We've tried out more than our fair share of smart indoor cameras here at Ideal Home – but we've never come across one as stylish as the new Hive View. Launched this week, this chic connected camera comes from the people that brought your the Hive smart thermostat. And it's just as easy to use.
The Hive View has two key roles. It's a security camera, which alerts you to any unexpected motion or noise at home so you can check it out. And it's a 'babysitter' that keeps a watchful eye on pets, children and – in our case – a mischievous husband, while you're out of the house.
More smart home tech: Is this little doorbell the future of home security?
So far, so just like lots of other connected cameras out there. So what's so special about the Hive View? Well, aside from the fact that it looks cracking, it has a unique 'grab and go' feature. The cube-shaped camera is attached to its stand with magnets, so it can be easily removed and placed in another room. You'll get about an hour's of use from it before it need to be returned to the stand for charging. Whether you're dealing with napping babies or excitable puppies, it could be a godsend.
To set up Hive View, you will need broadband at home, but no hub is required. Just download the hive app and plug in the camera. Within seconds, the camera should be 'seen' by the app, where you'll be able to give it a name and set up alerts. We got Hive View up and running in a couple of minutes.
In the Hive app, you can watch a live stream from the camera, or check out your recordings. It records whenever it detects movement or sounds, and sends you alert, which you can watch any time in the next 24-hour period. Want longer to watch? You can sign up for a 30-day video history, from £4.99 a month.
For those moments when you don't want Big Brother watching, pop into the app and select the privacy mode – this can also be scheduled for specific times throughout the day. And if you're not bothered about what Fido is up to but DO want an update when the kids get home from school, set Hive View detection mode to 'People' and it will ignore any pets.
After a week living with a borrowed Hive View, we've been very impressed. In our experience, home monitors often drop offline, but Hive hasn't let us down yet. The 130-degree field of view might not be as wide as some, but it was more than enough for us. However, it's worth scheduling the privacy mode when you know someone is going to be at home. Unless you fancy being bombarded with alerts, that is.
Buy now: Hive View, £189, Hive
Hive comes in two finishes White & Champagne Gold and Black and Brushed Copper, and can be wall-mounted. It's also available as a discounted double pack for £319 (a saving of £59). We're already very attached to ours. If only because it solved the mystery of who ate the Terry's Chocolate Orange we left on the coffee table...
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Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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