Do you want to secure your place and be aware of all the comings and goings? The Netatmo Welcome camera may be a good start. With its face recognition technology, it can distinguish potential burglars from you or your children. Let’s take a look at what it has to offer.
Unboxing the Netatmo Welcome
The packaging is simple and minimalist.
On the inside, you will find the camera, a USB and an ethernet cable, the power cord and a quick start guide. No more, no less.
The camera itself doesn’t look like one. It has an elegant, tall and thin line. It only exists in “gold” version but it will easily blend in the background.
On the front there is the Full HD camera lens, a LED indicator (used during setup or to display if someone is watching your live video feed), an infrared led only used for night vision and the microphone.
On the back you will find the power slot, an ethernet slot if you wish to wire it to your router (it also works with a wireless connection) and the micro SD card slot (an 8GB memory card is included in the box). The card is used to store the recorded videos but you can also export them to Dropbox or via FTP.
Installation & Setup
To setup the Netatmo Welcome, you can either download the app on your phone (iPhone and Android are supported) or you can plug it into your computer and set it up with any web browser.
I personally used the Android App and it was super easy. Here is how it goes :
1. First plug-in the camera with the power adapter
2. Then, the app will ask you to grant access to your smartphone location. That way, the camera will be able to tell if you’re away when it does not see you.
3. You will also eventually be asked to turn the bluetooth on. Then you just have to turn the Netatmo Welcome upside down to begin the setup process.
4. Just wait a few seconds while the camera is powering up
5. Then the camera will be linked to your phone.
6. You can either connect it to your router through Wi-Fi (in that case it will ask for you Wi-Fi name and password) or with an ethernet cable. In my case, I chose the second option.
7. Your camera is now configured!
8. Just set the name of the camera and its location.
9. The camera will now start to detect faces and motions.
10. 11. 12. Finally, the app will give you some advice about where to put the camera.
App Interface & Settings
The Android App interface is also minimalist. That way, you can find all the useful information in one place.
On the main panel is displayed the people currently at home or away. Underneath, you will find the live feed of your camera.
If you scroll down you will also see all the events recorded by Netatmo Welcome.
Each time Welcome sees someone, it will either recognize him or ask you if you want to create a new profile or associate the face to an existing profile. By associating pictures to a profile, Welcome will learn to recognize you.
Each profile can be personalized.
You will be able to set whether you want to be notified if the person comes home.
You can also set if and when you want to record a video for that particular person. That way you can protect the person’s privacy.
You also have access to general settings in the app.
You can set for how long a person doesn’t have to be seen to be considered as Away.
You can also set when you want the camera to record video on motion detection and when to notify you.
Finally, with its integrated microphone, Welcome is able to warn you if an alarm goes on at your place.
Image & sound quality
The camera quality is great during the day (Full HD). The night vision is not too bad compared to other cameras. The 130 degree field of view makes it easy to capture the whole room.
The sound is ok but there is a background noise on the recording. Besides, there is no noise detection alert setting on the Netatmo Welcome (except for loud noises like alarms). Too bad! Here is a short motion to see the detection night video in action :
We have had the Netatmo Welcome for a few weeks and it is now part of our everyday life.
I had first installed it on a corner of the living room, facing the TV. The face recognition software was so powerful that I had to move it to another location because it was detecting every person on TV !
I would recommend to link your profile to your phone. That way the detection will be more accurate as Welcome will know when you are away from home.
The camera is a little bit hot when in use but nothing dangerous. Regarding the alarm detection notification, it went on when our robot vacuum was cleaning right next to the camera. So don’t panic if it is cleaning day and you receive an alert.
Finally, the Netatmo Welcome is compatible with IFTTT. So it is easy to integrate it into an existing installation and begin to “cook” some recipes.
To conclude, the Netatmo Welcome is a good choice to start or complete a security system. You will be able to easily keep track of your house when you are away or even to know if your child is back from school. It offers a lot a possibilities with the individual profile settings and the IFTTT integration. We are a little bit disappointed by the microphone quality. It also would have been great to have more options (an integrated speaker or a battery in case of power outage for example).