Geared Up Podcast: First look at Amazon’s Cloud Cam smart home camera

Amazon is already doing well in the smart home world, with Echo devices dotting homes all over the country. But can the tech giant’s latest product, the Amazon Cloud Cam, find the same success?

We unbox a Cloud Cam on this episode of Geared Up, in advance of giving the device a more thorough review, and explain how it stacks up against existing smart home cameras on the market.

Folks might remember the Cloud Cam for its sister service: Amazon Key, a smart door lock that gives Amazon access to your home for package delivery and other Amazon services. The Cloud Cam automatically records those instances, along with other features and uses.

Amazon Key inflamed a lot of opinions, positive and negative, when it was first announced. Since we recorded this episode, researchers have found a way to hack the camera in conjunction with Amazon Key, potentially creating a security headache for Amazon and its users.

The Cloud Cam also works independently from Amazon Key and has features like a 24-7 live stream accessible via smartphone, two-way audio and alerts that tell a user when the camera senses movement.

But at $119, Geared Up co-host Andru Edwards says the camera’s cost-to-benefit ratio doesn’t stack up to other products on the market. For example, startup founded by former Amazon employees, called Wyze Labs, offers a camera with almost the same features for just $19.99.

Google’s Nest cameras cost more than the Cloud Cam, but also have much more advanced features. The Nest Cam Indoor runs at $199 and has features like facial recognition and smart analytics that can recognize the difference between the family pet and an intruder.

In other tech news, HTC introduced a new wireless VR headset, the Vive Focus, that will be released initially in China. It follows the announcement of the competing Oculus Go wireless VR headset.

Also on this episode: We get Andru’s take on the Xbox One X and the iPhone X after his hiatus from the show last week.

Listen to the full episode above and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts, Google Play or wherever you listen.