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Smart Home

iSmartAlarm's next-gen security camera does more for less

iSmartAlarm's $99 Spot camera offers high-def live streaming, night vision, motion and sound alerts, two-way talk, local and cloud storage and IFTTT integration.


iSmartAlarm, the folks behind the $199 Indiegogo-funded home security kit of the same name, as well as the $150 iCamera Keep , are taking to the crowdfunding site again with Spot, a $99 US-only live streaming HD security camera, available now for pre-order. (The first 164 backers can snag a Spot for the reduced price of $39; units will be available internationally after the initial campaign.)

Spot is actually the third camera to come from the iSmartAlarm brand. Its first model, the original iCamera, is still sold as a $150 optional add-on to the sensors that accompany the standard security kit, but it was glitchy during our testing.

The second-gen iCamera Keep was generally more reliable than its predecessor, making it a much better option if you want to add a camera to your iSmartAlarm system.

At the same time, the Keep camera didn't wow us. When we reviewed it, it offered a 720p resolution, motion and sound alerts, live streaming and night vision, but it didn't have local or cloud storage. That put it at a serious disadvantage as a standalone security camera when models like the $150 ArcSoft Simplicam , the $190 Samsung SmartCam HD Plus and the $200 Nest Cam all offer either local or cloud storage -- or both. And some brands, like Netgear's $220 Arlo Q , as well as its $180 Arlo , the $70 Ezviz Mini, and the $279 Icontrol Piper NV have free cloud storage services.

Now, the iCamera Keep has been updated and it can store up to 30 clips for free, but Spot might just bring iSmartAlarm even closer to the DIY security camera mainstream with a suite of new features.

Spot offers night vision, live streaming, motion and sound alerts, 2-way talk, free cloud storage and local storage (up to a 64GB microSD card). It also claims to have advanced "sound recognition," designed to detect a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm and issue a custom alert. And, iSmartAlarm plans to add more sounds in the future, like glass breaking or a baby crying. Time lapse videos, like the $200 Flir FX , are also included in Spot's list of features, as well as a magnetic base for a quick and easy installation.

There's no word from iSmartAlarm on specific third-party product integrations, but Spot is supposed to work with the brand's existing IFTTT channel .

Early backers can get a Spot cam for just $39 and models are expected to start shipping in December. We're waiting to get a Spot to test out at the CNET Smart Home, so check back soon to see how it compares to iSmartAlarm's other cameras as well as its main competition.

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