Anker’s EverCam is a truly wireless smart security camera with 365 days of battery life

 theverge.com  4/16/2018 10:07:17 PM   Nick Statt
Image: Anker / Eufy

EverCam, a new security camera from the Anker-owned smart home brand Eufy, launched today on Kickstarter and it looks seriously impressive. The water-resistant HD recording device is billed as a truly wireless indoor or outdoor home security camera, meaning it doesn’t have to be mounted with screws or plugged into a power source. It can be stuck to any metal surface via built-in magnets (or with a single-screw mount if you really want to make sure it’s secure), and it can run for up to 365 days on a single charge. The device has already raised over $300,000 from more than 1,000 backers.

Because the camera runs on a 13,400mAh lithium-ion battery from Anker, a leader in battery and smart charging tech, it stays in extremely low-power standby mode unless it detects motion, which it will then start recording. An included base station, which you keep plugged in indoors and connected to Wi-Fi, communicates with the camera to ensure it’s ready to record and to establish the low-frequency wireless protocol that helps it connect to the internet.

The included 16GB microSD card is protected by AES 128-bit encryption, and any recorded footage can only be unlocked and viewed once the card is plugged into the base station, which then communicates with your computer or smartphone. That way, you can access footage without needing a cloud subscription. Eufy estimates the card will hold on average up to 12 months of footage at normal usage, though new footage will overwrite old footage automatically. (There is an optional $2.99 per month cloud storage subscription for saving and viewing video clips in real time.) The camera itself, as well as the base station, are equipped with sirens in the event the camera is moved without first being disarmed.

Live feeds can be viewed straight from the Eufy mobile app, and the app will also help you manage the camera’s artificial intelligence features. The company says AI is what helps the camera cut down on unnecessary recording, as it will recognize familiar faces over time, differentiate between people and pets, and use a built-in infrared sensor to only activate recording and send notifications when it detects a heat source. The camera can be set to record continuously, or only under certain parameters like when it detects motion, heat-emitting bodies, or certain faces. Eufy says none of these features are locked behind a cloud subscription, as is the case with Amazon, Nest, and other smart security camera makers.

There are some open questions we have about the product. According to the Kickstarter FAQ, the camera isn’t able to continuously record even when plugged into a power source, a feature that might be worth adding in the future. We also don’t know how fast the 16GB of storage would be used up if the camera were aimed at a busy part of your home or office. Eufy says on its Kickstarter page that the one-year battery life estimation and 16GB storage limit is based on “10 motion detections a day and 30 seconds recording each time.” The company plans to sell larger microSD cards, up to 128GB in size.

Image: Anker / Eufy

At $299 for a single camera and $499 for a pair, the EverCam is almost as expensive as Google’s Nest Cam IQ Indoor / Outdoor, which have more reliably tested AI features. After all, we have no idea how well EverCam’s AI features work, and if it can really differentiate between people and pets or learn to recognize faces and cut down on alerts as a result. We would need to see the camera in action, and Eufy says completed review units won’t be available to test until this summer.

Still, the idea of a device that can placed pretty much anywhere with little to no hassle and no wires to deal with is very compelling. And you really can’t beat projected battery life of up to one whole year. The product starts shipping this September, and because the project hit its original stretch goal on Kickstarter so quickly, Eufy says it will work to integrate Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT support. You can back the project now by putting down $219 for one camera (MSRP $329) or $329 for two cameras (MSRP $499).

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