Product Reviews Smart Home

This Smart Home Camera Detects Everything

Christian Cawley 16-06-2020
Our verdict of the SimCam 1S Home Security Camera:
Easy to set up and with a wealth of AI features, the SimCam 1S also offers a nice trio of mounting options. If you're looking for am affordable smart home-integrated internal security camera, this is a good place to start.
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Whether you’re looking for a cam to keep your premises secure or want to keep an eye on pets, a smart home camera can help.

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They can be installed in almost any position, feature wireless internet, and send updates to your phone. Smart cameras are the ideal domestic security and monitoring solution—they’re even perfect as baby monitors.

Sometimes, though, smart home security cameras are a little too keen to inform. This is where the SimCam 1S AI Home Camera can change things, thanks to AI-managed recognition.

SimCam AI 1080 HD Home Security Camera 1S—Local Storage, Privacy-Protective, No Cloud Storage & 0 Subscription Fee, No lag, 2-Way Audio, Accurate Facial RECOG, Instant Alarm,Compatible with Alexa SimCam AI 1080 HD Home Security Camera 1S—Local Storage, Privacy-Protective, No Cloud Storage & 0 Subscription Fee, No lag, 2-Way Audio, Accurate Facial RECOG, Instant Alarm,Compatible with Alexa Buy Now On Amazon $129.99

SimCam 1S AI Home Camera Key Features

Rather than sharing every single detail with you, this device features facial recognition, person detection, and auto tracking.

It also makes some key boasts:

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  • No false alerts
  • No detection miss-out
  • No storage subscription fee
  • No privacy compromise

Some of these are pretty brave. The lack of a subscription fee is welcome, for example. Avoiding false alerts seems difficult, however, while the privacy declaration seems to tempt fate rather than impress.

The SimCam 1S

To avoid false alerts, the SimCam 1S AI is designed to recognize and learn body shape data. Shapes might be people, pets, or vehicles. The AI can recognize faces and distinguish between babies, pets, and strangers, and push alerts to your phone. Recognition—limited to 200 faces—is cited as 99 percent accurate. People can be recognized to 60 feet (18m), faces to 18 feet (5.5m). Meanwhile, a car can be detected at 20 feet (6m) and pets at 10 feet (3m).

Facial detection and recognition is measured at 30ms, although distance and light can slow this down. No training is required as SIMCAM has already trained the AI with millions of images.

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Local AI processing ensures that the SimCam 1S maintains your privacy. Image data cannot be accessed by outside viewers. Further, the mobile app establishes a secured P2P (peer-to-peer) network with your phone.

100 Percent Privacy?

Manufacturers SIMCAM make a huge boast with the SimCam 1S: 100 percent privacy protection without data leak or reverse invasion of the camera. At the heart of the camera is an Ambarella CV25 SoC processor, managing image sensor, recognition, AI accelerator, and 1080p HD recording at 30FPS. Night vision is also included, for complete monitoring day and night.

Nightvision with the SimCam 1S

The camera’s field of view is 120 degrees, but it is equipped with a motor for 360-degree coverage. It can also tilt to 22 degrees and has 4x digital zoom.

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Mobile apps for Android and iOS are provided for control and observation on the move. Meanwhile, Alexa and Google Assistant integration is also supported.

Recorded data can be analyzed in the app, which means there is no need to upload it to the cloud server. Subscription fees can therefore be avoided. Local recording meanwhile reduces the need for a Wi-Fi connection, so the camera can keep observing even when offline. The SimCam 1S can connect to 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks, maximizing your connection options.

SIMCAM also offers a 12-month warranty with this product.

In short, it’s a feature-packed bundle of home security magic. But does the SimCam 1S live up to expectations?

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What’s In the Box?

Weighing 245 grams, the SimCam 1S measures 4.7 x 2.8 x 2.8 inches (121mm X 72mm X 72mm).

The light brown box holding the SimCam 1S is wrapped in a smart white sleeve detailing the contents. Protected by gray foam, inside you’ll find the AI camera and a mains power supply adapter.

The SimCam 1S can be mounted on a wall with screws or adhesive

For standard positioning on a cabinet or table, this is all you’ll need. However, the box also contains a wall mount, wall mount disc, and suitable 3M adhesive pad to secure it.

The SimCam 1S is IP54 rated which means that while it’s not weatherproof it can be used outside under an overhang.

For permanent placement, screws and securing anchors are also provided, along with a reset pin and Allen (hex) key. You’ve basically got everything you need to mount the SimCam 1S. Before proceeding with any sort of installation, it’s smarter to get any such device connected to your network.

Easy/Tricky Setup

Setting up the SimCam 1S is straightforward, if a little frustrating.

The process is straightforward, requiring you to boot the camera, run the app, follow the instructions to add a camera, connect to your network, then flash a generated QR code at the SimCam 1S.

So far, so good. However, it seemed the device isn’t at home on 2.4Ghz networks, failing to correctly connect. To use this smart cam successfully, you’ll need to connect it to a 5Ghz Wi-Fi network instead.

Where Should You Mount an AI Security Camera?

