The selling point behind the Hive security camera isn't high-definition video or gapless 24/7 surveillance. Instead, it's been developed based on the premise that your community, friends, and family care about your home as much as they do their own. To get the most from the $99 system — $149 with 12 months of web services included — users can establish a trusted group of people to receive alerts when the camera detects unexpected (or unwelcome) motion. Alerts can be sent out via phone call, text message, email, and can also take on the form of notifications on Facebook or Twitter.
More eyes could mean a quicker response in an emergency
This "neighborhood watch" approach relies on a tiered system of administrators, activators (those who would arm Hive when leaving the house) and watchers. That last group is made up of anyone you'd entrust to watch over your home. When an alert is triggered, they'll be able to watch footage of the movement that triggered it and respond accordingly. Hive's apps for iOS and Android will inform you of problems at locations in your Hive network, providing video and shortcuts for making emergency calls should the need arise. In the interest of privacy, those in your network won't be able to simply peer into your house at all times; they'll only be granted viewing privileges in response to alerts.
You'll want a reliable internet connection
Hive isn't meant for 24/7 streaming — the company suggests you stick to pricier security cameras for that — but the system will provide brief on-demand clips if you'd to get a quick idea of what's going on at home. Naturally, loss of connectivity could prove a concern for a device so reliant on the web, but Hive says its camera can record an unspecified amount of video locally in the event of a disruption. It can also be configured to fall back on wireless networks of nearby neighbors assuming you've shared passwords.
The most important part of any security system is often the camera itself, but we'd need some more time with Hive before reaching any conclusions. The company claims this small white (or orange) orb will run for an entire year on just two AA batteries. Apparently Hive's "proprietary, ground-breaking" Wi-Fi technology makes that incredible longevity possible, but we still have a hard time buying it. And as we hinted earlier, video quality leaves something to be desired: footage tops out at SVGA resolution, which looked enough in sample footage of well-lit areas but could be problematic for anyone using the device's night mode. Pre-orders for Hive start today with shipping slated to commence in January.