Five of the best high-tech baby monitors
Who said baby monitors had to be boring? Gone are the days when you had to press your ear up to a crackly hand unit wondering if your baby was still breathing in the other room. The latest gadgets on the market offer video capabilities, temperature controls, play music and even sync in to your mobile devices for added home security. 007 couldn’t have wished for better himself
TOMY TVF600 DIGITAL VIDEO MONITOR
As part of its 2014 collection, Tomy has launched its latest video monitor, the TVF600, loaded with plenty of features to impress. With a notable 250metre range it does well on sound quality even from long distances. Its 2.4inch LCD screen offers crisp image quality at all times and its night vision mode is excellent, something other monitors fall short on.
The lullaby function will save you an embarrassing rendition of rock-a-bye-baby and perhaps have half a chance of getting your little one to sleep. The two-way talk back is pretty standard for most monitors and the inbuilt nightlight is great for babies who don’t like the dark. Having a remote control for this also means you can forego sneaking back in to turn it off. The temperature sensor will help ensure they’re not too hot or cold. All in all a great monitor, the TVF600 has a nice curved design and comes wall mountable so you can actually remember where you left it.
TOMY UK, www.tommy.co.uk, Best feature – Night vision and picture quality, £99.99
Although sold as home or office security, WatchBot can easily be used as a baby monitor or to spy on the kids when you’re out. You’ll have to first set it up through the provided Ethernet cable, which is easy, before using it wirelessly with a free app. Once this is done you can place it anywhere. Depending on what coverage you need you can actually add up to 64 cameras linked up together, great for businesses or if you live in a palace.
The camera can pan and tilt to scan the room and the night vision mode is a must if you’re using it as a baby monitor. The great thing about the WatchBot is that it can be accessed through your PC or mobile device (although better for PCs than Macs). If you want to use it as home security you can even access it from abroad to keep a watchful eye at home. The built in motion sensor is a bonus for when your baby moves and you can set it to send alerts to your mobile phone. Although there are no lullabies with a home security device, the two way audio is still beneficial. More than just a baby monitor, with the WatchBot you can have your own surveillance team.
WATCHBOT UK, www.watchbotcamera.com, Best feature – Remote video capability, £149.95
EYEON BABY WI-FI CAMERADCS-825L
The Eyeon is super easy to set up so don’t be put off by the booklet. Unlike a lot of monitors on the market, there is only a camera unit as everything else is taken care of with your iPad, Smartphone or laptop. Set up is via a step-by-step wizard on your mobile device and the camera connects to your phone or laptop wirelessly through your Internet. Its inbuilt wireless technology means you can place the camera anywhere and there’s also a Micro SD card slot for recording any photos or video triggered by motion or sound in that room. If you’re online it will alert you to view it live.
There are five lullaby songs preset and if that doesn’t do it, just exercise your vocal chords through the two way audio. Its high definition provides great image quality with infrared night vision that automatically turns on when it gets dark. So you can still keep a close eye on your little one. The unit comes with wall mountable or stand options, and changeable pink or blue colour rings to suit the décor of your room. The Eyeon is a good mix of monitor and home security camera, and is small enough to take anywhere.
D-Link, www.dlink.com/uk, Best feature – HD Quality Vision, £131.99
SAMSUNG 1080P HD WIFI SMART HOME CAMERA
If you can do without the lullabies and want something that will watch your home as well as your kids, you can’t go wrong with the newest addition to Samsung’s home security range. Small and lightweight at only 210g, this smart wifi home camera is well thought out on spec. With full HD streaming and 1080p record and playback, image quality is fantastic so you can clearly keep tabs on your brood. Great for both baby monitor and home security, it comes with motion and audio alert notification. Its two-way audio also means you can talk to your kids through it, which is great as they get older and you want to ensure they are home safe. It’s limited to a five metre night range, which is ample for a baby monitor but you might struggle if you’re trying to mug shot any burglars.
Set up is a walk in the park and runs through your wifi network with an app that can be downloaded to your Smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac. The best part is that if you’re connected to the Internet you can view it from anywhere in the world. So when it stops being a baby monitor you really can keep an eye on your pad from afar. There are three recording modes – continuous, manual or event and everything can be saved up to 64Gb of footage on to an optional Micro SD card. It’s a sleek piece of kit.
Samsung, www.argos.co.uk, Best feature – Full HD 1080 streaming and recording mode, £139.99
MOTOROLA MBP27T DIGITAL VIDEO MONITOR - EDITOR’S CHOICE
You can easily enjoy a coffee in the garden with the 300metre range on this video monitor from Motorola. If in doubt there’s an out of range indicator to stop you rambling too far. The camera unit needs plugging in but has a decent length lead not to be an issue. The pan and tilt feature on the camera is a feature normally saved for home security gadgets so it’s great to see Motorola incorporating this into its baby monitor range. You can control this with the parent unit, which can zoom in or pan across to view the rest of the room. If you’ve got more than one child in there it’s perfect.
The most unique feature on the MBP27T is the touchless infrared thermometer. This is a great addition to this model as it lets you check everything from your baby’s temperature to milk bottles and bath water by hovering the device next to what you want to check. If your baby’s poorly in the night you don’t even have to touch them to check their temperature. All the standard features are included too. The 2.4 LCD screen with infrared night vision, two way talk option and great sound quality. You can also pair up to four cameras with this unit so it can easily be used as added security around the house.
Motorola , www.johnlewis.com, Best feature – Touchless Thermometer, £99.99