Netatmo announces Welcome, a home security camera with facial recognition

Nest Cam launched a few days ago, an inevitable move by Nest after the acquisition of Dropcam. The home monitoring camera is capable of recording video and uploading it to the cloud, which the user can pay £10 per month to access.

Netatmo, another smart home company based in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, plans to wipe the floor with its own camera monitoring system, but adding a key feature: facial recognition.

The camera, named Welcome, is capable of recognising a face and the owner can add those faces to a databank. Welcome can notify the user when a child comes back from school or if a stranger has entered or approaches the building.

All of this information is sent to the connected phone through WiFi, meaning at work or on holiday, Welcome can still tell you when a parcel has arrived or if a friend is knocking.

The advantages of this facial recognition service are massive, especially if connected to other smart home devices. Imagine if the user could voice a response to a courier, asking them to leave a box in the back garden, instead of having to pick it up or wait another three days.

Welcome owners can also view livestreams of the camera view, allowing them to see the person at the door in case the facial recognition fails to detect a family member or friend.

The design of Welcome takes up far more space than the Nest Cam, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. The camera is capable of storing photos and videos on the system, instead of the user having to pay for cloud management.

Since the storage is local, it also means data on face recognition and private video stays private, not uploaded to the cloud where it could potentially be mined for advertising purposes.

Welcome will be available for £199 at Amazon, John Lewis and Netatmo’s own store. It comes with no hidden costs or extras. The connected app will be available on iOS 8 and Android 4.3 phones and above.