We can all agree that a home security system is not complete without a good security camera. Automated lights, locks, and thermostats are appealing, but if you want to ensure that you catch the intruder, you need a little boost. Dropcam is one of the most popular security cameras today. It’s everywhere; I’ll give them that. But is Dropcam the be-all and end-all? Oco's vote is no.
Out to dethrone Dropcam, the OCO Wi-Fi Cloud Camera, priced at $59.00, might be able to take on the task.
(Note: You might also want to check out Oco2.)
- Good Value for HD Resolution
- Easy Setup
- Does Not Play with Others
- Night Vision Issues
Oco Design and Setup
Oco's box includes everything you need: a power adapter, USB cable and even mounting hardware. Setup is quite simple. You remove the camera from the box, plug it in, and then install the app – nothing more, nothing less.
Overall, the design of the camera is simple. The front houses a CMOS sensor, the infrared and indicator lights, and the lens. On the back, you’ll find the reset button, speaker, and mic. However, it doesn’t really matter how everything is laid out, chances are you won’t interact with the hardware once it's set up, or at least that should be your aim. What’s important is the image and video quality, software, and storage capacity.
Image and Video Quality with Oco
Higher resolution cameras will make it easier for you to see every inch of your home; every pebble and every person. The Oco Wi-Fi Cloud Camera has a HD 720p (1280x720) resolution – not too shabby. With this, it can capture detailed images and accurate video feeds so that you can easily identify intruders. It is equipped with a microphone and a built-in speaker that supports two-way audio. This push-to-talk feature allows you to converse with your family directly.
Oco Wi-Fi Cloud Camera comes equipped with 11 infrared LEDs for night vision and the lens offers a wide 120-degree view. This allows you to receive clear footage even in areas of your home with minimal lighting. The black and white night vision video is impressive. My only concern is that the camera tends to switch to night vision mode even when there is still adequate light around. This can be a nuisance and if this happens, you’ll have to visit the settings menu to disable night vision altogether. Based on my knowledge, it seems that the camera’s light sensors are a little too sensitive. Unfortunately, there is no option to adjust light sensitivity. However, don't write Oco off for this and this alone. The issue should be an easy fix via a firmware update.
Oco features noise and motion detection sensors which when triggered will send a notification to your smartphone via the app. Notifications work well, but if you have a pet at home you may way want to adjust the sensor's sensitivity.
From the app (iOS or Android), you can also digitally zoom up to 8x. Digital zoom is different from an optical zoom. Essentially, optical zoom is what most photography cameras have. The lens physical moves to zoom in on an object. Most security cameras use a digital zoom lens. As Oco uses such a wide angle lens, you are getting a large picture of a large area. What if you want to take a closer look at something within that shot? This is where digital zoom comes into play. You can take a closer look at objects within your camera's field of view.
Oco Software Behavior
Since the Oco Wi-Fi Cloud Camera is a product of Ivideon, it does not use its own proprietary software like Dropcam. Instead, everything from setup to monitoring is done using the Ivideon app. A little icing on the cake, Ivideon and Oco make this process so simple that it would be hard for you to mess up. Everything can be done using your smartphone so you don’t need a computer. A little sprinkle on top, Ivideon makes a solid app that is consistently rated over 4 stars on both iTunes and Google Play.
To get started, you first register for an Ivideon account, power up the camera, and wait for the indicator light to come on. Once you’ve done this, you will be prompted to enter your Wi-Fi password and select your desired plan. From there a QR code will display on your cellphone. Place the QR code in front of Oco for a quick scan. After this, everything is done automatically and you can start using the camera. The app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. There is also a web version you can access from any web-enabled device as well as an Ivideon Client for Windows Phone users.
Through the app, you can watch live video footage from anywhere in the world. You can also customize the camera and control the camera through multiple pages on the app interface. You can modify night vision, the video quality settings, and adjust the sound and motion detection sensitivity.
The app is also where you head to view recorded events. From the app events page, you will see a thumbnail image of sound and motion detection events. From the feedback page, you can send suggestions and comments directly to your camera, and with App Settings you can change push notifications and the quality of your video. With this, you can select which events you receive a notification for on your cellphone. You’ll find the push-to-talk button for direct communication with your family at the bottom of the live feed page and a snapshot button to take photos that will be saved on your phone. The company is also working on facial recognition, which will certainly earn them some customers.
If you have a cloud package you can also control advanced features like downloads, video share, and adding other users.
With Oco, you do not get onboard storage. To store and record videos you will have to subscribe to Ivideon cloud. If you are familiar with Dropcam, you will have an idea of what I’m talking about. Whenever the camera detects motion or sound it will begin recording a video of the event which will be stored in the cloud for you to review, download, or share with other users. Oco offers four different plans to choose from.
First, there is a free plan that limits the use of the camera, notifications, and encryption. In addition to restricting online video storage, you will not be able to embed the camera on social networking sites.
Next is the 1-Day cloud plan for only $3.99 per month. With this, you’ll be able to import up to one hour of video coverage that you can share with up to four private users. With the 1-day plan, you can store up to one day of video coverage on the Ivideon cloud.
Third, the 7-Day cloud plan for $9.99 per month provides the option to record two hours of video coverage, share with up to eight users privately, and store up to seven days of video in the cloud.
Finally, the 30-Day cloud plan goes for $19.99 per month. It gives you the freedom to share four hours of video with up to sixteen private users and use the cloud to host up to 30 days of video coverage.
Compatible Devices and Pricing Comparison
Wi-Fi cameras should provide homeowners with an affordable means of securing their home. Oco seems to have followed this trend. The camera offers a good value when looking at features like the camera's resolution and included features. This is compared to veterans on the market such as the Nest Dropcam Pro which is available for $199 and iON The Home that is sold at $179.99.
On the other hand, Oco doesn’t play well with other home automation and security devices.
A Quick Summary
Oco is attempting to challenge Dropcam and every other product that threatens its position on the market. Overall, it is easy to set up and can deliver quality surveillance coverage during the day and night. The noise and motion detectors work efficiently to identify threats in your home and the two-way talk feature allows you to talk directly to anyone near the camera. Pair all of this with an app that has great features, as well as reasonably priced subscription rates, and you have a camera that offers a decent value.
On the flip side, the light sensor is too sensitive, you cannot record without subscribing to the Ivideon cloud, and it doesn't play with other devices or services. However, it can potentially work alongside other cameras through Ivideon's service. Ivideon supports multiple cameras including webcams, IP cameras, and CCTV. In general, you will need either an RTSP or MJPEG URL to a video stream in order to connect to Ivideon.