Wednesday, 23 October 2019 10:16

Arlo's Ultra 4K cameras now Apple HomeKit compatible

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If you've been waiting for Arlo's Ultra 4K cameras to receive the long-promised HomeKit compatibility, the wait is over at last, letting you "add HomeKit automations for direct interactions across supported devices."

Arlo bills itself as the No.1 internet-connected camera brand, and it will surely only build on that status with the announcement of support for HomeKit, Apple’s smart home platform, on the brand’s flagship Arlo Ultra Security Camera Systems that air paired with the Arlo SmartHub (VMB5000).

As the company notes, its users can already control their Ultra cameras via the Arlo app, but HomeKit compatibility "will provide added convenience for iPhone and iPad users".

Now, iOS users can "access certain functions of their Ultra cameras in the HomeKit ecosystem using the Apple Home app and Siri voice commands. Additionally, a free-of-charge automatic firmware update is now rolling out for both new and existing Ultra users."

The new HomeKit compatibility joins Alexa and Google Assistant functionality, making Arlo compatible with the trio of intelligent assistant services and thus able to work in any connected home with ease, while also providing its own apps and online services for those who have no need for Siri, Alexa or the Google Assistant, as has been the case from day one.

Bradley Little, VP APAC Sales at Arlo Technologies said: "We’re excited to expand the option for HomeKit cross-compatibility to our industry-leading Arlo Ultra camera, knowing our users have already found great value in the automations made available to them in previous-generation Arlo models.

“Now, Arlo’s line-up of wire-free camera solutions are fully compatible with HomeKit, giving users the added convenience to manage their cameras with simple voice commands.”

For those needing a refresher, Arlo reminds us that "HomeKit allows users to easily and securely control smart home products via the Apple Home app and Siri on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac. All current Arlo Ultra security cameras that are paired with the Arlo SmartHub (VMB5000) will now be able to receive notifications on the Apple Home app when motion is detected.

"iOS users can also utilise Siri to quickly activate a HD livestream onto their iPhone or iPad hands-free. With HomeKit, Arlo Ultra users can also set up automations to control other HomeKit-enabled smart home devices.

"For example, users can set up an automation to trigger HomeKit-enabled lights to turn on at certain times when motion is detected by an Arlo Ultra camera."

The Arlo Ultra is the company's absolute top-of-the-line camera security system, featuring "advanced 4K HDR video quality with colour night vision, wire-free set up, a 180-degree diagonal field-of-view, an integrated spotlight and crystal-clear two-way audio with advanced noise cancelation, Ultra delivers ultimate peace of mind for anyone looking to monitor their home or business".

Arlo Video Doorbell

Last week, Arlo also announced its first video doorbell, able to integrate high-res live video and two way audio, with an "industry-leading vertical field-of-view with an optimised 1:1 aspect ratio", and which is coming soon - although HomeKit, Alexa or Assistant compatibility has NOT yet been announced for this product.

The company says its Arlo Video Doorbell is "designed to capture what traditional video doorbells can’t", whereby "the new smart entry solution boasts an industry-leading vertical field-of-view, allowing users to get a bigger, more precise picture of their front porch".

The Video Doorbell "captures footage in a square aspect ratio to allow users to fully view packages on the ground, or visitors from head to toe. It also offers features such as HD resolution image quality along with clear, two-way audio for users to simultaneously see and speak to visitors.

"Unlike conventional doorbell cameras, the Arlo Video Doorbell delivers direct-to-mobile video calls and personalised alerts2 when packages, people, vehicles, or animals are detected, allowing for users to quickly reply or take action. The Arlo Video Doorbell connects to an existing mechanical or digital chime for simple installation and continuous power. Details of launch timing in Australia have yet to be confirmed."

"The Arlo Video Doorbell features an extra-wide, 180-degree diagonal field-of-view to ensure important details never go unseen. By delivering footage in a mobile-friendly, 1:1 format, users receive a more complete view of their front door. The Arlo Video Doorbell is also ideal for connecting with visitors in real-time from any location."

"Traditionally, video doorbells require multiple steps to view and respond once receiving a notification, causing delays where a user could easily miss their visitor. To solve this problem, the Arlo Video Doorbell sends a live, HD video call right to the user’s smartphone once the doorbell is pressed.

"This allows users to simply answer the video call for a fast, near real-time response via two-way audio, or to respond with pre-recorded, quick-reply messages".

The aforementioned Bradley Little, VP of Sales APAC at Arlo said: "Arlo Video Doorbell has been engineered to have advance alert and picture quality features in order to help homeowners identify and engage with visitors even before they knock on the door.

“We went beyond industry standards to create a solution that ensures visitors are never missed, with a fuller vertical field-of-view users are able to see more from their front door.”

The company says its new Video Doorbell "conveniently connects to an existing wired mechanical or digital chime for continuous power, while reducing latency, faster transmission of videos in near real-time so users won’t miss a moment."

Features include:

  • Optimised front entry view – industry-leading vertical field-of-view with an optimised 1:1 aspect ratio
  • Motion detection and alerts – receive alerts when motion is detected
  • Video call – calls your phone directly so you never miss a visitor
  • Quick reply messages – pre-recorded messages to quickly reply to visitors
  • Night vision – see who’s at your door at night, even without a light on
  • HD video – capture vivid detail in bright and dark areas with HDR
  • Zoom – zoom in on a subject while on a live video call
  • Silent mode – disables push notifications and silences chime
  • Weather-resistant design – designed to withstand heat, cold, rain or sun
  • Tamper detection – siren can be triggered if someone attempts to remove the doorbell

We're also told that with the purchase of the Arlo Video Doorbell, "users will receive a complimentary three-month trial to Arlo’s AI subscription-based service, Arlo Smart, where they will have access to rolling 30-days of cloud recordings to store and view video clips.

"In addition, users will be able to customise their experience by adjusting notification settings to spot people, vehicles, animals or packages. Controlled entirely through the Arlo app, users can easily view live streams and recordings from their video doorbell cameras, adjust their camera’s settings or access cloud recordings with the available Arlo Smart trial."

More information on all of Arlo's products and services is here

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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