A friend recently told me about a $50 WiFi webcam ($70 before mail-in rebate). I’ve long wanted a pet-cam. So, I bought it, installed it, and liked it so much that I wanted a camera with a few more features. Pan and tilt, audio, and smartphone video viewing are not features expected in a sub-$100 WiFi webcam.
I found the Astak Mole at Costco the other day. After a bit of debate, I plunked down my $200 ($300 list) about bought it:
This device met all of my feature requirements and threw in a SD card slot to record video on the device itself.
You can see from the photo of the back of the device that it can also take an external microphone and headset (speaker). It has a built-in microphone to transmit sound as well as video. I verified that I could not only see video on my iPhone but could also control the pan and tilt too.
There is one big problem, however. I tested all of this using it while connected using an Ethernet cable. Its wireless (WiFi) feature simply did not work. I’m planning to return the unit for a replacement later today.
In the meantime: Hey, Apple and Google, I need iPhoto or Picasa to be updated to include “snout recognition” for pets. iPhoto can apparently recognize cat faces but not dogs and other animals with a snout.