Vivint Ping camera has one-touch button for needy kids

Chris Davies - Jan 6, 2016
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Vivint Ping camera has one-touch button for needy kids

When is a security camera not a security camera? When it's a way for demanding kids to get in touch because they can't find the cheese-strings. Vivint's latest addition to its connected home security platform is, ostensibly, a streaming video camera like many we've seen before from Nest, Piper, and others, but it differentiates itself by virtue of a big button on the top.

Turns out, after Vivint launched its camera-equipped doorbell last year a decent proportion of owners reported that their kids were using it as a hotline direct to their parents, stepping outside of the house to hit the button.

So, the Vivint Ping camera has a familiar camera form-factor but a button on the top; pressed, it automatically calls through to the Vivint app.

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Given the number of kids who are left home-alone for some portion of the day, and the percentage that don't necessarily have a smartphone to call or message a parent, Vivint thinks Ping is onto something. It's actually a little smarter than just making a video call when the button is pressed: as soon as someone approaches the camera, it starts setting up the video stream in the background to minimize delay from when the recipient "answers" it on their phone.

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Meanwhile, it'll work as a regular security camera too, with remote activation for monitoring along with two-way audio support. Vivint's cloud will store up to 45 days worth of 20-second video clips for no extra cost, and Ping records in 1080p resolution with a 140-degree lens and nighttime IR illumination.

You'll need a Vivint security system to actually use it, mind, and pricing will be announced closer to launch when the Ping camera goes on sale in Q2 this year.

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