Updated: April 24, 2016 10:43:43 am
The market for baby monitors is growing by the day. A recent report by Allied Market Research says the Asia-Pacific region will witness the fastest growth in the segment between 2015 and 2020 owing to increasing adoption of high-end baby monitors in developing economies such as China and India.
Working parents like myself find it an easy tool to keep a watch on our children’s activities at home in our absence. While audio monitors have been in the market for longer, video devices are getting more popular now, and parents look no further once they find a connected model.
A digital video baby monitor with WiFi Internet viewing option, the Motorola MBP854Connect comes with a camera and a parent unit. The remote wireless baby monitor by Motorola allows you to keep an eye on your baby, while at home and when you’re away. Using the parent unit, you can watch your baby’s movements from kitchen or other parts of the house and communicate with him/her; while the free Hubble app on a compatible smartphone, tablet or computer lets you monitor your child’s activities when you are at work or any other place.
This parent unit has quite a large 4.3-inch diagonal full colour screen, remote pan, tilt and zoom functionality, besides infrared night vision to enable visibility in very low light levels.
At a selling price of Rs 17,000, the set costs around Rs 1,000 more than its previous MBP853Connect model that came with a smaller 3.5-inch screen.
Price: Rs 17,000 (cheaper options available online)
What is good?
With its crystal clear video and the two-way communication feature, a parent can communicate with the child or her caregiver through the parent unit without being in the same room. A button on the parent unit enables you to talk to your baby through the baby unit’s loudspeaker.
And the Hubble app lets you receive sound, motion and room temperature notifications when you are out at work, keeping you connected all the time. The monitor comes with up to 1,000 ft range and the feature of out-of-range alert.
The pan and tilt feature is a delight. The camera can be remotely controlled from the parent unit. One just needs to press the ‘+ UP’ or ‘- DOWN’ buttons to tilt upward or downward, and the ‘< LEFT’ or ‘> RIGHT’ buttons to pan left or right.
If your child needs music before sleep or to be calmed, the lullaby option can be handy. You can choose one from five lullabies available, or the cycle option to play all of them by turn.
The wireless set offers greater portability and ease of connectivity, and also eliminates the threat associated with the wired devices, which were perceived to be unsecure for babies due to the sensor cord attached to them.
The device can be paired up to 4 baby units, sold separately, enabling you to keep a watch on your growing child who may not like to stay in her cot at all times, or if you want to use other cameras to track the activities of your older child or children.
What is not so good
I didn’t find too many negatives during the time I used the device as far as its basic utility of monitoring my child was concerned. But the fact that its link to the app depends on the Wi-Fi connection makes its use limited.
Also, I found the sound quality inferior to its video quality and the two not in sync. Radio frequency interference is a downer. The user guide on its website recommends placing the baby and parent units 3-6 ft away from each other to avoid noise interference. The guide also says the two units should not be near other electrical equipment, such as a television, computer or cordless/mobile telephone, or 2.4 GHz products such as Wi-Fi routers, Bluetooth systems, or microwave ovens, which may cause interference.
But if you live in a flat, like I do, chances are you may not be able to follow this particular instruction.
Should you buy?
Yes, if you are restless at work, having left your child with a caregiver. A definite plus is the Hubble app that lets you see your child’s movements right on your phone, and you don’t need to carry a separate device for that.
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