The one feature that unites security webcams is that they all require a mains connection – with all the wiring, mess and inconvenience involved. (Yes, WiFi has meant cameras need less wiring than they did, but mains leads are still a drag.)
Now, however, there is a new WiFi-based security system from US maker Blink, in which the individual cameras – up to 10 in a system – run on batteries that, the Massachusetts-based company says, can last up to two years. Think of the flexibility a completely wireless system can offer, and you’ll get an idea of how exciting I’m finding Blink. You could put one, say, in a drawer with confidential papers, and get instant notification of any intrusion – as well as a video of the party behind the intrusion. A controlling parent could keep a camera in the cookie jar: the surprised faces it would potentially capture could be very amusing.
A couple of trade reviews have complained that Blink lacks certain features, especially the opportunity to talk to miscreants captured on camera. I really don’t buy this; talkback is, at best, a gimmick (who would seriously try to enter into a dialogue with a burglar thousands of miles away?). Stripping out complication – especially in the form of unnecessary features – is for my money almost always a good thing in technology. Blink is a liberating product and it also works outdoors – but only under shelter, as the cameras are not waterproof.