Angee is an Independent Home Security CameraBy - 10/25/2018
What’s your idea of an independent home security system? Something that you can control using your smartphone? That’s the kind of security system many companies promise nowadays, but that’s not independent. If you want a device that can do more, meet Angee, a camera that combines smartphone control with home security features.
What is Angee?
Angee is a home security system packed inside a cylinder case that looks very much like Amazon Echo and LG’s SmartThinQ hub. However, Angee is different because it’s not a smart home controller nor a hub. Instead, it claims to be an all-in-one autonomous home security system that can make decisions on its own.
Angee home security was originally posted on Kickstarter. 1,512 backers and 60 days later, the project was successfully funded. Angee recently started shipping and is now officially available to the public, but as a service and not a product. More on that later.
Angee Protects Your Home
Your home security is Angee’s top priority. The device is built to be always on the lookout for bad guys, and it uses a set of sensors, both internal and external, to do that.
Camera Features and Automatic Tracking
One of Angee’s primary features is a home security camera. It offers a 1080p resolution, night vision, and two-way audio. It also offers a unique field of view.
Most security cameras use a wide-angle field of view to capture greater space. Angee does more. The device can mechanically track motion allowing the camera to rotate a full 360⁰. If Angee detects noise or motion (includes six built-in PIR sensors), it will lock onto the event and automatically track. To make the technology even more intelligent, you can create detection zones to monitor only the areas you want.
Angee is also friends with Security Tags. Security Tags are round devices that stick to doors and windows, much like entry sensors. These Tags detect opening/closing movements and send a signal to Angee. Angee then finds out if it knows who walked in using smartphone location and voice recognition. If it doesn’t recognize the person based on the data received, it will send an alert to your phone.
Angee Arms and Disarms Itself
The ability to detect a user is related to geofencing. Angee uses a two-step authentication process where most security cameras offer a one-step geofencing process. First, Angee recognizes your smartphone. It can also recognize other smartphones if you introduce multiple users by pairing their smartphone to Angee. Using this process, Angee knows who’s home and can arm itself when the last person leaves and disarm itself when someone arrives.
Second, Angee recognizes your voice. Simply speak your voice password, and Angee will recognize you. And don’t worry about your neighbor hearing your voice password, Angee only responds to your voice.
In addition to sending a push notification, Angee can record and store videos of events. Angee ships with unlimited cloud storage for motion events as well as 1.5GB of onboard storage.
As Angee is equipped with battery backup that will charge the device for 10-hours, onboard storage adds extra value. When your power is out, Angee will continue to record.
Recorded videos are viewable using your smartphone. From your smartphone, you can also view a live feed from anywhere.
Going Beyond Home Security
Security may be Angee’s top priority, but it’s built to do much more.
Monitor Your In-Home Air Quality
Angee was promised to have a built-in temperature and humidity sensor if they reach $300,000 in funding.
“Having reached $300,000, we will be including temperature and humidity sensors in Angee. Not only useful for you, but it also informs Angee on how to best interact with other smart home systems, like automatically adjusting the thermostat.”
However, the final product lacks such abilities.
Angee Is A Voice Assistant
“Angee, arm my system.”
I’ve already mentioned Angee’s ability to recognize your voice, but there’s a more clever use for this feature—voice control.
While Angee’s built-in voice assistant is not as robust as Amazon Echo, it does add intelligence. Angee can speak and understand English, French, Spanish, and German. We were lucky enough to see Angee in action during CES 2018. Skip to minute 2:30 in the video below to see our founder, Rose Thibodeaux, and Angee’s founder, Tomas Turek, take Angee’s voice assistant for a spin.
Angee Respects Your Privacy
Angee knows you have a life and you don’t always want to be on camera. With that in mind, Angee offers unique privacy features. The first turns the camera off when you arrive home. It will not only deactivate the camera from streaming and recording, but it will also physically turn the camera away for added privacy.
Second, Angee only streams to the cloud when an event is protected or when you choose to live stream to the app. Everything else is processed on the device itself.
Working With Others
The one area where Angee has pulled back since launching their Kickstarter is third-party integrations. Angee will partner with Skreens to allow you to view a display from 4 HDMI sources simultaneously, including Angee’s video feed, but that’s it.
Though Angee promised other integrations during their campaign, they’ve decided to focus on Angee’s features rather than working with others. Though integrations might be added in the future, Angee is currently a standalone device.
What’s Angee Again?
Angee is and does a lot of things, so let’s break it down.
- Camera that automatically rotates 360⁰
- Records in FHD (1080p) at 30fps
- Two-Way Audio
- 6 PIR Motion Sensors
- Motion Zones
- Noise Sensor
- Security Tags that monitor entry and exit
- Auto arm/disarm when you leave and arrive
- Smartphone and voice recognition for authentication
- 10-hour backup battery
- 1.5GB local storage
- Unlimited cloud recording
- Voice Assistant
- Voice control in English, French, Spanish, and German
- Built-in Privacy Features
Angee includes almost everything, but there’s one big catch. Shortly after delivering Angee to backers, the team changed their marketing strategy. Instead of offering Angee as a product, they now offer it as a part of a subscription service. This means monthly fees, which is an automatic deal-breaker for many potential customers; however, it’s not all doom and gloom.
Before Angee switched their marketing strategy, the device was poised to retail for $349; a hefty price when compared to many security cameras. After switching to a service-focused strategy, the upfront cost of owning Angee was reduced to $16.99 (monthly subscription) + $24.99 (one-time activation fee), for a total of $41.98. If you pay that amount, Angee will lease to you one Angee 360 camera and one Security Tag. You can upgrade to the Extended plan which includes two extra Security Tags, but doing so will raise your monthly subscription fee to $19.99 per month.
The subscription service is contract-free. You can unsubscribe at any time, even if you’ve only been using the system for a month. But then again, there’s a catch. The equipment included in the service is only leased to you, so if you end your subscription, you must return all the hardware to Angee in good working condition. If you fail to return the devices for whatever reason (damaged, lost, want to keep it as a souvenir), you must pay the full retail price of the product.
Another downside is that while you can opt out at any time, it’s not practical to opt out of the service and opt-in on an as needed basis. For example, when you leave for vacation. If you end the subscription, you must return the hardware. And if you want to reinstate service, you will need to pay the $24.99 activation fee again. By comparison, other DIY contract-free security services such as abode let you opt out and then opt back in on-demand. This is possible as you own the equipment.
|Monthly Subscription Fee||$16.99||$19.99|
|Angee 360 Hardware||1||1|
*If you need more than three security tags, you must sign up for an additional service plan. However, Angee believes three Security Tags and an Angee 360 camera is enough to cover most homes.