Withings is a fascinating company. They started out quietly a few years back, selling one of the first Wi-Fi connected bathroom scales and then added a growing family of “connected self” devices including the Withings Pulse Ox activity monitor, the Aura Smart Sleep System, a wireless blood pressure cuff, and more. Now the company is beginning to ship items for the connected home with the arrival of Withings Home (US$199.95), a home monitoring camera with the added benefit of air quality monitoring.
We hope to review Withings Home soon, but here’s a taste of what the device provides. First, it packs a 5-megapixel CMOS sensor that can capture up to 30 frame per second 1080p video. Next, it shoots that video with a 135° wide angle lens for a super wide field of view, and offers automatic de-warping so your views of home don’t look like a bad special effect.
Like my current favorite webcam, the Dropcam Pro, Withings Home offers an electronic PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) function. Rather than having a rotating and tilting robotic base, a tap on the Withings Home app screen lets you zoom in and receive an enhanced image showing details.
The Withings Home app (free) for iPhone and iPad displays still images that are snapped based on noise or movement triggers. A Home Diary feature provides a continuous timeline of what’s gone on at home, and you can get a time-lapse rerun of the past 12 hours of action in your home. Withings also plans to offer a cloud recording service in the near future.
The extra added Withings Home feature that’s really quite impressive is its built-in ability to track past and current levels of VOC (volatile organic compounds) in your home. VOCs are emitted by cleaning products and pressed-wood furniture, to name a few sources, and can be quite harmful. The base of Withings Home will glow red if VOC levels reach unhealthy levels so that you can open a window or door to get some fresh air.