On 31 August, Philips Hue presented for the first time a product that is not directly related to lighting: The Philips Hue Secure Cameras. An exciting novelty that I will present to you in more detail in the coming months. Before the official release, however, I would like to answer the most important questions about the new security system.
Which cameras does Philips Hue offer for its system and when will they be released?
In principle, Philips Hue starts with two cameras: a wired and a battery-operated variant, each in white and black. The wired camera is available with a wall mount or additionally a table stand. The battery camera is only available with a wall mount. These three models are scheduled for release in autumn 2023. The floodlight camera, a combination of the Hue Discover floodlight and the wired camera, will follow in the first quarter of 2024. All cameras are suitable for indoor and outdoor use, more technical details can be found on the Hue website.
Why do the Hue Secure cameras only offer 1080p?
That’s a good question that I can’t reasonably answer. After all, you should be able to see a lot more on 2K or 4K images. But especially outdoors, you still need a reasonable WiFi quality for a high-resolution transmission. And in the end, Philips Hue also needs some kind of sales arguments for a second generation. The fact is: for the start, we have to live with simple HD resolution.
How exactly does the communication with the Hue Bridge work?
The cameras mainly communicate via WiFi, the fast connection is used for the transmission of the video feeds. In addition, the cameras have a ZigBee module that can be used to report motion to the Hue Bridge. Read more about this in the following article.
- Use Philips Hue Secure cameras as motion detectors Intelligently integrated into the system - Philips Hue will be offering its own security cameras this autumn. One thing is already certain: With prices starting at 199.99 euros, the Philips Hue products are among the most… …
How much emphasis is placed on data protection?
There have only been a few cameras that have met such high privacy standards. The Philips Hue Secure cameras can only be used with end-to-end encryption, then there is nothing to shake. In addition, all AI processes, for example for recognising faces or people, as well as the blackening of individual image areas, take place exclusively locally on the camera. Hue Secure is even supposed to offer the possibility of making faces unrecognisable.
How does Hue Secure work in the Philips Hue app?
The Hue Secure cameras are of course integrated into the existing Philips Hue app, where they are closely meshed with the system. However, anyone who does not want to use Hue Secure can simply hide it in the app. During development, special attention was paid to ensuring that the user experience remains at a very high level. You can see exactly how the app works in the following video.
Why is an additional subscription required for the Hue cameras?
Only the basic functions such as activation or deactivation as well as the live view are possible without additional costs. For all AI functions as well as a storage of the videos in the cloud, a subscription is necessary. The prices for this start at 3.99 euros per month. The exact details can be found in the following chart.
Does Hue Secure also support Apple HomeKit?
No, HomeKit or HomeKit Secure Video are not supported. With a later update, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant will first have access to the video stream of Hue Secure, whereby the end-to-end encryption will then be omitted. Presumably next year, there will be Matter compatibility, which will then also make a connection to HomeKit possible.
How long does the battery of the Hue Secure Cam Battery last?
The battery version of the Hue Secure Camera will last around four months with very light use with five events a day. If more movements are detected, the battery life will also decrease.
How are the cameras protected against theft?
In principle, the cameras protect themselves through the cloud connection – thieves will not remain undetected in any case. However, they would not be able to do very much with the stolen camera, because it is bound to the account and cannot be paired with a foreign account or a foreign Hue Bridge until it is released by you.
How is the alarm turned on and off?
At the start, you will only be able to switch the Philips Hue alarm system on and off manually, which is already a considerable limitation. Switching it on via Hue accessories would certainly be practical, but burglars could then simply deactivate the system. A logical function would be geofencing, which is already on the to-do list of the development team.
Does the camera work without a bridge and the contact sensors without a camera?
I can answer these two questions with a yes. Whereas it probably doesn’t make much sense to operate a Hue Secure camera without a Hue Bridge.
What accessories does Philips Hue offer for the cameras?
Besides the Hue Secure contact sensor for windows and doors, the following accessories will be available for the cameras:
- Hue Secure camera mount with ground spike for 39.99 euros.
- Hue Secure anti-drop cable for 14,99 Euro
- Hue Secure stand for 49,99 Euro
- Hue Secure low voltage camera cable for 29,99 Euro
- Discover Hue Secure in the Hue Online Shop
However, the anti-theft cable is more of a protection against falling down, as it can simply be unscrewed. What I find more exciting is the low-voltage camera cable, which allows you to easily connect the outdoor-ready cameras to your existing outdoor lighting. They require around 10 watts of power for use.