If you’re like me, you have certain things in your home you really like. I’m extremely protective of my laptop, I love my goose down duvet, and I have one throw pillow on my couch I’m especially fond of. It’s made with a cable knit sweater pattern, and it’s so cozy it makes naptime bliss. Although this is the pillow everyone loves to cuddle up to, I was still confused when I noticed how worn it was getting. We weren’t even sitting on the couch that often.
I had a sneaking suspicion it was my dogs Polly and Cleo sleeping on it, but when I’d get home after going out they’d be waiting at the front door for us or in their dog bed, all curled up together. They have 3 dog beds, complete with blankets and pillows, so it seemed unlikely they were sleeping on the couch. Or, at least, they never seemed to want to when we were home.
Thankfully, they mystery of the cuddly pillow wasn’t too hard to figure out. I was just sent the Motorola Focus66 Wi-Fi HD Video Camera to test out and review, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take a peek in on my dogs when I wasn’t home. I had no idea how fun it would be to watch them from afar, but before I get into the specifics of how I used the camera, here’s a quick list of features for the Motorola Focus66 Wi-Fi HD Video Camera:
- Wi-Fi Connectivity
- Compatible with the Hubble app so you can watch on your smartphone or tablet
- Remote HD (720p) video streaming
- Infrared Night Vision
- Digital Zoom so you can see up close
- Displays the room temperature and sends you an alert if it exceeds or drops below your preferences
- Has two way communication so you can speak to your pets or kids via the camera
- Unlimited streaming and app-based video recording and photo capture
- Captures motion and can send you an alert if it detects movement or noise
- Automatically captures video when there is motion or noise, so even if you aren’t watching, you can see exactly what went on
I’ve set up a few network cameras in my time, so when I plugged in the Motorola Focus66 I wasn’t expecting it to be a quick process. Sometimes it takes awhile for the Wi-Fi to connect or you have to connect via Ethernet to set up the camera before it will pick up your Wi-Fi.
Usually it takes around 10 minutes from plug in to set up to connect a camera, but that was not the case with the Motorola Focus66. I plugged it in, watched for the flash to indicate it was ready to connect, and hooked up to my Wi-Fi network. I already had the Hubble app downloaded, so all I had to do is open the app and the camera was streaming. It took about 3 minutes.
Sneaking a peek at the pets
For Operation ‘Who’s Been Sleeping On My Pillows’, I set the camera up by my windowsill and left for an hour. I made sure to put the pillow up on the side of the couch so it wasn’t too easy for them to sit on if they were indeed attempting to sit on it.
I didn’t plan on watching a live stream of them, but you can do that with the Motorola Focus66. Everything runs via the Hubble App, and once you’re logged in you can watch the live stream for as long as you like and listen in to the audio in your home. The app will also tell you if it senses motion or noise.
The main thing setting the Motorola Focus66 apart from other network cameras I’ve used is the 2-way audio and the motion detection video capture. Because I wasn’t going to watch the live stream of what was happening, I relied on the motion video capture to give me a window into what was going on. I was shocked at how well it worked. It captured a full minute of video just because it sensed motion.
Polly is a Doxie and Cleo is a Boston Terrier, so it’s pretty easy for them to get around on furniture, but even I was surprised at how dedicated they were to getting the pillow. Take a peek at this HD video captured by the Motorola Focus 66. Although there was audio when I listened to it on the Hubble app, I seemed to have lost the sound when I imported it into iMovie.
Once I realized they were using my pillow as a dog bed, I decided to live stream and watch them so I could test out a few of the other features on the camera. It has 4 buttons on the screen on the app – audio, photo/video capture, music, and temperature.
If you tap the audio button you can use the 2-way speaker to talk to your pets, kids, or whomever you’re monitoring.
After watching for a while I tapped to speak to the dogs, saying “Off the couch” in my firm, dog training voice. Although they did look up and around, they didn’t move off the couch at all. We tested it out again once we were home and noticed the audio came through pretty quiet when you are speaking, and it’s almost like a two-way radio in that it cuts off the last of your sentence sometimes. It’s still an interesting feature, but I think it would have worked better with the dogs if it were a bit louder.
The photo and video capture button was easy to use and fairly similar to capturing a photo or video on any smartphone. It saves the images to your photo library and your videos are in .flv format.
The music button lets you tap to play different types of music. There are 5 different melodies and I tried a few out on the dogs. The music sounds louder when listening to it via the app than it does from the camera, and it was pretty soft so the dogs didn’t notice that much. Or maybe they just don’t like lullabies.
I think the temperature notification is a really cool option. If you’re using the camera as a baby monitor and you don’t want the room to get too warm or you’re out for a while and you have pets at home, the Motorola Focus66 will automatically sense the temperature in the room and tell you how cold or warm it is.
Hubble has an optional Cloud Video Recording service to let you capture all video and store it in their cloud server. You can choose to record one full day, seven days, or even 30 days in a row, and the fee ranges from $2.99 per day up to $29.99 per month. You don’t have to sign up for the Cloud service though, because you can still manually capture video via the app.
I really enjoyed using the Motorola Focus66, and I’m glad I figured out just how much the dogs were enjoying my favourite pillow because I know now to put it up and out of reach when I leave. Even if you are not uncovering a pet-related mystery like I was, there are so many different uses for this camera. It’s perfect as a baby monitor, great for keeping an eye on valuables in your garage, or can be used as a monitoring camera for your front door. When you watch via the app the video and incoming audio is extremely clear, and the only downside I found was how quiet the audio was when speaking through the camera and when playing the music.
The Motorola Focus66 is coming soon to Bestbuy.ca, so be on the lookout for it. In the meantime, check out all of the surveillance and home security options online right now.