If you were to ask Butterfleye – one of the newest players in the smart security camera industry – whether or not traditional IP and web-capable cameras are smart enough, the company would respond with a resounding “No.” The company and its security camera both called Butterfleye are out to change that. Here is my full Ooma Butterfleye Review so you can decide if this is right for you.
Seeking to offer a device that combines Dropcam-like functionality with Nest thermostat-type intelligence, Butterfleye wants to provide you with ears and eyes for the goings-on within your home. With its thermal-mapping technology and built-in Bluetooth functionality, the Butterfleye just might deliver a device that differentiates itself from other smart security cameras on the market today.
Where other smart security cameras focus and emphasize on their protect and secure functionalities, Butterfleye aims to offer a more social interaction experience, with security on the peripheral. But don’t let that deter you, even though it wants to set itself apart from other smart security cameras, the Butterfleye is still fully capable of keeping an eye on your home while you’re away.
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Home Security Enhancement
Butterfleye wants to market its device as both a security camera and a social camera. It does have the functionality in place to record and send alerts, which makes it a decent option if you need a home security camera. However, it does lack a few features that people want when they’re looking for a smart security camera.
For instance, it does not support traditional night vision capabilities. It can record video in low-light situations, but if the camera is in complete darkness, you’re out of luck. Additionally, the Butterfleye is an indoor camera, which means you don’t have the option to mount the device outside if that’s the ideal spot for your camera.
That doesn’t mean the camera isn’t worth a look. For instance, the Butterfleye offers two-way audio, has a battery backup, and doesn’t require a cord to work since it’s battery powered. It records in FHD and is completely cordless.
You can put it anywhere in your home and forget about it. With heavy usage, the device last fourteen days on a single charge, and 3-6 months if you use it sparingly. Of course, if you don’t want to mess with charging it, you can always plug it into an outlet.
Video and Image Quality
The Butterfleye camera is one of the few cordless options that records in FHD, however, there have been reports of wifi issues causing video lag, which directly impacts the video feed, resulting in a grainy picture. If you prefer to avoid FHD, the Butterfleye will record in 1920x1080p as well, but don’t be surprised if it automatically adjusts the resolution. The camera takes into account wifi signal strength and other factors to determine the best feed quality for the device.
While you may not think having the ability to adjust the resolution would be ideal automatically, the Butterfleye smart camera is intelligent enough that doing so provides a better overall user experience. When it makes resolution adjustments, lag time lowers, providing for a better feed.
Other image and video features are fairly straightforward. You’ll get a 120-degree field of view; however, the Butterfleye does not have the ability to pan, tilt, or zoom, and as mentioned cannot provide video at night or in the dark. It does attempt to brighten the image to help you view the feed, but the quality is not as good as cameras with night-vision capability.
One nice feature of the Butterfleye smart camera is that it can work without internet connectivity and without power. The device does not need an internet connection to upload images and videos to its cloud option. If the Butterfleye does not have internet connectivity, it will utilize its internal memory, which gives the device the ability to store up to 12 hours of video and images.
Once connectivity is restored, the footage is then sent to Butterfleye’s cloud storage. With the Butterfleye security camera, its internal storage does not have an effect on its ability to upload images and videos to the cloud. While the internal storage option could cause buffering or slow down uploads, the goal of the Butterfleye is to ensure that the upload process is instantaneous as you view your images or video footage.
There is, however, one huge benefit to buffering: pre-recorded video feeds. The Butterfleye camera is always buffering five seconds of footage. If, or when, the camera detects an event, it uploads its video feeds of that event, along with the additional five seconds of footage, which ensures that you’re getting the whole picture.
Other cordless security cameras don’t have this feature, as they remain in sleep mode until an activity or event wakes them, which causes them to miss those previous five seconds. This could be the difference between identifying a culprit and missing them entirely.
Sensors and Recognition
Butterfleye has included various sensors on its camera that help enhance the security of your home. It can detect heat, sound, and motion. If the device detects an event, a notification is immediately sent to your phone.
