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Blink is a cheap, battery-powered Nest Cam competitor

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Can two AA batteries really last a year?

Wireless doesn't always mean wire free. Many smart home products still require plenty of wires, mostly for power. So a battery-powered, budget-friendly smart home camera that promises up to a year of battery life stands out a little bit, even at a noisy, gadget-filled CES.

That's the idea behind Blink, a home monitoring camera from a company called Immedia. Blink started as a Kickstarter campaign back in 2014 and is now starting to ship. We got a closer look at Blink at tonight's CES Unveiled preview event.

The camera itself is small and super lightweight; it can easily fit into the palm of an average-sized hand. It comes with an adjustable clip for mounting the camera, which can be pretty much anywhere in the home, because it's completely wire free. (There's also a microUSB port in the back if you decide you'd rather draw power that way.) It streams live video in 720p HD.

Blink is supposed to last a year on two AA batteries

So how, you might ask, does a live video camera last for a year on two AA batteries? In a lot of ways the Blink is really more of a motion sensor that happens to capture a bunch of thumbnail images and will capture 10 seconds of live video, too, if you tell it to. According to Immedia CEO Peter Besen, the Blink is always ready for a command from a user, but while it's waiting for that command it basically consumes no power. Once you open the Blink mobile app, which is available for iPhone and Android smartphones, you can trigger a short live stream of video.

We can't vouch for whether Blink works as promised until we test it more, but during a short demo at CES we were able to briefly see a pretty clear live stream of Besen's home. Another bonus? The Blink is much more affordable than a lot of other home monitoring cameras. A single camera costs $79, a two-camera kit costs $139, and three cameras sell for $189 (still less than a Nest Cam). And Immedia will store up to two hours of your video clips for free in the cloud, although that won't last very long if you use the live video function a lot.

Check out the photos below for more detail:

Blink camera

Blink camera

Blink camera

Blink camera

Blink camera

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