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Spot Camera with skins

Every man has a sane spot somewhere – Robert Louis Stevenson

Indulge me as I stray a little from the Signal K theme, more on that in my next article. The core Signal K team is hard at work getting this exciting data format ready. In the meantime I’ve got some breathing room to tell you about a cool little Wifi product called Spot from iSmartAlarm. I’m in a rush to save you money!

Let me set out the “use case” first because it comes with some caveats. You must have a boat with a Wifi router always connected to the Internet. Wait a minute, who has that? Indeed this may not be common yet (except on larger yachts), but please hear me out because perhaps you’ll use it for your home for now…

What if you could plug in a Wifi camera via a 5 volt input and the place it on your boat so that it can:

  • See with night vision
  • Take time-lapse photos
  • Store security videos automatically to the cloud and locally (no cloud service fees)
  • Be expanded with up to 10 cameras working together
  • Give you 2 way audio
  • Use patent pending technology to monitor for alarm sounds that might come from your bilge alarm, or smoke detectors etc., and then notify you via text message
  • Be controlled via IOS or Android apps

With Spot you can and it costs only US$59 or $99 for two! Wow what a deal, but less than three days left. The Indiegogo and Kickstarter campaigns run for a couple more days so time is ticking before the price jumps.

iSmartAlarm made a splash at the Consumer Electronics Show a couple of years ago with their home alarm monitoring products. I purchased the home alarm on Indiegogo at the time so I can tell you they work great and are very easy to setup, even for the non-techy. In fact the audio prompt setup of the Spot from an Android or IOS app is so easy, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

I have the iCamera Keep at home with the base home alarm package and it works really well but needs a base station to connect to. It can be remotely tilted and panned which Spot can’t. Spot needs no base station but only the camera and power to connect via your wireless router to the Internet.   Here’s the rub though. It must be connected via a router to the Internet to work. Why it won’t work for local monitoring on a local network surprised me. I’m assured by the company it doesn’t work this way which is slightly disappointing.

Mounting is pretty straight forward by screwing in the base or using the built in magnet. There are some “skin” stickers that come with it if you don’t like the Apple white.  The fake mahogany almost matches my boat interior.

Whose dog is pooping next to your boat? What critter is chewing your wiring? What’s the water level in your bilge? What hooligan tried to steal your outboard motor? Questions that might now be answered by Spot.

Keep in mind that Spot is not waterproof, nor is it designed for marine use so you’ll need to protect it from the elements. A high speed internet connection is required and unfortunately it is unknown at this point how much bandwidth is used when you aren’t watching live video from your phone.  For US$59 it’s definitely worth a try. If it isn’t useful on the boat or at home you can always take it traveling and set it up in your hotel room for a nice time-lapse, or to keep an eye on your stuff.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Adam
    I’m a sailor and electrical engineer who has been enjoying and appreciating your blog and other writings. Not to rain on your parade butt I would like to caution you and your readers that IoT devices like these, with very few exceptions, are very immature form a security stand point. They have no internet security built in. Putting one on your network exposes you to great risk. If you have no other smart devices on your network (computers, phones, tables) them maybe you’ve not too much exposure. But know that current IoT devices leave you extremely vulnerable. If you use one at least put on your guest network. I refer you to recent Security Now podcasts by Steve Gibson on the TWIT Network for in depth technical details. Keep up the good work.
    -Mic

  2. Why not figure out a way to use “Ring” Doorbell’s stickup cam also? Super small and a massive installed base.

    I have one at my house and it works like a charm. Goes right to your iPhone if there is a visitor.

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