We came away impressed when we reviewed Wyze’s Cam Pan security camera last year. At just $30 a camera, it was almost disconcertingly cheap (and Wyze sells a $20 model too). But my colleague Tristan Greene concluded that “despite a few shortcomings, [it] does everything I want it to do and more.”
Today the company announced a new set of products to help secure your home: the Wyze Sense kit. For $20, you get a motion sensor – for, you know, detecting movement – and two contact sensors that allow you to secure doors, windows, or your cookie jar.
The sensors are roughly a square inch in size and can send alerts to your phone when they detect activity or prompt the camera to start recording. The motion sensor detects movement up to 26 feet away within a 120-degree angle, while contact sensors can cover gaps up to 2 cm apart. The contact sensors can also let you know if you’ve left a door open for an extended period of time so your dog doesn’t go running outside to chase a squirrel.
All that being said, the $20 price assumes you’ve already got a Wyze camera. The Sense kit includes the Wyze Bridge, which plugs into the back of a Wyze Cam and communicates with the sensors. The camera needs to be on for the Bridge to work, but you can de-activate streaming.
If you’re wondering why the sensors don’t simply connect to your Wi-Fi network like the cameras, the answer is battery life. Connecting to Wi-Fi would’ve drained the included coin battery in weeks, so the sensors instead operate via a more energy-efficient RF signal. Wyze estimates the batteries will last 12 months, and they are mercifully user-replaceable.
The sensors are currently available for pre-order via the Wyze app, and will start shipping May 8. We haven’t had the chance to try the kit ourselves, but given our experience with the Wyze cam and the $20 price tag, it seems a safe enough buy. If you need a Wyze Cam to attach the Bridge to, you can get one of those for $20 or $30 from Wyze’s website, or $26 and $37 from Amazon.
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Published March 27, 2019 — 20:42 UTC