Slowly but surely, smart cameras with HomeKit Secure Video are more and more common while also falling in price. One of the newer options comes from Eufy and even costs less than some Apple dongles. Here's how Eufy's new Indoor Cam 2K works with HomeKit.
At the high end of the HomeKit secure video market are options like Logitech Circle View. I used the Circle View earlier this year, explaining how it works exclusively with HomeKit Secure Video, without even integrating with the Logitech app or other voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Eufy is also well known for its high-end smart home cameras, such as the EufyCam 2 and the EufyCam 2C. These cameras are wireless and battery powered, but they require Eufy's Home Base Companion. The new Indoor Cam 2K does not require a base and can be used entirely on its own, although it is wired via an included micro USB cable.
What sets Eufy's new 2K indoor camera apart from the competition is its price tag, at $ 39,99. For that price, you get 2K resolution with support for features like real-time audio and night vision, plus on-device artificial intelligence for surveillance. It can record directly to a microSD card or via Eufy's cloud service. Of course, when you use it with HomeKit Secure Video, all recordings are handled through iCloud.
That being said, there are areas where the Eufy Indoor Cam 2K is priced at, especially when it comes to the physical design. The Eufy indoor camera is made entirely of plastic, including the base. This makes it slightly unstable at times, but you can manually adjust the camera angle if needed for better stability. As the name suggests, the Indoor Cam 2K is also designed for indoor use only, which means its design is not water resistant and doesn't make any claims to durability.
Eufy also sells a slightly more expensive version of the Indoor Cam 2K with pan and tilt capabilities. This one costs $ 49,99, but the key to remember is that there are no controls in the Home app for pan and tilt capabilities.
Interestingly, the Eufy Indoor Cam 2K was originally announced with support for HomeKit Secure Video, but ended up being released without this feature at first. This has changed recently, as Eufy is currently rolling out a 2K Indoor Camera update that brings HomeKit Secure Video integration.
As a reminder, here are the requirements for using HomeKit Secure Video:
- iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 13.2 or iPadOS 13.2 or later
- iPad, Apple TV or HomePod used as a home hub
- 200GB ($ 2,99 / month) for one camera or 2TB ($ 9,99 / month) iCloud storage plan for up to 5 cameras
An aside: Currently, Apple even limits users' 2TB tier of iCloud storage to a maximum of five HomeKit secure video cameras. That seems like a rather arbitrary limit, and with more cameras adding HomeKit Secure Video compatibility and becoming more affordable, Apple really needs to consider removing that cap.
To add the Eufy Indoor Cam 2K to HomeKit, you must first configure it in the Eufy app. Once you do that, you will see the option to add it to the Home app and enable HomeKit Secure Video features. In the Home app, you can set different recording preferences depending on whether you are at home or away from home. There are four different settings you can choose from.
- Off: No one can broadcast and nothing is recorded. This camera cannot detect activity and will not trigger automates or send notifications.
- Detect Activity: This camera can detect activity to trigger automations and send notifications, but no one can broadcast and nothing is recorded.
- Streaming: People invited to this home can view the live stream from this camera, but nothing is recorded. This camera can also detect activity to trigger automation or send notifications.
- Stream and Allow Recording: People invited to this home can see the live stream from this camera. The activity detected by this camera will be recorded and can also be used to trigger automations or send notifications.
One of the downsides here is that there doesn't seem to be a way to use the Indoor Cam 2K only with HomeKit Secure Video. This is not necessarily a problem in practice, but for the sake of safety it would be beneficial to remove the Eufy app from the equation altogether.
The video quality of the camera is quite good and the motion alerts are reliable from both the Eufy app and the Home app, so you can choose the one that best suits your setup. With iOS 14, there is new support for setting up activity zones in the Home app, which you can also take advantage of with Indoor Cam 2K.
Ultimately, the Eufy Indoor Cam 2K is a great choice for those who need an easy-to-install and reliable HomeKit secure video camera. Considering its $ 40 price tag, it lacks some of the bells and whistles of high-end home security cameras, but for the vast majority of people that should be more than enough.
I'm happy to see that HomeKit secure video cameras are not only more and more common, but also much more affordable. The more cameras that use HomeKit Secure Video, the more pressure Apple is under to ensure that the platform is reliable and as feature-rich as third-party apps. As I wrote before, the goal of the Apple Home app should be to not depend on third-party apps from smart home accessory manufacturers at all.
Learn more about HomeKit Secure Video:
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