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Hands-on Review: CleverLoop Security Surveillance System

26 Nov 15

CleverLoop is a video surveillance and security system that is built with smartphones and the modern digital world in mind.

Just as a matter of background, I’ve not had any involvement with home surveillance. Yes, I’ve used a webcam and skype, but not much else. The following is a personal experience.

The kit I tested included indoor and outdoor cameras and the Base Station. The CleverLoop system comes in one, two and three camera packages, with each including a Base Station unit. These packages also provide the flexibility to choose indoor or outdoor camera combinations that suit your monitoring needs.

The first thing you realise is that the setup is super easy. The paper instructions essentially tell you to just download the app and then follow the onscreen instructions.

I downloaded the app on my iPhone. The app is available for both Android and iOS.

I quickly registered and set up an account with CleverLoop in the app. Then it wanted to add my Base Station. The steps were ridiculously simple e.g. plugging in a cable with each step accompanied by a video of what to do. There were four steps to get the base station up and running, then a few more for the camera.

In no time at all, it was done. Things were operational and I could see the stream of video from the cameras on my app.

The cameras connect via either ethernet cables or wi-fi. They include the necessary cables and mounting gear.

These streams aren’t by default saved, but they’re available live. Although you can plug in any external hard drive to the Base Station for continuous footage recording.

In addition to the live streams, you can turn on a clever feature called Auto Arm. This essentially monitors the camera for activity. Then if say a burglar walks through, it captures those frames and sends them to the app. You get notified by the app, so you can login and look at the unusual activity. This important video footage is stored both locally and backed up on the cloud for free, which could be useful for a Police investigation, among other situations.

CleverLoop claims that “With cutting-edge computer vision algorithms, CleverLoop filters out trivial movements, and only sends notifications when something important happens”. We found this to be completely correct. Small movements like a plant waving didn’t set off ‘unusual activity’ alerts while people did. Very clever.

Obviously this feature isn’t required all the time - especially when you’re home. You don’t want to be getting smartphone notifications just because you went past the camera on your way to the fridge. To solve this, the location service of the user’s mobile device can be used. CleverLoop then automatically arms and disarms based on the user’s current location. So, no having to turn ‘on’ when you leave or ‘off’ when you get home. This all gives you one less thing to forget on the morning that you’re late to work.

I’m really blown away with the system. It was quick to setup, easy to use and is as the name suggests - just really clever. I can see its use in many homes and possibly even small businesses over this holiday period.

Even the price point is sharp, as the Base Station with 1 camera:  $449, Base Station with 2 cameras: $549 and Base Station with 3 cameras: $619. The CleverLoop system also doesn't come with monthly fees, unlike other products in New Zealand which can cost up to $40 every month.

Well done CleverLoop, this is a well designed, cost effective and easy to use smart home security product.

CleverLoop can be purchased from www.cleverloop.co.nz

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