Hipcam Smart Home SecurityBy - 01/15/2019
At CES 2019, I had a quick visit with the makers of Hipcam. They displayed a trio of smart home security devices including Indoor Pro, Outdoor Pro, and a video doorbell.
What is Hipcam?
The names of the three products are self-explanatory and nothing new. But hang in there, there is something unique about this line of products.
As far as the basics, all three cameras offer:
- Full HD 1080p Resolution
- Recording at 26 Frames Per Second
- 136-Degree Field of View
- Live Streaming
- 128-bit AES Encryption
- Two-way Audio
- Night Vision (6 IR LEDs)
The Doorbell and Outdoor Pro are both IP-rated for outdoor use. Indoor and Outdoor Pro both include a stand that you can use or you can wall mount them. They all require power but offer a 3-hour battery backup.
A Touchscreen Display
Moving on to what really makes this lineup interesting, all of the cameras offer an integrated touchscreen display. In fact, Hipcam is the only security camera I’ve seen that has an integrated LCD. The screen can display useful information like room temperature, the weather forecast, date, time, and humidity levels, but what’s incredibly unique is that you can also use the screen for video chats with two-way audio. Yes, even the doorbell has a screen.
Two-way calls can occur between camera and smartphone or between camera and camera thanks to onboard voice command support. To initiate a camera to camera call, you simply speak a contact’s name. Hipcam will do the rest. Of course, those on the camera end will need to accept the call. This is done by pressing the green receive button on the device’s screen.
A second feature that makes Hipcam unique is that the cameras are not entirely cloud-reliant. Features like facial recognition occur on the device itself thanks to a built-in quad-core processor. You can even teach the camera to recognize specific users and create custom notifications based on who it knows.
Hipcams also support Smart Alerts. Smart Alerts are activity zones. From the app, you can set an area for the camera to monitor. It will monitor for events within that area while ignoring everything else. Hipcams are capable of monitoring for motion, faces, and sounds.
Finally, Hipcam has Google Assistant onboard. You can ask the camera to do most anything your Google Home can do.
Some Free Features, Some Not
Hipcams are not entirely cloud-free. The cloud is needed for storage and updates. Some of this is free, some of it is not.
The features that are not free are mostly related to cloud storage. Without a paid plan, you can live stream video, but you can’t view past events. With a paid plan, you can view your camera’s history, create clips, edit them, save them, and even create time-lapse videos.
The second major feature added by paying for a plan is continuous video recording (CVR). There aren’t many cloud-based cameras that offer a CVR plan. Right now, we’re limited to Arlo and Nest with Ring coming soon.
In my opinion, CVR is an essential feature for outdoor home security cameras, but I’ve also learned that it can be more hassle than help. While having hours and hours’ worth of footage is amazing, sorting it can prove a challenge.
Fortunately, Hipcam has some features in place to simplify the sorting process. Within the app, you will have access to buttons with a particular image for face, motion, and sound detection events. You can use the button to jump to different types of events which are presented on a timeline. If you don’t want to use the buttons, you can always use a finger drag to scroll through and view the day’s events.
|Monthly | Annually||$0 | $0||$5 | $50||$10 | 100|
|24/7 Encrypted Live Streaming|
|Al Based Alerts|
|Hipcam Assist Voice Activation|
|24/7 Secure Recording||24/7 Secure Recording (7 Days)||24/7 Secure Recording (30 Days)|
|Hipbox Cloud Storage||Hipbox Cloud Storage (12 Hours)||Hipbox Cloud Storage (24 Hours)|
|Clips & Timelapses|
|Unlimited Video Downloads|
While all of this sounds wonderful, it’s also highly contingent upon Hipcam delivering what they’ve promised. And while I visited with Hipcam at CES, that’s not the same as bringing the camera home and testing it myself.
On paper, I feel like Hipcam’s done a lot of things right, but it’s missing a bit here and there like extensive third-party integrations (they offer an open API and promise that more integrations will happen soon), free cloud storage, and it’s not yet selling.
Until we learn more, I suggest you head over to Hipcam.com and follow along.