HomeKit system, and there appears to be no way of setting the camera up easily if you don’t have one, an issue we’ll explore more in the review.
If you have an iPhone or iPad, you’re smiling, and you should find a relatively easy setup via the app, with dynamic video streaming to adapt to a home internet connection for watching over your home in your casual moments off, while a two-way audio system will allow you to talk to anyone in the room and hear it from where you are. That means you can talk to friends walking around, pets trying to get some sleep, or anyone else who shouldn’t be on camera and yet is.
D-Link’s Omna does work like most security cameras, and that’s an area D-Link is more than familiar with having worked in that field for several years. As such, the system supports motion detection, night vision, and can capture what happens to a microSD card that isn’t included but is easily installed, bypassing the issue of uploading videos to a cloud service that not only costs you money, but also consumes uploads on your already strangled Australian internet connection.
Perhaps the part of the Omna we’re most excited for is the simplicity, and this is an area security cameras are gradually beginning to get the hang of. Providing a bit of security for your home shouldn’t have a complicated and arduous process, and while devices like Ring and Arlo are beginning to make a dent, the complete integration into a home to talk to other devices is one of the integral parts of the equation.
With Omna talking to Apple HomeKit, that might now be able to happen, as other HomeKit-based devices — such as the Philips Hue WiFi light bulbs — can now communicate to a security camera like the Omna.
That’s great news for Apple owners, but less useful for anyone thinking of switching to a different platform or on one today.
For them, there are plenty of other security camera on the market, and we’ll ask D-Link to find out if or when the Omna will be compatible with Android or Windows. For everyone who that doesn’t affect, you’ll find D-Link’s Omna 180 Cam HD online at Apple’s store and at retailers later this month for $329.95.