UNBOXED: Reviewing the IC Real Tech ALLie Camera and VR headset
Another day, another UNBOXED gets released into the wild. You’ve seen the video up there, but now lets dive a little deeper into this episode’s product—the ALLie Home Camera and ALLie VR headset, sent to us by IC Real Tech.
IC Real Tech, a leading designer and manufacturer of “highly-advanced video surveillance solutions,” is a sister company to IC Realtime, which also dabbles in the security camera space but moreso on the higher-end and with fully-integrated solutions. The way it reads to us, IC Real Tech is heading down the path of being more consumer-focused, which brings us to the products we reviewed this time around.
About ALLie Home and VR
The way the product has been positioned, ALLie Home is, at its heart, a simple security camera solution. But it’s one that can be used in a variety of ways. The product comes with mounting equipment if that’s the route you want to go with it—but that seems to limit what you can do with it.
The camera has two 180-degree lenses that capture a full 360-by-360 degree image, no stitching software required. And there’s a mic and speaker system embedded in there that lets the user interact with the scene around them, through the ALLie app.
About the app—it’s essentially the main hub used to control the settings for the camera, but it does a lot more than that. The user can record video and take pictures with their ALLie Cam in the app, and then instantly share them through the integrated Facebook and YouTube sharing tools. And for those with more than one ALLie Cam, all of the available devices are accessible through the app. So, if you have one ALLie Cam in the living room, another in the baby’s room, and one out back—all connected to your WiFi—you’d be able to pick and choose, in the app, which you’d like to interact with at a given time.
As for taking and storing those photos and videos, the camera has 8 GB of internal storage, or you can opt for ALLie’s cloud-based subscription service, which starts at around $6 a month for 24 hours of video storage.
Similar to those 360-degree videos you’ve seen on Facebook and YouTube, you can interact with the videos and images that stream through the ALLie Home via the app on your smartphone. Or you can select to view things in VR mode, which brings us to the ALLie VR headset. The headset works like a souped-up Google Cardboard, but it’s much more comfortable with the added padding and the straps, which means no hands required to hold the thing up to your face. It’s a sturdily-built product and a great complement to the camera itself.
As far as 360-degree cameras go, this one is near the top in terms of quality of video (though it depends on the network you’re connected to), as well as its providing the social integration for instant sharing of photos and video. That said, one of the frustrating things is that the camera runs through AC power, meaning it has to be plugged in to work. IC Real Tech has a portable version coming sometime down the road, but that’s not the one we were tasked with reviewing. The price tag is a little hefty as well for a what is essentially a security camera that doesn’t have all of the features (motion detection, user notifications) of a full-blown security solution.
Still, it was a very-well-built product and one that we had a lot of fun getting familiar with. We’d be interested to see how the ALLie Go (the aforementioned portable version) performs, but for now, the ALLie Home and VR devices desiring just a little bit more.