When I read the release for the VueZone camera system -- for personal video monitoring -- visions of sleuthing solutions came to mind.
The system was pitched as a way for car enthusiasts to keep an eye on the baby in their garage. Viewers could monitor how that rascally raccoon or squirrel gains entrance -- or if a two-legged varmint was making another kind of break-in.
But the cameras can be used in many situations, such as watching the baby's room or the porch for a package delivery. It can be used to keep an eye on elderly parents, keep track of pets while the owner is at work or learn who discovered my hiding place for the pretzel M&M's.
The wireless cameras have a range of 300 feet in ideal line-of-sight conditions, and the image or video can be viewed on computers and smartphones. There also is a motion-activated mode that will capture footage and send a video clip by text or email.
The battery-powered camera can stream live footage, but generally it functions only when viewed or triggered by motion. Under normal use, the lithium-ion photo batteries will last six months.
Setup was easy, plugging into an Internet router. From your smartphone, you can snap a still image (which is stored in the library), set up recordings, zoom and more.
A basic system starts at $199.95 and includes one motion-detection camera and two wall mounts with magnetic grips to position the camera at any angle. A separate, basic indoor camera is $79.95, and extra motion-detection cameras are $99.95 each. A five-pack of batteries is $14.95.
A basic service package is free and covers two cameras with computer viewing only. The good features require the Premier service (free for the first month), which covers five cameras and gives the phone/email alerts and additional camera functions from the smartphone. After the intro period, the Premier is $49.95 a year. An Elite service, $99.95, is aimed at businesses and can track 15 cameras.
For more information, go to http://www.vuezone.com.
Mark Maynard's weekly column, "Maynard's Garage," can be found at creators.com.