What does it mean to always have someone listening? During WW2 the saying was “Loose lips sink ships“, should we now say “Your lips sell out”. Can we trust that these always on devices are not used against us, but only for us? The convenience is great, and the trust we give the companies extensive. In the ongoing trial against James Bates, at least some safeguards are revealed.
The other thing we don’t know is if the information will be of any use. Alexa records and simultaneously dumps constantly, and only stores information for a quarter of a second before it hears the word “Alexa” (or whatever you’ve chosen as your wake-word).
However, there is always the unknown factor you cant foresee or control with technology:
My wife asked why I carried a gun around the house. I told her:fear of CIA. She Laughed, I laughed, the Amazon Echo Laughed. I shot the Echo
— Ron Futrell (@RonFutrell) March 7, 2017
I dont know if we are trading down, but for now Im willing to try, but with purchasing turned of.
One word that matters in this discussion, is Geo Blocking. You will find that included perks of Amazon Prime are not available to you outside of the US geography, so you have you use a little bit of ingenuity to circumvent this. So, to work around the geoblock of Amazon TV, I recommend Unlocator.com
Sign up for a free trial after you receive your FireTV, through the above link, and enjoy!
You can do this both simply, and a tad more advanced. If you only have the 1 FireTV, use the simple method with just unlocator. If you have also Chromecast and AppleTV, you should use the more advanced version with a dedicated router.
So, I bought myself a D-LINK DCS-935LH IFTTT enabled camera for 999kr NOK from Kjell & Company. I picked this one as it was the most affordable IFTTT compatible WiFi camera that had motion detection and night vision.
The camera does exactly what it said it would. It has motion detection, it sends alerts whenever anything happens, it works well in the dark and it stores all the data on the SD card.
However, what I had not considered in detail, was the IFTTT integration. I had expected it to be on par with others, but for my usecase, it is not. And that is its downfall.
I wanted to use the camera to be able to keep track of which kid came home when I wasn’t home. So I had expected that I would be able to use IFTTT to turn the camera of when I was home. The iOS app has a privacy feature, the Android does not, and neither does the IFTTT skill. So whats happening is that I get spammed whenever anyone is in the hallway, regardless of if me or my wife are home.
Based on this, my recommendation is DO NOT BUY. I have since seen that most other IFTTT cameras has geo enabled IFTTT skills to control privacy. It does also have some network constraints I had trouble figuring out, as it requires both the phone with app, and the camera to be on the same Wifi in order to configure the camera. My Get box has some OOTB LAN limitation, that the camera didnt tolerate. Had to setup on a sub-Wifi in order to get the camera working.
If you want a constant stream of whats happening though, this is the camera for you.
Here are some picture samples, both day and night. The camera seems to be constantly recording, as it also stores the 5 seconds prior to the motion occurring. Each clip is 30 seconds when there is motion. If the motion is continuous, it will make several clips and notifications. I have not found a setting for controlling this.