Security Cameras With Face Detection & Facial RecognitionBy - 01/10/2019
It’s common for security cameras to have the ability to generate alerts based on motion detection. It’s an effective way to detect possible intrusions, but at the same time, motion can be problematic. Most cameras that offer motion detection can be triggered by almost anything that moves, like pets, curtains blowing, or even light changes. In fact, I recently tested a camera that sent seven notifications in 30 minutes—none caused by a real intruder. Fortunately, security camera manufacturers are making newer and smarter solutions including face detection and facial recognition. These two features help alleviate false alarms.
Face Detection vs. Facial Recognition
Face detection and recognition are somewhat similar. Face detection analyzes a video to check if there’s a face in it. Face = person = possible intruder. Facial recognition does the same, but it goes a step further as it also analyzes the face to see if it belongs to someone it knows, such as a family member. Of course, the camera’s knowledge is based on data provided by you, the user. Most cameras with facial recognition require you to “teach” them by identifying faces and tagging them to a name.
Between the two, facial recognition is obviously better. However, if you simply want to reduce false alarms, cameras with facial detection can do the job. That said, here’s a list of cameras with face detection and/or facial recognition.
Netatmo Welcome is a cylinder-shaped camera with a decent image quality. It offers a 1080p resolution, a 130° viewing angle, and IR LEDs for night vision. It was one of the first cameras to offer facial recognition, and it’s impressively accurate. Granted, you’ll need to be patient in teaching the camera. Even after showing it how you and your family members look, you’ll have to continue tagging faces whenever it fails to recognize you or a family member. Welcome will improve over time.
- Special Feature: Facial Recognition
- Price: $199 on Amazon
Ooma Butterfleye, Nero 1, and Smart Cam
Butterfleye, Nero 1, and Smart Cam are all cordless cameras that run on battery power. All are sold under the brand Ooma, which acquired Butterfleye in 2017. They all offer a full HD 1080p resolution with built-in thermal, motion, and sound sensors for security. They are capable of face detection and facial recognition thanks to Active Eye technology.
Unfortunately, Active Eye is only available to paying users. The lowest subscription tier is $4.99 per month, which covers only one camera. If you have multiple cameras, you will need the $9.99 plan, which covers two to six cameras.
- Special Feature: Face Detection & Facial Recognition (Subscription Required)
- Price: $149.99 (Butterfleye) and $199.99 (Nero 1) on Amazon (Smart Cam is coming soon, MSRP $149.99)
- Read Review
Arlo has a full suite of security cameras, most are battery-powered indoor/outdoor cameras. They offer Arlo ($179.99), Arlo Pro ($249.99), Arlo Pro 2 ($219.99 for add-on camera only), Arlo Go ($429.00), Arlo Q ($199.99), and Arlo Baby ($199.99). All cameras work with an add-on subscription service called Arlo Smart ($2.99/month/camera). Arlo Smart adds intelligence to the cameras, allowing them to detect people.
- Special Feature: Face Detection (Subscription Required)
- Reviews Linked Above With Pricing
Nest Cam & Nest Cam Outdoor
Nest, a company owned by Alphabet (Google’s mother company), offers multiple cameras including Nest Cam and Nest Cam Outdoor. Nest Cam offers a 1080p resolution, 130° viewing angle, night vision, and several other features. Nest Cam Outdoor possess a feature set similar to Nest Cam, but as an outdoor camera, it’s designed to withstand the weather. Out-of-the-box, neither of the two offer face detection or facial recognition. However, if you subscribe to Nest Aware, you’ll get a bunch of premium features including face detection. Nest Aware costs $5/month for the first camera and $2.50/month for each additional camera.
Nest Cam IQ & Nest Cam IQ Outdoor
Nest Cam IQ and Nest Cam IQ Outdoor are newer and more advanced versions of Nest Cam. Both feature an 8MP 4K image sensor, allowing them to zoom in farther than Nest Cam and Nest Cam Outdoor. Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is, of course, simply an outdoor version. The Nest Cam IQ cameras support face detection out-of-the-box, which is another thing that sets them apart from Nest Cam. Nest Cam IQ cameras also support facial recognition, but that feature is reserved to Nest Aware subscribers.
