iBaby is the latest streaming baby video monitor to hit the market. The company offers both fixed and point/tilt/zoom models. FYI: all of these monitors are BYOD—bring your own device as a viewer (smartphone, etc).
iBaby’s flagship monitor is the M6 ($118; pictured), a Pixar-style unit with PTZ, HD picture recording, intercom feature, cloud storage and sharing. iBaby offers two variations of the M6: the M6T ($132) adds temperature and humidity monitoring while the M6S has higher resolution (1080p), dual band router support (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) and an air quality sensor for $175.
The coolest feature of the M6: motion alert. When the camera senses motion, it records three images of a video clip and sends a push notification to your device. (The sensitivity of motion detection can be adjusted and you can just it turn off, if you don’t need it).
New this year is the M7 for $250. This version comes with a moon and star projector, white noises and bedtime stories, feeding and changing alerts, temperature and humidity and sound and motion.
The M2 ($86) is a fixed camera with a magnetic base that allows you to rotate it for the best view. The camera can be operated on battery only if you want to move it to another room. iBaby has an app (Apple only) that allows four users at once to see the feed. The M2 connects via WiFi or ethernet to your router and has a two-way intercom feature plus the ability to capture snapshots. This monitor looks to be discontinued, but we still see it for sale online.
Feedback on iBaby’s cameras is mixed. Some folks report connectivity issues and others are disappointed in the video quality (especially for the low priced M2, the picture is far from HD).
Unstable connections were a common gripe, with some users reporting signal drops. Lack of volume is another complaint, as is a five second delay in transmitted images. iBaby’s iPhone app also gets a huge share of unlove on the iTunes store—the lack of a native iPad app (as of this writing) is also disappointing.
One of the challenges of WiFi cameras is getting them to connect to your router and then to broadcast video to the ‘net. Troubleshooting connectivity issues can be a challenge unless you have serious tech chops—you know there is a challenge when iBaby’s web site has an entire support section on Port Forwarding. If you don’t know what that is, don’t buy this camera.
That said, fans of iBaby say when it is working, it is an excellent baby monitor. Unfortunately for iBaby, there is another company that has perfected the WiFi camera—Nestcam. No, it doesn’t have PTZ, but Nestcam runs circles around iBaby when it comes to set up and ease of use. Bottom line: iBaby needs to polish its cameras and apps before it is ready for prime time. Rating: D