3 Mobile EyeCam U110
- Compact and Lightweight, Wall and Roof Mountable, Ease of Use, Audio
- Video Quality, Ongoing Video Call Costs
It may not have an overwhelming market right now and is far from perfect, but the EyeCam has its advantages and is definitely an interesting development in the 3G mobile world.
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
Ever wanted to watch your kids tear the house apart while you run down to grab a few things from the supermarket? Or how about check on your baby as you do the washing? Enter 3 Mobile's EyeCam; an oddly shaped device which acts as a security camera, complete with its own SIM card and phone number. The EyeCam can be dialled from your 3G enabled phone and provide real-time video and audio streaming.
The design of the EyeCam is definitely interesting and it does have some good points. The silver and white colour scheme gives it an iPod-like feel and weighing a mere 250 grams, the EyeCam is surprisingly compact for a device of this kind. It can easily be placed on a table or away from prying eyes on top of a cupboard. It is not totally inconspicuous, but if you're creative you'll surely find it useful as a security device.
The camera is fixed on a rubber mount which can be rotated vertically, however, the design does not allow full horizontal movement. Instead, the horizontal movement is fixed while the lens is adjusted vertically though a small opening on the EyeCam in which the camera can be tilted up or down for optimum viewing. By default, the lens is hidden when the camera is not turned on but rotating the camera to the position you need automatically brings the EyeCam to life, sleeping again only when the lens is hidden again. Directly underneath the lens mount are two lights designed as a a network indicator and a battery indicator. The final design element is the SIM card slot, a reset button and the main power switch, all of which run along the very bottom of the unit.
Using the EyeCam is a simple matter of dialing its number via a video call on your handset and entering the PIN code. During testing, we used a 3 Mobile LG U880, but the EyeCam will work with any 3G network enabled phone. The first user to dial into the EyeCam becomes the administrator and is able to send SMS commands. These include adding and removing allowed users, changing the PIN code and flipping the view of the EyeCam (useful when the device is wall or roof mounted).
Video quality isn't the greatest, but it has to be said that this is still a developing technology and we weren't expecting fabulous things in this regard. The video is choppy and somewhat unclear, but as a security device it is pretty adequate. Particularly impressive was the night mode; in the pitch dark we could make out almost the entire contents of the room.
We were surprised by the the units audio quality and range. Despite a tiny microphone being squeezed between the two lights at the front of the EyeCam, the audio was, for the most part, clear and concise and we were predominantly pleased with the range. The unit regularly picked up sounds in surrounding rooms, so its appeal as a security device is attractive in this sense.
The EyeCam package includes wall-mounting accessories and it can even be attached to a roof or ceiling. There is a small mounting bracket to assist this process, together with a metal plate that can be attached to the base of the EyeCam. The wall-mounting kit is easy to install and the instructions are clear and concise, but beware as the EyeCam does need to be plugged into the included AC adapter for charging.
Overall, the EyeCam is an interesting device, with some niche but viable uses. With further product development this could become a useful security aid. For now however the EyeCam is a cool device, although the cost of video calls may render it expensive to operate.
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