Last year, we wrote a review of Oco. We found that it was a decent camera, but had a few quirks. For starters, it didn't connect to any smart home devices (although it now connects with IFTTT), it lacked local storage, and free cloud storage was limited. More than a year later, we have version 2. Successfully crowdsourced on IndieGoGo, Oco2 is now in the hands of backers. So what's improved and what's still missing? As we've gone hands-on with the camera, we can tell you exactly what's improved and what's missing.
- Free Cloud and Local Storage
- Easy Setup
- Supports Schedules, But Can't Auto Arm/Disarm (Unless via IFTTT)
- Lacks Sensors Beyond Motion & Sound
Design & Setup
Oco2's round design was inspired by Oco1. It's sleek with a black matte finish. The camera attaches to a base magnetically and you can use the stand on any flat service or you can wall mount it or use the ¼" screw thread to mount it on a tripod. Everything you might possibly need for installation is included.
The setup process remains the same. Once the camera is plugged in and running, all you need to do is download the app, enter your Wi-Fi's password, and show Oco2 the QR code that pops up. After that, your camera is ready to use.
Image & Video Quality
Oco2 has a resolution of 1080p (Full HD), clear enough to capture even small details. During testing, it was just as clear as other well known FHD cameras including Nest Cam. It also has a wide angle lens that can see 140° diagonally. For cameras that don't pan and tilt, having a wide viewing angle is essential as it allows the camera to see a broader area. Like most security cameras, Oco2 uses IR LEDs to see in the dark with a promise of a 20-foot night vision range. But where the FHD video performed to expectation during the day, the night vision was lackluster. We found it difficult to see even a few feet at night, let alone 20!
The poor night vision quality was surprising as the camera has features that should improve visual clarity. For one, the camera uses HDR (High Dynamic Range). This post-processing software combines images taken with different exposures to produce an image where both dark and light areas are clearly captured. Two, Oco2 can zoom in on an image digitally up to 8 times. In case you're wondering, digital zoom is different from optical zoom. Digital zoom is a software process applied after an image is taken. It basically crops the area you want to "zoom in on" and then enlarges it. Though both features are aimed at improving visual quality, they aren't enough.
Oco2 To Enhance Home Security
Like most security cameras, Oco2 uses motion and sound sensors to protect your home. But the goal isn't just to improve home security; it's also to reduce false alarms. How? First, it allows you to create a detection area. Oco2 only detects motion occurring in the area you designate; everything else is ignored. Second, the camera uses a learning algorithm that allows it to detect motion that is frequently repeated. For instance, if it detects motion from a moving branch outside multiple times within one hour, Oco2 will assume a false alarm and will stop sending motion alerts. Finally, you can set the sensitivity of the motion sensor and sound sensor from Low to High. Though the camera has all the right features, again it fails in performance. Motion Zones work well, though you can only create one of them. However, learning didn't happen in real-time. It could be that Oco2 is like Canary and learning requires several months, but the team behind Oco made it seem as though learning is something that should happen fast.
One feature that worked well is video recording. If an event is detected, a notification is sent to you and Oco2 will record a 10-second video clip that can be used as evidence. The clips are stored in the cloud unless your Internet is down. If your internet is down, the clips are stored on a microSD card (more on storage later).
Once an event notification is received, you can take action right from your phone. You can check on your home by watching the stored clip or by viewing footage live. You can also use the two-way voice feature to try and scare the hell out of an intruder or check on your loved ones who are at home. All of these features are provided to users for free, no additional subscription required.
Another way Oco2 can enhance your home's security is by connecting with the likes of Nest, Philips, SmartThings, and other smart home devices via IFTTT. For example, following IFTTT's "if-this-then-that format", you can make Oco2 trigger your Philips Hue lights to turn on when motion or sound is detected.
Unlike its predecessor, Oco2 has a built-in slot for a microSD card (not included), up to 128GB. You can choose the SD card as your primary storage, or you can choose the cloud. There are pros and cons to both. With local storage, you can prevent your videos from leaving the house. You can also use it as backup storage in case your Internet goes down, and Oco2 can't upload clips to the cloud. With the cloud, you don't have to worry about someone running off with your video evidence, as it is physically stored offsite. Also, if you choose to not use the cloud, you won't be able to access self-learning or Oco's advanced algorithms.
Free cloud storage is only provided for clips stored within a 24 hour period. You are also limited to downloading 1 hour worth of clips. If you choose to pay a monthly fee, you'll enjoy more features, like TimeWarp.
|Free||$5/month ($50/year)||$9/month ($90/year)||$19/month ($199/year)|
|Cloud Storage||24 Hours||1 Day||10 Days||30 Days|
|Downloading Clips||1 Hour of Clips||2 Hours of Clips||2 Hours of Clips||4 Hours of Clips|
|Custom Motion Detection Area and Self-Learning||YES||YES||YES||YES
|Shared access with other users.||4 Users||4 Users||8 Users||16 Users|
TimeWarp is a time-lapse video of everything that's moved during a certain period of time. It makes looking for a certain motion clip much easier. For instance, let's say your camera detects your dog three times. The first time, he was detected near your TV. The second time, he was on the couch. And the third time, he was near his bowl. The TimeWarped video will show three superimposed images of your dog at the same time— near your TV, on the couch, and near his bowl. The moving object (a.k.a. your dog) will be enclosed inside a color-coded rectangle. Tapping on the enclosed area will lead you to the actual motion clip. If you are familiar with FLIR FX, this works similarly.
Both Oco1 and Oco2 use the Ivideon mobile app. This is good news because the app receives high ratings both on Google Play and iTunes. For me, the app was stable, no crashing. With it, you can watch live videos, see recorded clips, customize your settings, activate two-way voice, and watch TimeWarped videos (if you've paid to access this feature).
You can also share access with other people, within limits. With the free cloud subscription, you can share with up to 4 users. Meanwhile, with the 30-Day cloud plan, you can have as many as 16 users. Luckily, you can have as many people monitoring your camera as you want, assuming you are willing to share your login credentials.
Compatible Device & Price Comparison
Oco2 can connect with a lot of other devices and services, but only through IFTTT. Here's the catch: IFTTT can be unreliable. Sometimes your rules work well and sometimes they don't. Oco should work more on integrating their cameras directly with other smart home devices.
Currently, Oco2 sells for $159.
Oco2 isn't a replacement for Oco1. In fact, they are expected to work together. Oco1 is still up for grabs for $79.
A Short Summary
Oco2 is an improved version of Oco1. It has motion and sound detection, detection zones, and a learning algorithm to help reduce false alarms. However, some of the features perform at a subpar level including learning and night vision. If you buy this camera for all the free features, don't expect them to work well.