A baby monitor for your boat? Maybe!
Another area of boating that may benefit from ever smaller and cheaper wireless computing components is video cameras used for monitoring and just plain fun. It may seem crazy to put a baby product on Panbo but not when you check out the specs of the Withing Smart Baby Monitor. That’s a remotely controlled hi-res pan/tilt/zoom camera in that ipodish box seen above and it can connect to multiple iThing viewer/controllers via Bluetooth, local WiFi, or the Internet. It also has stereo microphones and a temperature/humidity sensor, and it can detect motion and noise anomalies. And if any of these multiple remote monitoring features lead you to think that your boat is unhappy, you can transmit a little sweet talk or play it a lullaby!…
Perhaps most of the useful technology packed into the Smart Monitor is available in some more boat friendly form, but I don’t know of it yet (anyone?). But I do know of a vaugely similar device called the iZon Remote Room Monitor. And that’s iZON as in “eyes on” your precious boat or whatever, from wherever, as long as everything including your iOS device is online. However, long time Panbot, gadget experimenter, and country blues guitarist John Williams was not impressed:
The executive summary is that I wasn’t able to get the camera to work and the Stem support folks never responded. The unit is going back.
Nice idea though. You configure the camera by getting into the camera’s own local WiFi network. The problem seems to be that instead of accessing the camera through a simple browser connection you have to do it through a Stem iOS app and the app appears to be pretty unreliable.
I’m an iOS developer and have several devices that I tried but only one worked, an old iPad, and it only worked once but the setup process gave me an error when I tried to save the data. Oh well.
Anyhow, I hope I can send it back with an old fashioned note in the box since I can’t seem to get through to them any other way.
On to other gadgets.
Meanwhile, yours truly is excited about getting the soon-to-be-available WiFi Back for the little GoPro Hero2 camera I purchased last fall. Video explanation of the Back here. In fact, I would not have made such an impetuous purchase if the back weren’t promised. The camera itself is wonderfully able and sharp, but it has no live view and the miniscule monochrome control screen is frustrating.
But the hope is being able to both stream and control the GoPro from a fast color display I already own, like an iPad or Android phone. I picture mounting it on Gizmo’s mast as a poor man’s navigation cam or just to capture footage of good gunkholing. Or maybe I’ll put it in the salon sometimes and watch it from home in case some anti-NMEA zealot intrudes (I kid). The technological possibilities are getting pretty obvious, and affordable. What might you do with it?
Wireless Underwater Viewing System
March 10, 2004
HydroView & AquaLens, say hello to Aquabotix
September 23, 2011
NVTI target tracking, demoed
February 19, 2008
Argonaut’s giant A615 Android tablet, and a Panbo reader survey
November 30, 2013