Slowly but surely, Netgear is chipping away at the reasons for not having a home security camera. In the past, hooking these cameras up to the internet was a hassle. But the new Netgear Arlo Pro debuting today is making is far simpler to monitor your entire home.
Arlo Pro cameras go with a special low-power consumption router that Netgear created so that the wireless cameras can operate on a battery for a long time. The convenient Arlo Pro could go a long way toward making home security cameras more pervasive. The U.S. home surveillance camera market is estimated at $400 million in 2016, and market researcher NPD says that Netgear has about 30 percent market share.
This year’s weatherproof model, available today, is the Arlo Pro Wire-Free HD Security Camera System. One big advance over last year’s model is that this has quick-charge rechargeable batteries and two-way audio (presumably so you can shout at someone trespassing on your property), and an ultra-wide 130-degree field of view. The Arlo Pro has easy swivel mounts, so you can put it up in a tree and point it at your yard or front door. It has advanced night vision, too.
“The security camera no longer has to be tethered to an outlet,” said Damir Skripic, director of product management for Arlo at Netgear, in an interview with VentureBeat.
“A burglary happens every 14 seconds in the U.S.,” Skripic added. “$4.5 billion is lost. Thirteen percent [of burglaries] are cleared by the police. The police respond in 10 minutes, but the average burglar spends 6 minutes in a home.”
The design is compact and attractive, taking up a minimal amount of space. You can put the device inside or outside, overlooking a baby crib or viewing the backyard fence. It has high-definition video. Normally, lithium ion batteries wouldn’t last that long, especially because Wi-Fi devices constantly ping the network and draw power from a device. But Netgear designed a proprietary base station that doesn’t use as much power, allowing the batteries to last four to six months.
“You can optimize the battery power for the camera connected to the base station,” Skripic said.
The cameras have instant motion alerts and a new smart siren, spooking would-be criminals before they do anything. You can easily swap batteries with the optional dual-bay Arlo Pro Charging Station. And if there is an outlet nearby, you have the option to continuously power Arlo Pro with the included AC adapter.
Arlo Pro’s new RGB-IR night vision technology provides night vision viewing in clear, high-resolution video — even in total darkness. RGB-IR evenly illuminates the night scene viewing area, providing crisp details and images at the edges of the scene, as well as in the far distance.
Arlo Pro’s onboard passive infrared motion sensor features a wide 130-degree capture angle and will detect movement at a range of up to 23 feet. You can use the app on a mobile device or on an Apple TV. You can also use the app to arm or disarm the cameras based on your schedule and location.
Arlo can even be connected to other smart home devices through platforms such as IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings, and many more to come.
Smart Motion Recognition is coming later this year. This feature lets Arlo use advanced machine learning algorithms in the Arlo cloud to improve how Arlo cameras capture and report events. Smart recognition analytics identify people, cars, animals and swaying trees, allowing Arlo cameras to record and alert only those events that matter. Distinguishing between people, pets, and other objects, and having the ability to ignore irrelevant movements and objects, eliminates unnecessary alerts, making Arlo even smarter and allowing you to focus on what matters most.
Netgear is offering seven days of free cloud recording with Arlo’s free cloud storage. Additionally, instead of paying a monthly subscription fee for each camera, Arlo allows you to connect up to five wire-free cameras without recurring monthly subscription fees. Optional subscription-based service plans are available for systems of more than five cameras or storing of recordings beyond the free seven-day plan. The base station has local USB ports, if you want to connect local storage.
The Arlo Pro Systems (VMS4X30) are available now, starting at $250 for a base station and one camera. The Arlo Pro Add-on Cameras (VMC4030) are available for purchase for $190. If you want a system with two cameras, you pay $420. With three cameras, you pay $580.
Existing owners of the Arlo Wire Free system can add the new Arlo Pro cameras to their existing base station, or they may opt to use their existing wire-free cameras with the new Arlo Pro Base Station.
The Arlo Pro accessories are sold separately. They include a $60 Arlo Pro Charging Station, a $50 Arlo Pro Rechargeable Battery, and a $25 Arlo Pro Skin that protects the camera from the elements.