Being away doesn’t mean you can’t see what’s going on at home.
You know that really awful feeling you get hundreds of miles from home and you start to wonder if you left the front door unlocked? Or if a storm hits at home and you wonder if everything is OK or if you’ll have power when you return?
You can hire a caretaker for your estate, or, you can invest in new connected house technology that does all this for you right from your phone or tablet.
Recently, Panasonic sent me two of these products: the Panasonic Home Surveillance System ($299 on Amazon) and the Panasonic Smart Plug ($39), which work together to ‘wire’ my house to my iPhone so I can see what is going on and turn things on or off where ever I am.
I can see if my dog is really whining by the back door the ENTIRE TIME WE ARE OUT TO DINNER. Or I can see if my 13 year old is STILL playing Grand Theft Auto when she’s supposed to be doing her homework.
The system’s base connects to your household WiFi and then has a number of elements that it can control including cameras, motion detectors and a smart plug. I can connect the smart plug to the lights, TV or anything else and turn it on or off with my phone. Sweet.
I can add a motion sensor to the system, and if it goes off, I can turn on the lights and the TV, which has been shown to scare off someone who is in your house.
Or, I can put a camera right on top of the TV (or hide it in a corner of the room) to see who is in front of the TV when they shouldn’t be. And then I can message her to turn it off and go do her homework (and see the scowl on her face when she gets the message!). And then I can even turn off the TV if she doesn’t do as she should. I’m starting to think that this could be a new girls night out parlor game.
But what gives me the most comfort is that I can position the cameras and motion sensors so that if someone comes into my house while I’m away, I can be alerted and call the police. And we can come home to a brightly lighted house after a long trip.
My friend The DealMommy reviewed the system and had some nice things to say, as well as some important caveats.
And my friend Lorraine Robertson uses it to spy on her kids. I must say, I like that!
What would you do with a home surveillance system? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!
Disclosure: Panasonic provided the home monitoring system and smart plug; opinions (and girls night out ideas) are all my own.