Logi Circle :: First impressions

by Volker Weber

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At IFA I learned about the new Logi Circle, yet another webcam, or so I thought. I shot the camera in a different environment from my other photos. And there is a reason. We will get to that in a moment.

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This is the camera you see once you open the box. And this is what else is inside:

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What you see is a standard USB power supply, a very long cable with a ring attached, and the camera on its base. The camera and the base are one assembly, so you can't take the ball off that base. The ring has two grooves for two tiny contacts in the camera base. When you place the base on the ring, it snaps in and charges the camera. That's right, the camera has a battery.

Inside the ring is another plastic piece and three screws that that's attach the ring to a wall, letting the flat cable hang down that wall. This way, instead of standing on a shelf, the camera can easily be attached to the wall. Simple to adjust either way.

Since the camera has a battery, you can just take it off the ring and it will continue to stream over three hours. And this is where the whole things starts to be different from other webcams.

Most webcams are designed to be security cameras that alert you when something unusual happens. Or we use front facing cameras in PCs or phones for live chats. The Circle has a different use case. It's for the person who wants to be connected to what's going on at home, when he is not there. It will have it's default place, that's where the ring is. But the family can just take the camera off that place and move it to the kitchen when cooking. Or to a playroom, where the kids are. And inside your Android or iPhone, you can ask for a "day brief". That's a 30 seconds video, where all events are condensed. Time is compressed, but it's not half an hour a second. Logi has invested heavily in spam detection. That's motion which isn't interesting, like the TV playing or a fan moving. Those things will not be in the day brief.

From your smartphone, you can join the conversation at the other end. There is a speaker in the camera and a microphone. Just bear in mind that you will have a latency of typically two seconds.

The closest thing to the Circle that I know is the Withings Home. But Home has no battery, so it has to stay put. And home lets you connect an Ethernet wire, where Circle needs Wifi. Circle has the smarter software, both come with an Internet Service that stores your videos. Both can alert you when they sense movement, and neither can trigger events like the Belkin Netcam can. Circle is also different from Arlo, which is designed to be a security camera you can place anywhere, even if there is no power and no Ethernet.

Finally, a view into my office, just as a screenshot from the app. As you can see, it's very wide angle, as it should be. All of those cameras use 720p which seems to be the best trade-off between bandwidth and resolution.

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Comments

Hallo Volker,

wie macht sich die Circle im Vergleich zur Home?
Der Kommentar bzgl. der Software interessiert mich besonders, warum ist die Logi SW smarter als der Withings Kram?

VG

Michael

Michael Schnatmann, 2015-10-09

Mir scheint die Spam-Unterdrückung besser. Also was nimmt sie auf und was nicht ...

Volker Weber, 2015-10-09

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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