Netgear is updating its Arlo wireless and wire-free home security camera systems with a professional version that takes the ‘wire-free’ and flexibility angle even further.
Coming to retail shelves on October 23, the Arlo Pro system (small cameras that connect via a low-power, proprietary Wi-Fi to a router-connected base station) will now include two-way audio, a 100+ decibel siren, rechargeable batteries that can last up to six months, and improved motion detection software functionality. The new system will work with older cameras in the Arlo line, and newer cameras can work with older base station (if so desired).
In addition, NETGEAR is announcing a set of accessories to make the cameras more flexible for placement and charging. For example, users who don’t want to utilize the rechargeable batteries can recharge the unit through a micro-USB charger. The Arlo Pro Charging Station ($59.99) will let you charge up to two batteries simultaneously so you can swap out one quickly if the initial battery (extra batteries sold at $49.99 each) goes low.
Different mounting bracket options include the traditional magnet format, but there will also be an outdoor bracket and a new Quadpod device, a four-legged tripod (get it, quadpod!) made of flexible plastic and rubber that can wrap around things like tree branches or poles. A solar power charging panel will also be released in early 2017 for users who want to forgo both battery power and electrical power.
The services and software side of the equation also gets some upgrades – the company offers seven days of free cloud storage (you can download videos during that period), with other service plans offering 30 days or 60 days of cloud storage for your saved videos (both motion- and audio-triggered events). Analytics services will also be offered, which aim to improve motion-detection features so you won’t get alerted if a leaf blows across the screen.
The flexibility also moves into other home system ecosystems – Netgear says it will support the IFTTT (If This, Then That) initiatives, as well as SmartThings integration (with Zigbee and Z-wave products). AppleTV support will be offered (so you can view footage from the camera on your TV), as well as Apple Watch (the ability to enable/disable the camera from your watch). As other ecosystems emerge/develop (Amazon Echo, Google Home, etc.), NETGEAR says it will offer support for Arlo with those platforms.
A 4-camera system, which includes the base station, will retail for $649; the company will also sell a 3-camera ($579), 2-camera ($419) and one-camera system ($249). Add-on cameras will cost $189 each.
Some systems are on the way to the Cool Tools testing center, so stay tuned for a full review!