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BabyPing Video Monitor

BabyPing2 Stars

Baby monitors, with nothing more than a simple audio feed, are slowly becoming a thing of the past. The future of baby monitoring will rely on video feeds, with night vision cameras and even two-way communication to aid in soothing your child.

Recently I placed the BabyPing Video Monitor next to the crib in our house; read on to find out my thoughts.

PROS

  • Great video quality on local and offsite networks, even in the dark.
  • During review process, a 2nd app was released to view the camera offsite.
  • Frequent software updates to camera firmware and iOS apps, fixing annoying issues.

CONS

  • Connection issues almost every time you launch either app.
  • Constant “humm” when audio is turned up on iDevice.
  • Price tag.

BabyPing Video Monitor

There isn’t a whole lot to the BabyPing Video Monitor. You have the camera, a power cord and an ethernet cable for setting up the device.

BabyPing Video Monitor back

Setup was fairly simple. First I had to install the BabyPing app on an iOS device. Then I had to use the ethernet cable, update the firmware of my camera (one just happened to be available) and then set the Wi-Fi network the camera was to access using the iOS app. All in all, it took maybe 15 minutes to set up and view my first video stream.

BabyPing Video Monitor streaming

Impressive night vision is impressive. And scary.

Once it was all set up, I placed it next to the crib, then waited for bed time. Later that night, I thought I heard something coming from the room, so I launched the app. I was greeted with a “No BabyPing Video Monitor found” message. I closed the app, relaunched and was greeted with the same message. Repeat this process two more times and finally I was connected to the camera and streaming video from a dark room to my iPhone. I turned up the volume, wanting to see what the sound quality was like and there was a humming noise. Try as I might, I could never get rid of this noise. There was an app update along the way claiming to address the audio issue. While the noise wasn’t near as bad as it was before, it’s still present when you have to turn up the volume on your iDevice. It’s quite annoying.

One of my biggest complaints about the camera when I first received it was the lack (what seemed to me to be an obvious feature) of the ability to access the camera when you’re not home, or connected to the same Wi-Fi network the camera is on. This changed in October when the BabyPing+ app was released. After setting up the app and a login for your specific computer, you can now access the BabyPing Video Camera from anywhere. It’s a nice addition, but it still suffers from the connection issues the original BabyPing app does.

When you’re running the BabyPing app on your iOS device, you can exit the app and leave it running in the background. Of course the video stream will stop, but the audio stream will continue, allowing you to basically turn your iOS device into an old fashioned baby monitor. Tapping on the red bar atop your iOS screen will launch the app, returning the video feed.

The BabyPing Video Monitor has the potential to be a great camera, and a great device for parents with iOS devices. But right now, it’s pretty frustrating to have to launch the app multiple times in order to see the live feed. When trying to determine if your kid is crying and going back to sleep, or crying cause he or she truly needs attention, nothing is more frustrating than technology that doesn’t work.

There’s hope in the fact the apps and camera firmware is easily upgradable, but until the issues are ironed out, I have to give the product 2 stars.

If you’re interested in giving the BabyPing Video Monitor a shot, you can find it on Amazon for $249.

*Review sample provided by BabyPing

Jason Cipriani is a freelance writer currently working on how-to articles and software reviews for CNET, reviews for WIRED, Android news for Android Guys and more.


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