Two years ago we installed a wireless security system in our home as part of a review. (Read it here.) One element of the system is a remote camera that lets you keep an eye on one part of your home when you are away. But what if you want to have a remote camera but don’t want to install an entire system? And what if you don’t want to pay a monthly fee? That’s where Stem Innovation’s iZON Remote Room Monitor comes in. It is small, relatively inexpensive and there is no monthly fee!
The company describes it this way- “iZON is an App-based wireless video camera. iZON lets you see and hear what’s happening in any room, from anywhere in the world with your iPod touch, iPhone or iPad. iZON is incredibly easy to set up and use. iZON can watch and listen for you, alert you when there is motion or noise and even record to a free, private YouTube account — automatically!”
After using it for the last few weeks, I can honestly say that there is truth in advertising here. It works, it is simple to use, and it notifies you when you want it to send alerts. Let’s take a look.
From Stem Innovation:
Enjoy peace of mind on the go with the iZON Remote Room Monitor: This innovative and elegant video camera enables you to view and listen to activity in your home or office from anywhere in the world on your iPod touch, iPhone or iPad.
Download the free Stem:Connect App and set up iZON in just a few minutes: You don’t need a computer science degree to get started! We guide you through the process step by step. iZON broadcasts its own wireless network, allowing you to communicate with it and share your local network information securely, with no need for cables or a PC.
Easily configure iZON to alert you when it senses motion or sound: Your privacy is insured as iZON uses secure encryption to stream video and audio through your local wireless network. Set up multiple iZON on a single network and view in a list within the app. Set up multiple iZON on different networks – even at different locations.
Receive alerts via push notifications: Stream to your iOS device over Edge, 3G or a wireless network. Record video and audio automatically to your free, private YouTube account — or record 30 second clips at the touch of a button. Add Stem:Connect to your other iOS devices and log in to your free Stem Account to view iZON you’ve already set up.
What’s in the box?
iZON camera and base
2 screws/wall anchors
Power supply & cords
Quick Start Guide
The main unit comes in two pieces, the base and the camera itself. The base is a convex half-circle. The bottom of the camera has a matching concave area. And because they are magnetized, the camera can be placed on the base at pretty much any angle and will stay put. That means…
You can have the camera upright. Or…
You can angle it back to capture something above it. Or…
You can REALLY angle it if that makes it easier to cover the area you want to check in on remotely. And since the base comes with screws, you can even attach it to a wall or the ceiling and then place the camera on it.
It really is an ingenious design that gives almost total flexibility while maintaining a simplicity that is inspired.
The product page offers some insight into the device and ways in which it can be used. Let’s run those down and offer some comment on each.
Remote Observation and Motion Sensor: In addition to unlimited viewing over your local network, iZON lets you view video remotely over Edge, 3G and wireless networks for up to 5 minutes at a time. Easily set iZON’s motion sensitivity controls and receive alerts via push notification when movement is detected.
That means you can use the iZON at home or the office as a constant room monitor, for example, to keep an eye on the baby, or you can use it remotely to get a five minute look at what is happening. While the five minute limit might seem a bit… errr… limited, the fact that you can set to device to send alerts when certain triggers occur lets it maintain its utility despite the brief viewing time.
Remote Audio & Noise Detection: iZON streams audio and video so that you can listen to what’s happening in any room. Easily set iZON to monitor for noise and alert you via push notification when an audio threshold is reached or exceeded.
I’ve tried all of these and the device works perfectly. I’ve set it to send an alert when I walk past it and… it does just that. I’ve set it to send the alert when there is noise and… it does just that. The settings are simple and work perfectly.
Secure, private video streaming: Set up a free Stem Account and control access to your video stream. You can disable the Remote viewing feature at any time. To turn on this feature, you must have access to your local network. iZON uses secure encryption to ensure your privacy at all times.
The streamed video is actually quite good from the perspective of quality. And the audio it picks up is rather crisp. I was really surprised by how easy it was to use and how well it worked.
View and listen from anywhere: Once you have set up iZON on your local network, access the video stream from anywhere in the world over Edge, 3G and wireless networks. Set motion and noise detection controls for iZON whenever you have access to a wireless network. Edge and 3G networks do not allow access to these controls.
I set it up and watched the deer in my backyard the other day… from my office half an hour away. It not only worked, but it worked well!!
Record video directly to YouTube: Simply link your free, private YouTube account to Stem:Connect and motion and noise alerts will record video and audio to your account. Or, record 30-second clips directly to YouTube with the touch of a button. Keep your videos private or share them with family and friends.
I’m not sure why I would ever want to do this, especially since I want to check any video before putting it on the web. Honestly, I see this as a gimmick, but since it costs nothing I guess there is no harm.
Key to the iZON is the associated app. Here’s what Stem has to say about it:
App-Controlled wireless camera: iZON uses your home wireless network to stream live video and audio. Setting up iZON takes 10 minutes or less. The Stem:Connect App walks you through the process of creating a free Stem Account, joining your local wireless network and activating iZON. Set up multiple cameras in just a few minutes.
Let’s walk through it.
First you select the iZON device.
It immediately prompts you to create a free account.
And asks if you want to receive push notifications. This will work in conjunction with the alert-triggers you select within the app’s settings.
It then begins to walk you through the process of setting it up. It is a tiny bit confusing but, thankfully, the app literally gives you step by step instructions that make it easy.
Step one is the hardware setup. That’s takes a minute.
Step two is connecting to the iZON device so that it, in turn, can connect to the wireless network. Obviously a wireless network is a requirement for using this device.
Then you switch connection settings back and wait. The iOS device should now “see” the iZON. This is where I had some issues initially. The app couldn’t find the device on the network. I’m not sure what changed, but after rebuilding my wireless network AND an app update, it began to work seamlessly.
It registered and… I was good to go.
The device just works. Better still, it works well. If you have reason to keep a remote eye on a room, this is a great way to do it without having to install a full home automation system. No, you won’t get unlimited remote monitoring, but you will get five minutes per session and, best of all, you won’t pay for it each month. The Stem Innovation iZON Remote Room monitor is $129.95. Details and ordering information can be found on the product page. You can also get it for $122.06 here through our Affiliate Store.
What I Like: Small; Unobtrusive; Works well; No monthly subscription fee; Free iOS app works well; Easily controlled Alert settings
What Needs Improvement: I had some initial setup issues but everything works well now; Remote sessions limited to just 5 minutes