For a while now, people have been using Internet-connected video cameras to keep a remote eye on businesses, vacation homes, pets, and kids. But setting up these online video systems is often complex and time consuming. That's where Avaak Vue comes in.
For a while now, people have been using Internet-connected video cameras to keep a remote eye on businesses, vacation homes, pets, and kids. But setting up these online video systems is often complex and time consuming. That's where Avaak Vue comes in.Vue is a simple combination of hardware and web service that makes it very easy to quickly set-up an Internet video monitoring system.
I first saw Avaak Vue a little over a year ago when it launched at the DEMO 09 show. At the time, I was impressed with Vue's technology and simplicity and, since getting a chance to try it out myself, I'm still impressed in many ways.
The base $299 package of Vue contains a small video wireless gateway that plugs into your home or office network router and two small video cameras. The tiny cameras (about the size of a dental floss container) are battery powered (using standard camera lithium batteries) and can be easily mounted anywhere. The mounts can use a sticky backing or be hung on a screw. They also have a round magnetic surface that makes it easy to point the camera in any direction. And, since they use wireless mesh technology and use batteries, they can be placed pretty much anywhere (though I wouldn't put one outside to be permanently exposed to the elements).
Getting the Vue system set-up was even easier than I expected. Just plug the gateway into the router, put the two cameras near the gateway and hit the sync button on the top of the gateway.
From here, I logged into my.vuezone.com, entered my gateway ID number, set-up an account and was then able to track my videos.
The interface at my.vuezone.com is pretty simple to use. The cameras appear as icons on the screen and I could name them in any way I wanted (for example pet camera or pool camera). To watch a video, I simply dragged the cameras into the My Vue panel, where I could watch the videos live or choose to record the video. Along with the record options, I could take a snapshot and optimize the video for low, average or bright light conditions.
Video quality is OK. Close subjects looked decent though as things got farther way they became more indistinct. It is possible to download recorded video to your computer though the option could have been more obvious (like a download button).
Vue also provides an option to share live feeds with someone else through email, which worked well. However, as the administrator, if I left the sharing screen and then returned, it looked as if sharing had stopped, though friends I had shared with could still continue to watch the live feed.
Right now the main strengths of Avaak Vue are its ease of set-up and the flexibility of its wireless cameras but it has more than its share of weaknesses. First off, the cameras have no ability to record audio, they are strictly video. Also, it is possible to only view one camera live at a time.
I also would have liked the option to connect directly to the gateway rather than always go through the web site. For example, if one was using this as a way to monitor kids or pets in one part of a home while working in another, it makes no sense to have to connect to a site on the internet when all of the actual connections are essentially local.
For those looking for a robust security or video surveillance system, Avaak Vue probably isn't the best solution. However, if you want a simple and easy to install system for occasionally checking video remotely, Vue can be an attractive solution.
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