BERLIN -- Withings, makers of a range of elegant smart health products, including wireless bathroom scales and the recently announced Activite watch, has launched the Withings Home at IFA 2014. The Home is a wide-angle HD camera for monitoring any room of your house, but goes far beyond your typical security or monitoring solution.
Alongside monitoring for audio and movement events, the Home also monitors temperature, humidity, and levels of VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) to alert you to high levels of toxins should such an event occur. Withings argues our homes are getting less fresh air than they should, and monitoring for high concentrations of household chemicals will help people to better control the quality of air they breathe in their home. A VOC warning can also trigger a red light alert on the Home to warn people in the room.
The Withings Home unit itself is a slick package, a cylindrical design finished with a wood veneer and white top and bottom surfaces. The device comes with a simple curved stand that also allows you to magnetically adjust the angle of orientation for your Home, so it can point upward or downward as required for the right viewing angle in your room. It runs over Wi-Fi (b/g/n), as well as offering Bluetooth connectivity, including Bluetooth LE. You can also hard-wire your Home device with an Ethernet cable.
The base of the Home also features lighting effects, whether to be used as a faint night light or to play soothing cycling lighting effects, and can even play lullabies.
The camera offers a 135-degree viewing angle, with a 5-megapixel sensor allowing for digital zoom by focusing into a portion of the better-than-HD sensor for your HD video feed. The camera also features night vision, and for those concerned with having the camera always on, it can be covered over by twisting the outer casing of the Home unit to cover the lens.
Home also features dual microphones and a speaker, allowing two-way audio communication when you are remotely monitoring your device. The audio system gives the Home a complete solution for monitoring motion, noise, as well as cry detection, giving many notification triggers so it can alert you to events in your home and then deliver video of what is happening through its cloud video storage service.
All your incident notifications along with videos and images of events in your home are delivered in an attractive timeline view through the associated app, making it simple to review what has been happening, as well as checking in on a real-time video feed on any of your Home devices.
As part of the launch, Withings has also confirmed that the Home will be ready for HomeKit integration, Apple's new iOS 8 framework for controlling and communicating across various smart home devices, apps and services. So you will soon expect to find Home's capabilities integrating into apps and services beyond Withings own offerings. It is also IFTTT friendly for those looking for similar cross service communication options outside the Apple ecosystem.
Pricing has been confirmed at $219.95 (AU$238) for the US and £169.95 (AU$297) for the UK. It will be available through Withings.com, Apple stores, Amazon, and other retail partners.