First HomeKit camera starts shipping: The D-Link Omna 180 HD

IMAGE: D-LINK

IMAGE: D-LINK

As seen at CES 2017 and announced previously, D-Link's new HomeKit-enabled security camera has appeared in Apple's online store today. This marks the first time that a home surveillance camera has become available to consumers that is compatible with Apple's home automation platform.

At WWDC 2016, Apple had announced new device categories for its HomeKit platform, such as doorbells and cameras. This prompted announcements from various security-related home automation device makers that they would be supporting HomeKit and launching products that would support HomeKit. As expected with the long development times for HomeKit, we're now seeing the fruits of their labors, as HomeKit-enabled products usually have to be developed from scratch vs just modifying an existing product with a software update.

D-Link now has the distinction of shipping the first home security camera that is HomeKit-enabled, with their Omna 180 HD camera. It is a sleek, cylindrical device in an aluminum housing that contains a full 180-degree field of view at 1080p HD resolution, two-way audio, night vision and local recording to a microSD card. The device's motion sensors will activate alerts to your iOS device and record activity at those precise moments. For connectivity, the Omna 180 HD supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi bands for optimal streaming.

While video can be saved to a microSD card, there is no mention of cloud-based recording of video, which can be important in case the device is tampered with or stolen. However, it's possible that Apple's stringent HomeKit security standards prevent the recording of footage from a HomeKit camera to a cloud-based system. But the view from the wide-angle camera is evidently de-warped and shows a true 180-degree view, which is a much wider view than most security cameras can show.

With the Omna 180 HD being a HomeKit-enabled device, it means that it can be a trigger for HomeKit scenes and devices. Motion detected? It could signal the lights in your home to turn on to 100% brightness, and perhaps make your Philips Hue lights red. It's just too bad there isn't yet a HomeKit-enabled siren or alarm bell yet. And while there are infrared LEDs to help illuminate completely dark rooms at night, you can easily extend the view of the D-Link camera with one of the LIFX + smart bulbs which have IR LEDs to assist cameras with seeing in the dark. Those LIFX bulbs will soon become HomeKit compatible via a software update (nice timing, LIFX!)

The D-Link Omna 180 retails for $199.99 and can be found in the Apple online store. The camera should become available in Apple retail stores by the end of this month. D-Link model number: DSH-C310