Netatmo’s intelligent new outdoor webcam-cum-light

The app-operated Presence can distinguish between people, cars and animals, and is disguised as a security light

Netatmo Presence, £250
Netatmo Presence, £250 | Image: Hugh Threlfall

Simply installed and app-operated outdoor webcams that don’t rope you into a complicated contract with a security company aren’t something you come across a lot. But the ambitious French internet-of-things firm Netatmo now has this, an outdoor camera that doubles – indeed, is disguised as – a run-of-the-moulin automatic proximity security light.

And it does more. Building on the company’s growing mastery of doing huge amounts of complex algorithmic stuff remotely in the cloud (its Welcome indoor camera, for example, learns and recognises faces to a remarkable degree of accuracy), the Netatmo Presence can distinguish between people, cars and animals.

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So, when you’re in a meeting in Osaka and receive a notification that, back home, there’s movement up to 65ft from your garden, garage, boat shed, bike rack, whatever, you learn immediately and to some degree of precision whether the mover is a person, a dog or a vehicle – and, if it’s dark at home, the moving thing will also be lit up (dazzled, actually) by a light so bright that, if the moving thing is human and up to no good, it will simply think it’s a security light and be filmed as it’s running away.

The Presence does need mains electricity and WiFi, but you can have as many as you like running at once, which means that it could work as an unusually intelligent, full-fat camera array you can install (or have installed) at a minimum of cost and hoohah. Neat, practical and effective.

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