Hive, a company most famous for its smart heating system, has released a new security camera that is quite a departure from most security cameras on the market.
A design collaboration with Yves Behar (who designed the Hive Active Heating 2 thermostat), the Hive View comes in a couple of different color schemes: white with “champagne gold” and black with “brushed copper”.
We’ve had some time to see the View close up and it’s one of the first cameras we’ve seen that moves away from the white plastic aesthetic that most security cameras have, that aren’t exactly appealing from a home-decor point of view.
130-degree HD video
One of the key selling points of the Hive View is a feature called ‘grab and go’ that allows you to remove the camera from its stand, place it at a different point in your house, and it will still work for about an hour thanks to a battery housed in the camera unit.
The camera itself has a 130 degree wide-angle lens and can livestream a 1080p HD feed directly to your phone day or night thanks to infra-red. You’ll need an iPhone or iPad with iOS 9 or higher or Android 4.4 or later in order to access the feed.
If you don’t want to spend all day watching what’s going on in your home, you can opt to receive notifications whenever there’s motion detected by the camera. For pet owners there is a great feature that allows you to customize notifications so that only human beings set it off, not any figure.
Hive let us know that there is a more advanced version of this feature in the works too, that will take a picture of the person’s face and include that in the notification so you can see from a quick glance if the person in your home is someone you recognise. This is coming at some point in 2018.
This isn’t the first security camera from Hive, there is already the Hive Camera, but that camera isn’t nearly as stylish, and most importantly it doesn’t work with the rest of the Hive ecosystem.
Hive has a wide range of products that includes lights, plug sockets, and sensors. All of these are operated by the same Hive app, but the Hive Camera frustratingly wasn’t. This is rectified by the Hive View and a massive step in the right direction for a more unified smart home experience.
This simplification will be very appealing for Hive customers, and Hive is working to improve the collaboration between these products; in February, ‘Hive actions’ will be rolled out that enables you to link different devices together in the app.
Hive View availability and price
The Hive View is available now in the UK and US for $199.99 (£189) for one, or £319 for a pack of two if you’re in the UK. The Hive View currently isn’t available in Australia, but we’ll let you know if that changes.
If you’d rather not pay the lump sum, there is an option to purchase a package called ‘Hive close to home’ that includes Hive View, two Hive Active Lights, two Hive Window or Door sensors, one Hive Active Plug, the Hive Hub, and 30-day cloud storage of video footage for $14.58 (£29.99) a month, going down to $5.99 (£4.99) a month after a year.
If you want the ability to watch back recordings but don’t want the whole package, you can sign up for Hive Video Playback for £4.99 a month.
We have a unit in for review, and will let you know our full thoughts about the Hive View soon.