Getting the placement right is vital with any smart security camera. Sometimes it’s a trade-off between Wi-Fi coverage and power supply, for instance with external solar-powered cameras. At other times, the camera needs to be within reach of a power supply.

The SimCam 1S ships with three-meter long cable. Positioning is made easier with this length, and that’s where the mounts come in useful.

Mount the SimCam 1S on any surface

Rather than standing the camera on a shelf, you can fix it to a brick or partition wall with the included anchors. Then there’s the adhesive mount, for plastic, glass, and metal surfaces.

I tested the SimCam 1S on both a shelf, as well as mounting with the adhesive mount. Using the single 3M adhesive disc, the mount was reliable, and took some careful scraping to remove it without damage.

Using the SimCam 1S’s AI Settings

To help to avoid false positives and optimize your use of the SimCam 1S, some AI settings are available. Monitored areas can be set for person, pet, and vehicle detection, with a specific zone in the camera’s view set for identification. So, when the selected shape (body, pet, etc.) enters the zone, you receive a notification via the app.

SimCam 1S

Face recognition works in a similar way. You might use this to remotely alert you when someone comes home, or to highlight the presence of a specific individual in your property. All it requires is a photo of the person, snapped or uploaded via the app.

With face recognition enabled, the SimCam 1S alerts you when the face is spotted. This can prove a little annoying at times, however, so use only when you need to know who is in a specific area. Otherwise you’ll get notifications every time you walk in front of the camera.

Integrate the With Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT

Smart home integration is a useful feature for security cameras. While the SimCam 1S already has plenty of intelligent options, this can be further enhanced with Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT.

However, it is a bit unclear how these integrate. For example, while we set up the SimCam 1S with the corresponding Alexa skill, it didn’t actually do anything when summoned.

Google Home sets up with similar ease and thankfully works. The camera can be streamed to a Chromecast device on your network (the mobile Google Home app doesn’t support streaming).

IFTTT was more successful, however. Although it requires the IFTTT app to be installed (available for Android and iOS), the integration enables you to switch the camera mode upon entrance and departure into the area. This allows, for example, the camera to be switched off when you come home, switching on again when you head out.

Using the App to View the Camera Stream

As companion apps go for smart cameras, the SimCam app is up there among the best. It is functional, features a collection of easy to understand menu options and icons, and multiple cams can be added.

The app can also control the orientation of the camera if you choose to mount it on a ceiling. A swipe on the camera preview lets you swivel through 360 degrees, while pinch zoom can help you focus on specific objects.

Video recording settings, triggers, a gallery, and alerts can all be easily viewed in the app, along with the feed. The app also features a customer feedback form as well as a built-in guided mode to get you started.

While the app is useful and vital to the SimCam 1S, it can get a little disorientating. Some of the options seem repetitive, but this due more to the labeling than what they do. Another complaint about the app is that the while live footage can be observed in portrait mode, specific options cannot. You’ll need to flip the phone into landscape view to access the snapshot and video options. The same goes for the microphone, area and body detection, and alarm functions.

A Smart Home Security Camera to Consider

Among the best home security cameras we’ve reviewed, the SimCam 1S is functional yet anonymous.

SimCam AI 1080 HD Home Security Camera 1S—Local Storage, Privacy-Protective, No Cloud Storage & 0 Subscription Fee, No lag, 2-Way Audio, Accurate Facial RECOG, Instant Alarm,Compatible with Alexa SimCam AI 1080 HD Home Security Camera 1S—Local Storage, Privacy-Protective, No Cloud Storage & 0 Subscription Fee, No lag, 2-Way Audio, Accurate Facial RECOG, Instant Alarm,Compatible with Alexa Buy Now On Amazon $129.99

After all, there is little point in a camera that everyone can see. Its compact dimensions and unassuming appearance convey a device that is clearly a camera, but one that is ignored.

Smart home integration is satisfactory; the IFTTT integration more so. The mobile app is perfect for controlling the security camera, and zone detection and the facial recognition are superb. Better cameras are available at a higher price—for an affordable smart home integrated security camera, the SimCam 1S should be near the top of your list.

Enter the Competition!

Simcam 1S AI Camera Giveaway

Related topics: Home Security, MakeUseOf Giveaway, Security Camera, Smart Cameras.

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  1. dragonmouth
    June 24, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    A big minus is that the camera is AC powered only. Makes it vulnerable to and unusable during power outages, whether act of god or act of burglar.

  2. Glenn Coody
    June 23, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    I had previously purchased a "do-all" interior home monitoring camera which required access to your home WiFi...no problem, that's normal.
    However, for some unknown(?) reason the app to download for the camera requires access to my CONTACTS list and stated so. It DID NOT indicate why. Why would a camera app need access to my contacts??!!
    Suffice to say, after reading the requirements I did not download the all nor even attempt to use the camera.
    In addition, comments on the app's page had many, if not most, consumers asking the same question: Why does a camera app need access to my contacts list?

    • dragonmouth
      June 24, 2020 at 9:30 pm

      "Why would a camera app need access to my contacts??!!"
      I assume your question is rhetorical?