Netatmo Welcome has been in my home for almost a year. It's a new product by a semi-established company. The Netatmo family includes other smart toys like a wearable, which makes sure you don't overdo sun exposure, a smart weather station, a smoke alarm, and more. However, there is only one reason why I wanted to spend my hard earned money on Welcome...Facial Recognition! I look completely different with makeup than without and what about masked villains? The unknowns of its face recognizing abilities were alluring. And so, $199.00 later, this is my story.
- Facial Recognition
- FHD Recording
- Internal Storage
- Night Vision Quality
- Lacks Additional Internal Sensors: Sound, Temperature, Etc
Netatmo Welcome Image and Video Quality
Welcome produces a decent visual image. It records in 1080p using a 4MP video sensor, but the resolution will adjust based upon available bandwidth. Even when the camera seems to be running well, the image isn't as clear as other HD cameras. Other factors go into a camera's ability to produce a quality image besides resolution and Welcome seems to be missing the secret sauce. Also, there are times when the image is so blurred that it's borderline useless. Despite the issues, the camera quality is good 90% of the time. It uses a wide-angle lens to capture a 130° field of view and is backed by infrared LEDs for night vision that will automatically kick-in when it starts to get dark.
Welcome is a full HD camera capturing stunning images in any light condition thanks to its extra-large 2 micron pixels.
Netatmo Camera to Enhance Home Security
Three major features make Netatmo Welcome a dependable home security camera.
1. Facial Recognition
3. A Siren
The problem with most home security cameras is that crappy motion detection leads to an influx of notifications. Imagine, you're at work, you get an alarm, it's your fan. Ten minutes later, you get another alert; it's the sunlight levels changing in your house. Repeat multiple times, you get annoyed, you turn your camera off, your camera is now useless. It's a classic cycle and the greatest challenge that security cameras need to solve for. Netatmo is solving for this by including facial recognition for free.
Netatmo Welcome's facial recognition is different from Simplicam's facial detection and Nest Cam's facial detection. Facial detection can tell if the object is a face or a tree, but facial recognition can tell if the face is you or your spouse. Using facial recognition, the camera can alert you when your kids are home and can learn to ignore people as well as inanimate objects. On the other hand, if it detects an unknown face in your house, you will know about it.
The best part? The facial recognition feature actually works! I can't begin to tell you how many times I've tested a feature that doesn't do what it says it will do. The catch? You have to be patient. It doesn't work out of the box, and there is a lot of tagging. You could easily tag yourself 15-20 times per day for several days and still be unrecognizable at times. The more you teach the camera to recognize your face, the better it will get at recognizing you and your many looks. If there are multiple people in the room, the camera will record if it senses at least one unknown face.
Netatmo has also welcomed Tags to their lineup. Tags are essentially contact sensors that can monitor for vibration and open/close movement. You can put them on doors, windows, cabinets, or anywhere you want a little extra monitoring. These weather resistant sensors alert Welcome when your windows are opened, shaken, or left open. They can trigger Welcome to start recording when any of these events occur. Protecting your home's parameter is vital in home security and Tags make that possible. While Welcome can let you know if a stranger is in your home, Tags will let you know before he ever steps foot in your home.
While facial recognition and Tags are the most important home security features, Netatmo includes all the standard stuff to keep you safe like motion detection and mobile app alerts.
Indoor Security Siren
Netatmo has also announced an indoor siren compatible with Welcome and Tags. The siren, which can produce up to a 110dB sound, can alert you if Welcome or the Tags detect intrusion or alerts. And if an intruder tries to tamper with the siren, you will be alerted thanks to the device's ability to detect vibration and impact.
You can customize when you want the siren to sound. For example, you can choose for it to sound when your Tags are triggered, but not when Welcome detects motion. Additionally, if there's an alert, you can select to play a pre-recorded message, including the phrase, "The police are on their way".
Finally, you can connect the siren to third-party smart home devices with the help of IFTTT Applets. For example, you can setup an Applet that triggers the siren when a smoke sensor goes off.
Netatmo Welcome Personal Privacy
Netatmo has done a lot of work to protect your personal privacy, which we consider to be a part of home security. You can customize the camera's settings based on individuals. For example, you may want recording turned off for one person and on for another. This all happens automatically using facial recognition which takes a huge burden off of you. I would know. I suffer from this problem now. My partner does not want to be recorded but the camera we use works with our cell phone to tell if we are home or not. About 20% of the time the system fails and the camera is recording when my partner is home. I have to go into the app, adjust the camera, smile, and apologize. It's way easier now that Welcome can recognize him and adapt to his preferences.
Netatmo Welcome App Review
The Welcome offers an iOS and Android app, though I've only tested the iOS app at this time.
The app is simple with the primary features plotted on the home screen. From the home screen, you can tell who is home and who is away. Scrolling down, you can click play to check out a live streaming view of your home and scrolling down further will reveal an event history. Pretty much everything happens from this home screen, even teaching the camera faces that it has labeled as unrecognizable.
The Welcome app includes two extra screens. The settings screen is where you can adjust your home information, install a new camera, update your account information, or even sort through self-help information. The other screen shows an additional drop-down menu that allows you to remotely turn the camera on or off or mark the home as empty if Welcome failed to notice that you've left for the day. You can also proactively teach Netatmo to help it learn faces and adjust the camera's settings for motion detection and handling unknown faces.
In general, the app is easy to use, and it works well.
Netatmo Welcome Video Storage
Welcome now offers four options for video storage.
1. Internal storage using a MicroSD card.
2. Free Cloud Storage.
There is no option to record with Welcome continuously. Instead, you set it to record based on events, and you can decide how it records. You can record locally and to the cloud or just locally, depending on your preference.
The camera includes an 8GB class 10 MicroSD card, though it can support up to 32GB. You can also download video's direct to your phone's gallery. Dropbox gives you 5GB of storage for free. If you want more, you can subscribe to the $10/month plan which provides 1TB of storage. You can also hook up Welcome to your FTP server; however, this requires expertise
A Quick Summary
To sum this all up in one paragraph, it seems like Welcome did most everything people hoped would happen when Dropcam turned into Nest Cam. Fingers were crossed that Nest Cam would offer internal storage and perhaps a new and fresh perspective on the experience. While Nest Cam failed to deliver, Welcome snuck in with Tags, Facial Recognition, internal storage, a siren, and IFTTT. They even offer an outdoor camera.
At this time, I only have two complaints. One, I wish the video quality was better. Two, I wish the camera base was a little sturdier. Though the design is attractive, the slender design combined with a sturdy power cord makes the camera susceptible to toppling over.
Compatible Devices and Pricing Comparison
The Netatmo Welcome works with other IFTTT compatible devices and other Netatmo Devices. By the end of 2017, all Netatmo Welcome units will also work with HomeKit. HomeKit compatibility will roll out as a firmware update to all future and current owners.
You can purchase Welcome on Amazon.com where you can also buy a three-pack of tags.
Article Updates: IFTTT Channel, Tag Launch, Dropbox, Siren