Although Philips Hue and WiZ fall under the banner of parent company Signify, both companies are choosing their own paths. So are the steps WiZ is taking to set itself apart from the rest with a new Home Monitoring System. OMT editor Dennis Mons is intrigued.
Automating your home is getting easier and cheaper. We have several brands to thank for that, including WiZ. The company has been around for some time and is now making the move to make your home safer.
WiZ teaches Philips Hue a lesson
WiZ has been trying to make itself unique in the world of Home Automation for some time. Of course, the brand is somewhat lumped together with, say, Philips Hue (family, by the way) or also Hombli.
Now WiZ wants to uniquely leverage its lights to make your home feel safer. It does so initially in an update for the app that any WiZ lighting owner can use. After all, lighting can be a tremendously effective way to deter potential intruders.
Imagine you’re going on vacation and you enable vacation mode through the WiZ app, or “Armed” mode. When motion is detected, your indoor and outdoor WiZ lights will flash. This way, even your neighbors can see that unwanted activity is happening at your house. And you get a notification.
Expansion with a new camera
WiZ is using an updated version of SpaceSence for this purpose where motion in your home is instantly seen. In addition, the company is now releasing a new WiZ Indoor Camera with useful features like infrared for night vision and a speaker so you can instantly talk (or shout) to people in your home.
And in case you’re worried about whether your dog, ferret, pig or cat is setting off all the alarms; no worries. The software makes sure to distinguish between humans and animals. And if your toddler suddenly sets off all the horns… Why aren’t you home, or why is your alarm on?
Either way, you can view your home in real time thanks to a lens that grabs a 120-degree angle. If you want to possibly capture the image, you can do so via the cloud or a mini-SD card. Should it be pulled from your camera: no worries. WiZ has encrypted the video footage and it can only be downloaded via your app. A clever trick that Philips Hue has not yet mastered.
The new member of the family. (Image: WiZ)
WiZ and WiZ only
There is one small drawback to this new camera and app update: it only works with WiZ bulbs for now. So if you have Philips Hue bulbs (or those of other brands), they are not yet compatible with this new system.
Danny Housberg, head of Software Product Management, indicates, however, that that possibility will be available in the future. In the presentation, he says that for now there is no standard for cameras in Matter, but that this is being worked on. This will make combining all systems easier. So there’s a good chance that in the future all your lights will go completely off like a carnival ride when there’s someone in the house who shouldn’t be there.
For those who do not yet have WiZ bulbs in their home or only Philips Hue, there is the WiZ Home Monitoring starter kit. This starter kit includes the WiZ Indoor Camera and a set of three colored WiZ lights, getting you started with your security system (and, of course, ambient lighting).
The new camera will be available from June 12 for 89.99 euros. For the starter set (available from June 23) you will pay 159.99 euros. Keep an eye on OMT for a review. Now just to find someone who wants to break in with me.