Panasonic floor lamp with built-in hidden camera now available

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If you think carefully back to last year's CES event, you may remember Panasonic's announcement of an odd home security camera built discreetly into the top of a floor lamp. The model offers a less conspicuous alternative to obvious home security cameras, blending in better with the home decor while making it harder for thieves to figure out whether they're being watched.

Home security cameras have proven to be a popular method for protecting one's home, their potential privacy issues aside. There's one big issue related to home camera use, however, and it has to do with how obvious most of the cameras on the market look. A careful thief may be able to disable or avoid a camera if they know where it is located, something made particularly difficult with Panasonic's floor lamp and camera combo.

Perhaps in light of how unusual the HomeHawk FLOOR Camera & Ambient Light Lamp is, Panasonic elected to launch the model on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo. The campaign was a success with around 104-percent of the funds sought. Fast-forward nearly a full year and the lamp is now available to purchase from Amazon.

As previously announced, the lamp can be adjusted to three different height levels; it provides ambient light like an ordinary lamp, plus it has a wide-angle camera lens, support for geo-fencing, and color night vision. The lamp also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, meaning it can be controlled using a smart speaker or smartphone.

The lamp is pricey at $249.95 USD, however, putting it above the cost of other lamps and many home security camera models. Reviews on the device are mixed. While customers have complained about technical issues and a design that that is less discreet than they had hoped, others report success using the lamp, describing it as visually appealing with good image quality.