Beseye Pro: Clever design and people recognition

Like some home-security cameras, the Beseye Pro Wi-Fi Monitoring Camera can distinguish between people and moving objects.
Photo: Video Screengrab

The Beseye Pro Wi-Fi Monitoring Camera has earned multiple awards for its clever design.

While it certainly deserves the accolades, I was more impressed by its approach to security, which is more rigorous than that of other home cameras that I have tested.

The Beseye has a round, ball bearing-like base that attaches magnetically to a circular, doughnut-like stand.

Thus, you can rotate the camera freely to your desired angle. This stand can then be placed on walls or ceilings using the included industrial-grade 3M adhesive.

The camera draws power via a USB charger (with a 3m cable) and not from batteries. This somewhat limits where you can place it.

I found it more convenient to set up the Beseye camera than to go through the usual routine of scanning a QR code.

The Beseye app (for iOS and Android) emits a loud audio tone on your smartphone that sends the required information, like your Wi-Fi password, to the nearby camera via its microphone.

To my surprise, the first thing that the camera did was to go online to download the latest update.

My grade for the Beseye went up further after I received an app notification with a verification code while trying to log in to the camera via a Web browser. This two-factor authentication should help to reduce unauthorised access.

However, its hardware is not as impressive. The 2-megapixel camera records videos in 720p. Images look rather blurry, especially when you zoom in. You can also expect a slight latency of around 3-4sec in the Live viewing mode that shows the real-time camera feed.

The camera records continuously. When motion is detected, it sends you an app notification. You can adjust the sensitivity level for the motion-detection feature and select a specific area to focus on.

Videos are stored on Beseye's cloud servers for up to 24hr without requiring a subscription. Still-camera images can be saved on your smartphone, though you will need to log in on a computer browser to download video clips.

Like some home-security cameras, the Beseye can distinguish between people and moving objects. In addition, you can improve its people detection in the app, by marking selected images that do not have any people in them.

The camera can even recognise your family members, if you use the app to take head shots of them. In my testing, it was correct roughly half the time. However, it would be better if the app allowed users to upload photos, too.

The Beseye can be used to estimate the demographics of the people it has detected.

This business-intelligence feature, useful for businesses such as cafes, counts the number of people, estimates their ages, and interprets from their facial expressions if they were happy or sad.

Home-automation service If This Then That (IFTTT) is supported on the Beseye. The camera can be set to turn itself off when you, or rather your smartphone, reaches home. It can also automatically record the number of people detected in a Google Spreadsheet.

Verdict: If it was just a home-security camera that shoots 720p videos, the Beseye would be considered pricey. But its security and machine learning features help to justify its price.

 

TECH SPECS

PRICE: $299

VIDEO RESOLUTION: Up to 1,280 x 720 pixels

VIDEO FORMAT: H.264

FIELD OF VIEW: 125 degrees

NIGHT VISION: Yes

MOTION DETECTION: Yes

MOBILE APPS: iOS and Android

RATING

FEATURES: 4/5

DESIGN: 4/5

PERFORMANCE: 3/5

VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

OVERALL: 4/5

 


This article was first published on Feb 15, 2017.
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