My wife and I recently became parents, so I’ve been looking at ways to beef up our home with a bunch of HomeKit appliances to control things more easily when we’ve got our hands full.
I’ve had smart lights in the home for years now - just so we could set a timer on our lights so they would switch on when we would be away visiting family. We’ve since been able to control our LG G2 TV and Apple TV 4K with Apple’s Home app too. But a new arrival has prompted me to look into a dedicated camera for our newborn baby.
It’s a far cry from the days when you would have to buy what would essentially be a two-way radio. If there were any sounds, there would be a pulsating red light, alerting you that the baby needed tending to.
With the ability to watch and set cameras and other appliances on your Apple devices through its HomeKit system and the Home app, it’s now much easier to see what’s going on in other rooms around your home.
So, with Black Friday approaching on November 24, I’ve already been looking at some HomeKit cameras to help us keep an eye on our newborn as we get into sleep routines.
eufy 2K Indoor Camera | $54.99
Smart and Secure
Compatible with Apple's HomeKit, this 360-degree camera lets you track babies and pets, alongside being able to let you speak at them through its built-in microphone.
This also comes with screws and openings where you can attach it to ceilings and other parts of your home, so you can get the best view, wherever you are.
Listening out for the cries
It’s getting to the point where we need to leave our baby alone to sleep at certain times, but as we live in a two-story house, we usually work or watch TV downstairs. So, to have a HomeKit camera that could track his movements and any loud audio when he cries would be incredibly useful for us.
This is where a eufy camera comes in. We’ve had one in our front room for a couple of years now. It’s mainly been used to keep track of our dog, Jolly when we are out doing errands. With its 360-degree movement and the built-in microphone giving us the ability to speak to him, it’s been fantastic, especially with Apple’s Home app.
We can load the app up on our Macs, iPhones, and Apple Watches and know exactly what Jolly is doing and where. The same can now apply to our son. Placing the eufy camera on a shelf near his cot will let us hear and see exactly what he’s doing.
However, if for any reason we miss his cries, we’ll be able to get a notification of excessive noise on our devices. Easy. But with an Apple TV, the experience is even better.
And yet, that’s not all
I’ve said before how tvOS 17 is a great update to Apple’s set-top box, especially when it comes to FaceTime. If we want to make a video call, we can use our iPads and iPhones as cameras through Apple’s Continuity Camera feature, and the Apple TV will show the recipient on said call.
But it’s only recently that I’ve found how useful it is to view the cameras within tvOS. Holding the TV button will let you access Control Center, your profiles, and a ‘lite’ version of the Home app.
Here, you can view any enabled cameras, and have them display as a Picture-in-Picture video as you watch another Netflix or YouTube video. Using the eufy Camera, we could have our son as a constant display on our TV if we wish.
It’s a great example of how tvOS can work in the home, especially when it comes to newborns. So I’m looking forward to seeing what discounts there’ll be on this eufy Camera once Black Friday begins on November 24, and how well we’ll be able to see how he’s sleeping on his own, while we’re downstairs, watching him through Apple TV.
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Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.
Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.