The Blink home security camera began as a Kickstarter campaign almost 3 years ago but has evolved – as not all crowd-funded ideas do – into an actual product that has already sold tens of thousands of units and is expanding in ways that may sell even more of these low-cost security kits.
The basic $99 Blink kit is one 2-1/2 inch by 2-1/2 inch white camera unit, powered by two lithium AA batteries, and a required Sync Module that’s just a bit smaller and needs to stay plugged into power with a USB cable. You’ll need Wi-Fi in your home or office. Both units are small enough that you could even take them on the road to watch, say, your hotel room, as long as where you’re going has Wi-Fi.
You download the Blink Home Monitor app for Android or iOS, and follow its instructions to set up an account with your email and a password, then link the sync box to your Wi-Fi, register it to your Blink account using its serial number, and name your security network. Next, add the camera to the security network by its serial number, and name it, likely for where you’re going to place it, say, entry hall.
And that’s about it. Once you “arm” the camera with the app, it will detect motion and record short video clips, upload them to your Blink account, you’ll be notified, and can watch the clip from where ever you are. There’s audio too, and in the app, you can do things such as set the sensitivity of the motion detector (so the dog doesn’t always set it off), the clip length from 5 to 55 seconds, the “retrigger” time delay for another recording, etc. The app will also show the camera’s battery life, which they say is about 2 years of “standard” use.
Blink Home Security now works with Amazon’s Alexa intelligent assistant, and the camera can be armed or disarmed by voice command. The Blink app also lets you schedule when the cameras are armed or disarmed.
The cameras actually do “blink” a little blue LED when they start recording, but even if a thief grabs them (you’ll get a video of that!) the clips are stored in your Blink account online – up to 2 hours worth at a time. You can also record video “on demand” but each clip will be 30 seconds, then ask if you want to continue, and continue, and continue… Aside from spying on that dog, you could also use such on demand recording to check up on an elderly relative.
Blink is sold in kits with up to 5 cameras, and the system can handle as many as 10. Each camera can just stand on a flat surface, such as a bookshelf, or be wall mounted with an included bracket. While all the white Blink cameras are designed for use only indoors, there’s a waterproof black Blink XT with night vision coming out soon that will work safely outdoors as long as it is within range of the Sync Module.
Beyond that, Blink is going to expand to a more sophisticated security system later this year, adding a siren module, entry and water sensors, a keypad to allow arm & disarm, and a new 4G cellular sync module with battery backup, so Blink is working even without Wi-Fi or power. They are calling this Blink Home Seecurity and will include a $10 monthly self-monitoring plan with the cellular module, or optional $20 monthly third-party professional monitoring using the Blink system.
For now, you can purchase the indoor Blink Home Security Camera home kits either directly for $99 for the one camera starter set, and up to $349 for the set with 5 indoor cameras. And of course, Blink is also available on Amazon.
Here’s their promotional video: