Avery Hartmans/Business Insider
Seattle-based smart home startup Wyze has two goals: make a great home security camera, and make it cheap.
The company's first product, Wyze Cam, is a tiny security camera that you can affix to virtually any surface in your house, or leave standing up on your table or countertop. It records video in your home and updates you using a smartphone app when it detects motion, sounds, or alarms.
And the best part is it only costs $20.
I tested out Wyze for a few weeks to determine whether a cheap security camera can compete with the likes of Amazon Cloud Cam or Nest Cam.
Here's what it's like.Wyze Cam's design is bland, yet friendly. Avery Hartmans/Business Insider
The team at Wyze came up with a design for the camera that manages to be functional yet innocuous.
Once Wyze Cam is set up, you don't really notice it anymore. My camera lived in the kitchen area in my apartment, which happens to have light gray countertops and walls — Wyze Cam blended right in.
The cube shape feels a little retro compared to other cameras on the market — both Amazon Cloud Cam and Nest Cam have a more rounded shape. But I found myself liking the look of the boxy little camera and felt like it fit in well with the clean lines of my kitchen.
Something about the design is just ... cute. Avery Hartmans/Business Insider
The whole time I was testing Wyze Cam, it felt familiar to me somehow. It wasn't until someone else pointed it out that I realized what it was: the shape of the device and the face of the camera looks a lot like the lamp from the original Pixar logo.
It may seem like a small thing, but a friendly look is pretty important in a home security camera. No one wants to put something in their house that feels like it's spying on them, or is so obvious that it freaks people out. But when guests came to my house, few of them even noticed the camera, and no one seemed bothered by it.
You can mount Wyze Cam, or have it sitting upright. It tilts up ... Avery Hartmans/Business Insider
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