In my recent trip to Singapore I visited the Apple Store on Orchard Road (Shout out to Kai from Singapore’s Apple Store!), and bought the D-Link Omna 180 camera, and old is sometimes gold. Yes, I know it launched more than a year ago, Feb 2017 to be exact, but I really had no other option for a HomeKit camera.
The (what I believe would be) the only other option would be the Logitech Circle 2, however as it is for MANY HomeKit accessories it is not available in Malaysia, nor in Singapore. But as there’s no choice, I thought I’d just get the Omna first to see how I can use it in my home automation.
Based on the information that I can get from the site the camera is pretty simple at it’s best, that’s probably why it’s still for sale, a little cheaper too at SGD 239. And, again I’m getting this from Singapore as it’s there in the store, and not available anywhere in Malaysia, nor the local e-commerce sites.
Oh, here’s my take on the D-Link Omna 180 camera. It’s really a no-brainer device. Take it out of the box, install the Omna app, plug it into the wall socket (there’s no power switch so I can’t say “power it up”), scan the HomeKit code that’s on the instruction document/device, then it will ask you if you want to add this to HomeKit, and Bob’s your uncle.
The options are very standard as well. You have a Micro SD card that you can fit into the camera to make recording, but of course, as all the reviews say, if the thief steals the camera, then you’re out of luck. It has Motion Detection, which I think is the best function of the camera and I’ll cover more a little later. And of course the best part is the 2-way communication that it has. As I said, very basic, which after I’ve installed it and used it, I believe it’s a pretty good HomeKit device that allows you to view your home at 180 degree angles, and 1080p resolution.
Here’s the best part of the Omna 180: The greatest limitation of a motion sensor is that you need to position it right, and even when it’s done you are actually placing a motion detector that covers a wide area. With the Omna 180, you can specify the area you want to monitor for motion.
Here’s an example: In my previous posts I monitor movement within the house, and in the porch. But let’s say I want to monitor movement on the patio, all I have to do with the Omna 180 is to select the location on the right which is the patio door, and that can be then linked to lights, notification, etc.
Now the next thing to do is to have a HomeKit Bell/Alarm, which should be easy to make. All it would be is an electric bell connected to a Homekit switch! Hmm…. that will be a project for my next post.