FLARE

Is BuddyGuard’s FLARE The All-Around Security Camera You Need?

Hardware Criteria8.3
Software Criteria6.7
Home Automation10
Video Storage7.3
Encryption, Encoding, and Care10
Hands-On/User Reviews and Pricing5.6
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Security cameras evolved amazingly fast. Who would have thought that we could leap from DVR recorded, grainy videos to FHD coverage visible from anywhere in the world? Or that we would have cameras capable of facial recognition and sound recognition? BuddyGuard has followed the trend of creating multipurpose, forward thinking cameras with FLARE.

FLARE Is A Wall-Mounted Camera

Unlike other security cameras, FLARE can only be mounted on walls, and it looks more like a thermostat than an actual camera.

FLARE comes in two parts. The first part is the two-piece magnetic base. Simply screw the base into the wall and place the magnet to secure the camera onto the base. You’ll also need to plug FLARE into a power outlet via a USB cable. However, if there is no available power source, it can run on batteries and will last for 3 days under normal use.

FLARE’s camera sees in 1080p resolution; it has a 150° field of view, and it can see in the dark using IR LEDs. Although it has a wide-angle lens, its design may hold it back a bit from keeping watch of important areas in your home. I say this because with most wall-mounted cameras, you can angle the camera to get the best coverage. With FLARE, the camera will always be facing forward. Fortunately, a 150° field of view is sufficient enough to capture a large living space.

…With Sensors…

Aside from what it sees, FLARE also draws data from its sensors. It has a motion sensor, which is crucial for monitoring your house (unless you plan to stake out 24/7). The motion sensor also has built-in intelligence, which makes the sensor smart enough to avoid false alarms like shadows or pets.

In addition to its motion sensor, FLARE has a sound sensor. With it, FLARE is not only able to protect the room it is in but surrounding rooms as well.

Third, FLARE has AudioIntel™. According to BuddyGuard’s IndieGoGo campaign, FLARE knows what suspicious sounds are thanks to a technology they call AudioIntel™. This technology supposedly knows that metal clanking on metal can be a sign of an intruder forcibly breaking in.

Finally, FLARE has a temperature sensor. Although the device won’t monitor smoke and CO, it will be able to tell you your home's temperature and perhaps even use that data to trigger a reaction.

Sensors Trigger Action

FLARE is capable of triggering other devices and actions. One of its most interesting features is called domestic sounds. If FLARE detects activity, it takes action by playing sounds that may make it appear like someone’s home. For instance, you can record and replay a conversation between you and a friend, or go straight up Kevin McCallister and play Angels With Filthy Souls. In addition to triggering a recording, FLARE's sensors can trigger other devices through IFTTT.

…And Intelligence.

FLARE is equipped with a quad-core processor that handles complex tasks, two of which are face and voice recognition. FLARE uses both features to confirm your identity, particularly when disarming the system. As with many of its features, details about face and voice recognition are scarce. How do you teach FLARE? How well does it recognize faces? How many faces and voices will it be able to recognize? Will you need to say a certain word to disarm your system? Only time will tell.

FLARE also has geo-location services, which it uses to automatically arm itself when everyone has left the house and disarm when someone comes home. While you are away, it protects your home from burglars. When you arrive home, it disarms and protects your privacy.

By default, FLARE activates Privacy Guard when disarmed. It mechanically covers its lens when Privacy Guard is activated so no one, not even other family members, can see what you’re doing. This feature can be turned on and off and each user can choose their own preference (e.g. Privacy Guard ON when wife comes home; Privacy Guard OFF when husband comes home).

Extra Security

BuddyGuard offers four extra security features you can access by purchasing add-ons. They do not require additional software and you can subscribe or unsubscribe as needed. The price of each add-on is still unknown but they will range from $5 to $15 per month.

BuddySIM

A cellular chip is embedded inside FLARE, which only activates when you sign up for BuddySIM. This service acts as a backup for when your internet goes down. The LTE-activated SIM card inside FLARE chooses the fastest available network in your area to connect to.

BuddyCall

With BuddyCall activated, FLARE will give you a call and send a SMS alert when an event is triggered. My biggest question here is what about IFTTT? Through IFTTT you should be able to setup SMS and phone call alerts for free, do they plan to charge for IFTTT access too? Also, it appears that the device will not send a notification unless you pay. While push notifications might be included, they are not mentioned as a free feature.

BuddyReact

Much like a professional security system, BuddyReact will send BuddyGuard’s security partners to your aid if an event is detected. If the cops need to be called, they can even do so on your behalf.

BuddyCloud

BuddyCloud allows more data to be stored in the cloud. BuddyGuard, however, hasn't offered up details on how much space they plan to offer for free versus how much will be added with BuddyCloud.

Pricing & Availability

BuddyGuard is currently taking pre-orders through IndieGoGo. You can reserve a FLARE for yourself for as low as $309. FLARE is expected to retail for $385. Those who backed FLARE’s original IndieGoGo campaign will start receiving their FLAREs in December. Other pre-orders will then follow.

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