​Abode launches security camera that doubles as a smart doorbell

Hardwire it or plug it in, this modular cam is multi-functional

Abode's new smart security camera
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While 2019 was a busy year for smart home security company Abode - what with launching its all-in-one security kit Iota and becoming the first HomeKit compatible DIY security system - 2020 is shaping up to be even busier.

At CES this week the company, announced its Outdoor/Indoor smart camera, complete with facial recognition, 24/7 video recording and no need for a hub. Plus, it showed off a sneak peek at its brand new app.

The Abode Outdoor/Indoor Smart Camera, $199, is a modular, wired video camera with a variety of mounting options, including hardwiring it to your home’s doorbell wiring to act as a video doorbell.

While there’s currently no button to press (a button version is in the works), with built-in facial recognition software, Abode believes the smarts in its Smart Camera make it a viable solution for the front door, even without a button.

Abode launches security camera that doubles as a smart doorbell

“We think facial recognition removes the need for a button for the homeowner. It does what a doorbell does, alerts you to someone at your door,” Scott Beck of Abode told The Ambient at CES in Las Vegas.

“For the visitor expecting a button it will still be a bit of a hurdle, but we think we’ve solved that as the camera has a blue LED light that illuminates to indicate to the person they’ve been seen.”

Eventually Abode plans to link the camera with your indoor chime and have the option to make the Abode hub chirp when someone arrives at the front door (although the hub isn't required). Initially, however, alerts through the app will be the only notification if you use this as a doorbell.

Abode launches security camera that doubles as a smart doorbell

The security camera, due for launch in Q2 2020, can also be mounted on a wall inside the home or out, either flat or using a magnetic ball mount for more flexibility. All of the various mounting options will be included with the camera.

“We saw a huge customer demand for an outdoor camera,” Beck said, especially now that the company’s Nest Cam integration has gone away. “We also had a gap in the doorbell space and decided to take a different approach to solve both problems.”

Read this: Abode Iota and Essentials Gateway Security System review

We got some time with the Smart Camera at CES and were impressed with its small size (about half the size of a deck of playing cards) and its flat, modular look.

The design gives you the flexible mounting options, but is also less obtrusive than any other indoor/outdoor camera on the market today. It can be hardwired to your home or plug it in to a nearby outlet, the cable is rated for outdoor use.

In addition to facial recognition software, the Smart Camera has a PIR motion sensor, an IR LED for low-light vision and a built-in microphone and speaker for two-way communication. Its wide-angle lens captures HD 1920 x 1080p video across a 152 degree field of view, and it has an IP65 weather-resistance rating.

Abode launches security camera that doubles as a smart doorbell

As with Abode’s home security system, there are no required monthly fees for the camera and live view will be free, along with 24 hours of clips. Pricing plans for 24/7 recording and facial recognition haven’t been set yet.

The camera will be HomeKit compatible at launch, although HomeKit secure video is still in the works. It's also compatible with Google and Alexa smart screens.

While currently Abode’s products are sold only online (through its website and Amazon), CEO Chris Carney told The Ambient they are in talks with Apple to sell the stand-alone camera in its retail stores “We’re exploring that this week,” he said.

Read this: Best home security cameras

Finally, Abode also showed off its completely redesigned app, which puts all the smart home and security system functionality of Abode into one place – so you won’t have to head to the website to set up automations anymore.

The new app, due for release later this year, puts video front and center, offers a timeline view, a devices view and a page for creating and managing your automations – which Abode calls Cue routines. You’ll also now be able to manage multiple security systems with the app.

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