Stem Innovation iZon Remote Room Monitor Webcam Review
The problem with most webcams is that they require a computer of some kind in order to function. Enter Stem Innovation, a company that makes a smart alarm clock and, drum roll please, a smart webcam of sorts.
The iZon Remote Room Monitor needs electricity – and Wi-Fi. No computer or cabling is.necessary.
The iZon, a nicely designed white plastic cylinder, which could pass for a very large lipstick container, has a magnet in its base and this allows you to attach it to a white dome that supports swivel and tilt.
It comes with a USB-to-Mini-USB cable, a small cylindrical power supply that connects to the included USB cable, two screws and wall anchors in case you want to mount the unit somewhere, and the aforementioned shiny white base.
Setup was easy. I downloaded the free iPad app and followed the easy steps. First, I plugged the iZon into the wall outlet. I then told the app I was ready and it instructed me to point my iPad temporarily to a network called Stem. The app searched for any iZon cameras in the area and it immediately found mine.
I entered my network’s passphrase, clicked on “save,” and switched the iPad back to my normal Wi-Fi network.
Meanwhile, the iZon’s LED began to blink green and then turned solid green.
Shortly thereafter (but not as quickly as the instructions promised), the iZon appeared in my app. I had to stop my app and restart it in order for the iZon icon to appear on the screen.
Image quality was surprisingly good, even in low-light conditions, as was the audio. I had a terrific view of my living room from my dining room and could even record anything that would transpire there (pressing the record button causes a 35-second clip to get recorded and the system posts clips directly to your YouTube account).
The iZon has a built-in motion and sound sensor. When it senses movement – or hears something – it records and uploads the recording automatically. It can even send your phone an alert. This feature is adjustable to prevent an overload of iZon alerts.
It’s rather reassuring to be able to take a look at your home – or an elderly relative’s home – from anywhere in the world you have a Wi-Fi signal. For the frequent traveler, although I haven’t tried this yet, there’s no reason you couldn’t leave this on in your hotel room to see who enters, especially if you are like me and leave the Do Not Disturb sign on the door.
Currently you can watch video for five minutes and then the app shuts the channel down. You can restart it immediately but this “feature” is probably in place to conserve bandwidth in case the app were to accidentally be left on. There seems to be a few seconds of lag time in the video as well, which is something that the company needs to address.
Regardless of these issues, any other consumer webcam solution requires a more expensive camera (Logitech’s Indoor Master high-def solution lists for $299) and a computer attached to a network, making the iZon a great choice for starting your home’s first broadcast facility.
Available for $123.25 at www.amazon.com