There's a big market in the senior smart home, and at CES 2019 Alarm.com has announced a smart camera-speaker for independent living. It's quite the box (well, cylinder) of tricks.
Alarm.com, which is already known for its smart doorbells and cameras, is now looking at remote care. If you're already a subscriber to the company's services, you can buy the Wellcam and put it in a loved one's home - they won't need to subscribe themselves.
The camera will keep an eye on the home, using its 180-degree field of view camera (1080p HD) to monitor goings-on in the house. There's two-way audio and video sharing should the family or caregiver want to check in.
Where it gets really smart is in the Wellness Insights software, which uses sensors and what Alarm refers to as "predictive analytics" to learn what is typical behavior of whoever lives there. If it detects a change - no movement for a long period of time, a door opening outside of usual hours - it will send an alert to the caregiver.
A representative from the company told me that it will take 3-5 days to learn these habits. There's an app too, where the caregiver will see a timeline of the day's events, a live video feed, and footage of any unusual activity from the day.
On the speaker itself there's a call-out button that can be set up to send a help signal out, without the need of a smartphone.
The app really dives into the nitty gritty details of the day-to-day, which might be off-putting for some people who don't want their every move catalogues. However, for some families the Wellcam could make a meaningful difference. The camera is available now for $250 through Alarm.comâs service provider partners, with a monthly subscription fee of $40-60.