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Ecobee adds baby monitoring features to its SmartCamera

With this development, parents will be able to turn a home security camera into always-on audio, which is required for a baby monitor. The SmartCamera is also compatible with Apple’s HomeKit platform (including HomeKit Secure Video) and Amazon Alexa.

February 24, 2021

Ecobee SmartCamera

Ecobee SmartCamera. Image: Ecobee

Ecobee has launched its SmartCamera home security camera by adding a few new features that make it easier to use as a baby monitor. The new ‘Baby Monitor’ mode, which is enabled during the setup of the camera, adjusts the camera’s settings to dim the LED lights on the front, makes it harder to accidentally enable the camera’s Siren alarm, and, perhaps most importantly, adds an audio-only streaming option that lets you continue to listen for disruptions even if you switch to a different app or lock your phone.

The traditional video monitors provide an always-on feed to a dedicated screen, however, home security cameras require the use of your phone and an app, which might be slow to load and cumbersome to use. Ecobee’s audio streaming mode effectively turns the camera and phone into an always-on audio monitor, from which can be tapped into the app to check the video feed when a disturbance is heard.

The SmartCamera is also compatible with Apple’s HomeKit platform (including HomeKit Secure Video) and Amazon Alexa, which allows you to view the video feed from an Echo smart display or the Home app on an iOS or macOS device. Ecobee’s dedicated app is the only way to access the audio monitoring and other dedicated features such as pan and zoom on the SmartCamera, however.

The parent or caretaker can switch between the baby monitoring (which disables some of the home security features of the camera) and the standard security camera modes at any time, so once there is no need for a baby monitor, the camera can be repurposed and used elsewhere in your home.

In addition to the new baby monitoring features, Ecobee is also now selling a bundle that includes a SmartCamera and a SmartThermostat and the SmartCamera is also available separately.