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CES 2012: Video baby monitors are tapping iOS and Android devices

January 11, 2012 |  3:32 pm


After you get past checking every 30 seconds that your still and peaceful-sleeping baby is actually breathing, you may want to leave the room -- for a few minutes anyway.

My household already has its share of useful tech gadgets that do video -- times two. So the idea of paying yet again for something else to carry was not appealing. There aren't enough dollars and certainly not enough hands to carry all these devices.

There are some iOS-device-to-iOS-device apps out there that use the home WiFi network. But, really, who leaves an iPhone or iPad trained on their sleeping child? And the video, I found, left something to be desired. Very choppy.

VIDEOS: 2012 Consumer Electronics Show

At CES this year, Y-cam is showing off a product it plans to market this year: BabyPing. The British maker of wireless IP home security cameras have moved inside to the nursery.

Although we haven't had a chance to really put the product through its paces because it's still being tested, Y-cam promises a Wi-Fi monitor that communicates with iOS devices in the home via an app.

The camera uses your home network to transmit. What the company touts is that the app can run in the background, like traditional video monitor.

When the app detects crying, it will bring video up or issue an alert. It will also give an alert if the signal drops off.

The camera also has night vision with infrared LEDs  that are undetectable, so no light on the camera is visible in the room.

The company hopes to get it to market in the spring or summer with a retail price of $199. It's now going to trial audiences in Britain, where the company is based.

Also vying for a little room in the nursery is Dropcam. This HD camera is a little more than a monitor.

Dropcam offers video via the cloud, so you can access the monitor remotely on a Mac, PC or an iOS or Android device. The company promises bank-level security through AES 256-bit encryption. 

It too offers infrared night vision, automatically turning on when the light dims. The night vision shuts off again when the light returns.

Dropcam will alert you via email or iPhone alert when your baby stirs or cries. It allows you to respond via two-way audio with the click of a mouse or tap on the phone. You can invite friends or family to watch your camera as well -- and turn off sharing with a click.

You can also pan, tilt and zoom the camera remotely for a closer look.

That all is to be included when you buy the camera for $149. For an additional monthly fee, you can upgrade to add a DVR function. Storage for seven days' worth of video costs $10 a month or $100 a year. (You can add other Dropcams for a reduced rate.) Or storage for a month's worth of video goes for $30 a month or $300 a year. It ships this month.

This one could probably double as a cam for Shiba Inu puppies as well.


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Image at top: BabyPing by Y-cam is expected to hit U.S. markets around summer. Credit: Y-cam

Image in middle: Dropcam can send alerts to your iPhone when your baby starts to stir. Credit: Dropcam