Moon, a security camera launched on IndieGoGo, is both defying gravity and taking cameras to new heights…literally. Moon is a camera that floats on thin air. However, the fact that it levitates isn't its only impressive feature. It also boasts features that will enhance your home's security and more.
Moon Floats With Purpose
First things first, how does the camera levitate? The answer is maglev (magnetic levitation).
Moon comes with a base component that looks like a SmartThings hub. Inside the base is a powerful electromagnetic setup that, when turned on, can levitate Moon at a steady height. The camera will stay floating perpetually so long as the base is plugged in. If you turn it off, Moon will slowly descend.
The base is more than a party trick. It also serves as a wireless charger for Moon, charging the camera as it floats. And yes, the camera has a battery, but it's more of a backup battery, providing power for up to five hours.
The maglev technology used in building Moon also provides a sort of mechanical panning mechanism. You can use it to pan the camera 360 degrees by changing the polarity of the electromagnet. This feature is controlled by the companion app. When you swipe the screen, the camera will follow your command.
If you don't like the idea of a floating camera, you can also install Moon the conventional way: mount it on a wall or let it sit on a flat surface using the Flexible Arm stand which is sold separately. If you choose to install the camera using either method, you will need to plug Moon in using a microUSB power adapter.
Usually, when we see gimmicky hardware, and let's face it, Moon is a little gimmicky, we see lackluster hardware, but Moon has the right tech specs.
The camera has a resolution of 1080p, and it captures videos at 30 frames per second. It has a viewing angle of 130° and IR LEDs for night vision. However, our greatest concern with the camera's ability to produce a quality image isn't hardware quality, but stability.
Fortunately, the camera includes a digital stabilizer which will correct any shakiness caused by floating or instability caused by turning the camera. Below is sample footage from a Moon prototype.
To further improve your viewing experience, the camera offers real-time audio as well as two-way talk using its built-in speakers and microphones. In fact, 1-Ring, the maker of Moon, claims that you can effectively use the camera for video conferencing.
Moon To Enhance Home Security
Moon fares well as a camera, but can it enhance your home security?
Like most security cameras, Moon can detect motion. If anything moves within its view, it will alert you and start recording. Unfortunately, it doesn't support motion detection zones or person detection. Instead, it's sensitivity adjustable. If you want fewer alerts, reduce the sensitivity. Reducing the motion sensor's sensitivity level changes how Moon looks at events. If movement is caused by something small, like a cat, it will ignore the event. If movement is caused by something larger, like a person, it will send an alert.
Second, Moon offers intelligent sound detection. The feature is intelligent in two ways. First, it can differentiate talking, crying, and glass break events and can alert you accordingly. Second, it features direction detection. If it hears a loud sound, the camera will automatically turn to face the direction where the sound came from. It can also be configured to start recording while turning.
Third, Moon has four other sensors: temperature, humidity, light, and a CO sensor. They can alert you if the temperature, humidity, or carbon dioxide level goes too high or low.
Fourth, although Moon is a standalone device, you can further expand its security value by connecting it to other devices. Moon can become a part of your existing smart home security system, or you can build a new system around Moon using the camera itself as a hub. By doing this, Moon can simulate occupancy. When you're away, you can turn on Presence Simulation and Moon will randomly turn your lights and other smart devices on and off to make it look like you're home.
Moon As A Hub
Moon can connect and control other devices, both smart and non-smart. It has a built-in IR blaster that can replace your IR remote controls. It can control your televisions, air conditioners, sound systems, and more. The process of introducing new devices to Moon's IR blaster is similar to Remocam's setup process. Simply point your remote at Moon and set up your device using the companion app.
Moon supports several smart home standards such as Z-Wave Plus, Zigbee 3.0, and Bluetooth 4.2. You can connect a variety of smart devices to Moon and control them remotely via the Moon app.
Moon As A Part Of Your Existing Smart Home System
Moon can also connect with existing smart home systems. Moon is currently working on adding compatibility with SmartThings, HomeKit, Fibaro, IFTTT, Honeywell, Philips Hue, Alexa, and Google Home. Take note that some of these integrations might not be available at launch. Also note that Moon's level of integration might differ from one platform to the next.
Related to home security is video storage. Unfortunately, Moon doesn't offer a cloud storage option directly, but there is an alternative option: third-party cloud services. You can use OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive. You can even use your FTP server.
In addition to third-party cloud storage, Moon has a local storage device. Moon can store up to 12 hours of continuous videos locally. If you want to expand your video storage, you have options. First, Moon supports microSD cards up to 128GB in size. Your second option is to use a third-party NVR. 1-Ring is yet to announce which NVRs will work with Moon.
Pricing and Availability
Moon is still in its prototyping stage, and the crowdfunding campaign is ongoing. They've already met their funding goal, and they're now finalizing the design and pursuing production. However, we like to warn that crowdfunding campaigns are risky. We've seen many startups fail to deliver their products on time, or worse, fail to deliver anything at all. If you're planning to back a campaign, be sure to do your research.