September 14, 2011

iZON, Home Monitoring with an Apple Flair

If you like Apple’s designs – iPhone, iPad and more – and are looking to add Home Monitoring then take a look at iZON, it is Home Monitoring with an Apple flair.

iZON, not to be confused with iZon Lens (which are high-resolution lenses for vision correction), is a wireless IP camera that provides live audio-video and can be used to remotely monitor a location. The live video feed can be viewed remotely on an iPhone, iPad and video clips can be recorded and then stored on Youtube, in a tiny 320x240 resolution. The camera can also be set to send alerts on detecting motion or sound.

iZON price - $130.

The iZON can be used as a video baby monitor or as a basic IP camera for video monitoring.

The biggest plus for the iZON – simplicity. Instead of the traditional steps of setting up an IP camera on your home network with a computer
  • configure the camera
  • configure your Internet router
  • set up port forwarding
  • etc

The iZON setup is auto-discover, auto-configure using only an iOS device
  • Powerup iZON
  • Download Stem:Connect app on your iOS device
  • Go to STEM wireless network on your iOS device
  • Let the app auto-discover all available iZON cameras on the STEM network
  • Let the app auto-configure each iZON

Once configured, the video feed for the camera can be viewed remotely on an iOS device from anywhere. For best quality, only one camera should be viewed at a time.

iZON has the looks to be inside your living room, elegant style like an Apple product and a nice marketing video (above) like Apple’s, but it still has ways to go to truly be like an Apple product – useful, stable and attractive.

iZON ships with overly complicated user guides that contradict its focus on simplicity. Its interface is a puzzling mashup of an alarm clock and a network camera and the product is said to be not stable.

iZON is a step in the right direction – bring Apple like designs to home monitoring – but with its current limitations the best use of the current product will be as a video baby monitor.

Alternatives to iZON include the Panasonic BL-C121 ($125) or BL-C230 ($200) IP cameras, which require a few more steps to setup but then provide high quality live video feeds (that last for years) and a much richer set of features.