In an effort to make alerts more intelligent, Butterfleye has introduced what it calls Active Eye Intelligence. With Active Eye, the device learns and make adjustments to give you better and smarter notifications. One such way Butterfleye does this is with the ability to tell the difference between a pet and a human, or differentiate between a room with activity, and an empty one.
The camera also boasts facial recognition, however at this time the feature is only available to members paying a monthly subscription fee. Some users find it worth it though since it makes the Butterfleye a more capable and thorough home security device.
For example, if the room in which your Butterfleye is located is empty, then the device will sleep. If a pet enters the room, the device will ignore it; however, if a person comes in, the Butterfleye will wake up and begin recording.
As it records, the Butterfleye begins to detect and recognize both known and unknown faces. While the learning does require some interaction and participation on your part, as known faces are tagged, the camera will determine who should and should not be in your home. Then, you can create an event to alert you based on facial recognition.
Butterfleye takes these features and combines them with its Activity Based Recording functionality, which makes it easier to find and locate relevant events when you need them. The device only uploads events to the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about running out of storage space. It defines events as loud noises, person detection, motion detection, etc.
The Butterfleye footage can be sorted and filtered so you can find the right footage quickly. It offers all the standard filters, as well as the ability to sort by specific face, which helps when you’re searching for a clip with someone you know.
Geofencing, Privacy, and Scheduling
If you’re interested in geofencing, you can have it with a paid subscription. The functionality will work up to 50 meters. When you leave your home, the camera will automatically arm itself, and when you return, it will return to privacy mode.
You can forego the geofencing option and use a schedule, which doesn’t require a subscription fee. With Butterfleye’s Notification Schedule, you can determine when you want to receive alerts and when you don’t want them. While using Notification Schedule, your camera will continue to watch for events and capture them when they occur; however, it will not let you know that it is doing so. The nice thing about this feature is that you can create a schedule that works with your own, and determine what days or times alerts are sent to you.
If privacy is a concern, Butterfleye makes use of SSL encryption. The company encrypts both video and images, assigns each individual camera its own unique private key, and gives a certificate which is used to authenticate with their server. Butterfleye uses AWS (Amazon Web Services) to store video and images.
With your Butterfleye security camera, you can use either Android or iOS devices. You watch or record live video through the app, and it comes with a built-in sharing option which gives you the opportunity to share footage on social media, or save the video locally to your device.
Cloud Storage Options
Without a monthly subscription, Butterfleye offers 12 hours of cloud storage. If you want to store your videos and images locally, this isn’t very much time, but it’s better than getting nothing at all. For instance, if you go on vacation and don’t check your events for a few days, you’ll discover that you may have missed something that has already been deleted.
As is the case with most smart security cameras, if you want additional cloud storage, you’ll have to sign up for a monthly subscription. The good news is that there are four options from which you can choose, and all support an unlimited number of Butterfleye cameras.
Here’s a table to show you what each subscription option offers:
|12 Hours||7 Days||30 Days||365 Days|
|Live Video Streaming||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Number of Cameras||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
Your Butterfleye security camera works with Amazon Alexa as well. With voice control capabilities, you can request that Alexa tell you about recent events that have occurred within your home or ask her to tell you about events that happened on a specific day.
Additionally, Butterfleye was recently purchased by Ooma, and as a result, works with Ooma’s Home Security system. With an Ooma system, you’ll have sensors for your windows and doors, a smoke alarm, and if any specific events take place, the system will tell your Butterfleye security camera to start recording.
Pros and Cons
Like all smart security cameras, the Butterfleye has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few of the ones that stand out.
- Battery power, 100% cordless
- Doesn’t require internet
- Facial recognition capability
- Integrates with Ooma Home Security System
- Works with Alexa
- Some security features require subscription
- Regular usage results in two-week battery life
Butterfleye’s smart security camera isn’t the game changer it wants to be, but it does provide a solid option for home protection, along with some features that aren’t common to other smart security cameras in the market. Facial recognition can go a long way toward protecting your home from unwanted criminal activity and can determine whether or not the person in your home should be there.
Whether you want to use the Butterfleye as a standalone security camera or integrate it with Ooma’s home security system, you can’t go wrong making it a part of your smart home family.
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