- Special Feature:Face Detection (Free) & Facial Recognition (Subscription Required)
- Price: $299 (Nest Cam IQ) and $349 (Nest Cam IQ Outdoor) on Nest’s Website
- Read Review
Nest Hello is yet another camera made by Nest. It’s a video doorbell, and as such, it can notify you if someone’s at your doorstep. It has a 1080p resolution, 160° viewing angle, and night vision. Nest Hello can detect faces and recognize them. However, like Nest Cam IQ, facial recognition is a premium feature that requires Nest Aware. In addition to recognizing faces, Nest Hello can broadcast recognized names to your Google Home devices.
- Special Feature: Face Detection (Free) and Facial Recognition (Subscription Required)
- Price: $229 (Pre-order)
Amazon Cloud Cam
Cloud Cam is Amazon’s first security camera. It has a 1080p resolution, 120° viewing angle, night vision, and motion detection. Like Nest Cam, Cloud Cam’s special feature, which is face detection, requires a subscription. The Basic tier plan is $6.99/month, which covers up to three cameras.
Logitech Circle 2
Logitech Circle 2 is a modular camera made by Logitech. You can power it with batteries, use a power cord, or plug it directly into an outlet. It can even work outdoors. The camera offers a 1080p resolution and up to a 180° field of view. Like many cameras on this list, Circle 2 requires a subscription to access face detection. You can only enjoy the feature if you subscribe to Circle Safe Premium for $9.99/camera/month.
Canary has been around for a few years now. They have three cameras in their product line: Canary, Canary View (both are indoor cameras), and Canary Flex (battery-powered indoor/outdoor camera). Recently, Canary launched a face detection feature on all of their cameras and the best thing about it is that it’s free.
- Special Feature: Face Detection
- Price:$169.00 (Canary) / $99.00 (Canary View) / $199 (Canary Flex)
- Read Review
EverCam is not yet shipping, but they are currently in the midst of a highly successful Kickstarter campaign.
EverCam is an indoor/outdoor battery-powered camera that relies on a base station, much like Arlo and Blink. The difference is that out of the box, EverCam offers facial recognition, no subscription required.
Wisenet N1 & N2
Wisenet has created several cameras over the years including N1 and N2. Both cameras include facial recognition out-of-the-box with no added cost. If you’re wondering how the two cameras are different, they’re actually not that different. They have the same hardware and the same features, but N2 has an extra smart feature for detecting and recognizing certain sounds (baby crying, barking, smoke alarm, etc.).
- Special Feature: Facial Recognition
- Price: $149.99 (N1) / $199.99 (N2)
Eufy is new to the camera game, but their first product is pretty amazing. EverCam is a battery-powered camera that works both indoors and outdoors with an impressive battery life of up to 1 year. To eliminate false alarms, it uses a combination of PIR motion sensors, person detection, and facial recognition. Fewer false alarms means less power waste and a longer battery life.
- Special Feature: Facial Recognition & Person Detection
- Price: $329
Halo Home’s Classic and Vantage cameras are cameras that emphasize looks. Classic is a camera designed for table-top placement. It runs on battery power for up to nine months on a single charge, but you can also plug it in and use the battery as backup power. Vantage is a camera and a light bulb in one device. It fits an E-26 bulb socket and is recommended to replace PAR30 or BR30 light bulbs. Like Classic, the camera can run on battery power, but only for up to fourteen days. The good news is that the camera recharges automatically every time you turn on the light.
In addition to person detection, Halo Home is working on scene analysis to further improve alerts. Scene analysis includes facial recognition and activity recognition. Halo Home cameras should soon be able to tell if the person seen is a recognized family member or a stranger. They will also be able to tell you what the person is doing. For example, it can tell you if an unknown person opens a cabinet, which could mean that a burglary is in progress. Unfortunately, while scene analysis is promising, there is no lead time yet as to when it will become available.
- Special Feature: Facial Recognition (Coming Soon) & Person Detection
- Price: $349