My wife and I run a makerspace. We often describe it as a “gym for artists.” We have all sorts of equipment and resources that artists and makers can come in and use so they don’t have to make the investment themselves. We also had a few private studios to rent out for artists who wanted a dedicated space.
Early on, we ran into a problem: members were only able to use the space during open hours—noon to 8 pm, Tuesdays through Saturdays. And unfortunately, artistic inspiration doesn’t always consider our schedule before it strikes. Many would-be members passed us by because their work schedule wouldn’t allow them to use the space.
From the moment we opened, we wanted to offer 24-hour access to our members. We gave a few of our members our cell phone numbers and offered to let them into the shop whenever they needed. But without a reliable camera system, we were vulnerable to a number of issues. We looked into some options, but they were all too expensive to be viable. For a while, we shelved the idea.
Then, we came upon the T-4F WiFi enabled Fisheye camera from Senteltech.
With a meager $75.99 price tag, the T-4F is the perfect choice for a small business on a budget. The camera films in 1080p HD so we can always see the shop clearly. Due to its wi-fi capability, we’re able to access the live feed at any time through the free mobile app. You can also pair multiple cameras to the same app for easy monitoring.
The fisheye lens captures an impressive 180º, requiring fewer cameras to capture the whole shop. And, it has infrared night vision, so we can keep our eyes on the shop without leaving the power on. The camera automatically starts recording any time it detects movement. We’ve had a few moments where our security company called us to let us know that our alarm had been tripped, and we were able to get eyes on the shop immediately. Luckily, it’s only been set off by members who weren’t quick enough with their security code.
If you’re worried about placement, there is a magnetic mount in the box, so you can worry about hiding the camera well without worrying about drilling into your walls or ceilings.
Paired with a simple keypad deadbolt, we were able to offer our members full access to the shop. And since we launched 24-hour access, we’ve nearly doubled our number of members. There are a few artists that I haven’t seen in months because they only use the shop in the middle of the night.
If we hadn’t found this camera, it’s very likely that we wouldn’t have launched 24-hour access, and we’d still be struggling to find members. But now, we can offer our members full reign of the shop and still have the peace of mind that a quality security camera brings.
The T-4F retails for $75.99 and it is available on Senteltech’s website.
Source: Personal purchase
What I Like: powerful performance, easy to add more cameras, the mobile app is a game changer. The fisheye lens, HD video, and night vision all far exceed the price of the unit.
What Needs Improvement: multiple cameras clog a lot of our wi-fi network. We often take them off of the wi-fi while we’re at the shop so we can still use the internet.