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Smart Home

The owl-shaped Ulo camera watches over your roost

The battery-powered Ulo security camera looks like an owl and communicates its status with giant LCD screen eyes.

Ulo

Most security cameras try to keep a low profile, discreetly blending in with their surroundings. But Ulo, by designer Vivien Muller, is a bit different.

For starters, it's shaped like an owl with a two-way mirror that looks like a beak and masks Ulo's night-vision-equipped camera and built-in motion sensor. You'll also notice two large LCD screens/owl eyes where Ulo communicates its status at a glance. If Ulo looks sleepy, you need to charge its batteries; it blinks when someone takes a picture from the app; its eyes follow movement in the house and if someone is watching the live video stream, Ulo will squint.

Beyond that, Ulo has pretty standard specs. You can live stream video from your Android or iOS device (or from the Web interface) in either day or night vision mode and it has an alert setting that's supposed to send out a GIF whenever it detects movement and you're away.

Ulo also has a rechargeable battery that's designed to last up to a week (or you can just leave it plugged in 24-7) and, like Netgear's Arlo cameras, Ulo is rated for indoor and outdoor use (ranging from 14 degrees Fahrenheit to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, or -10 degrees Celsius to 50 degrees Celsius). And, it plans to get its own IFTTT channel so you can pair your Ulo cam with devices from other manufacturers.

Aside from the cute, gimmicky design, Ulo actually offers a lot. Only a couple of cameras I've reviewed work inside and outside and even fewer boast both weatherproofing and battery power.

Ulo has already raised over $900,000, far surpassing its original $223,119 goal. Units are expected to ship to backers beginning in November of 2016 and you have 8 days left to snag one of your own for €149 (that's roughly US$158/£105/AU$218 at the current exchange rate).

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