Despite its lack of sex appeal, security serves as a strong and reliable market for installation professionals.
Over the past several years, however, this once-exclusive domain of professional installers has ceded market share to mass-market devices that utilize wireless connectivity to provide images that include streaming video.
IC Realtime recently diversified its product lineup through the introduction of ALLie. The newly created brand’s first product is the ALLie 360-degree Wi-Fi security camera that both dealers and consumers can use as a higher-performance and more fully featured alternative to the typically inexpensive retail products.
Features & Setup
Some of ALLie’s differentiating features include its 360-degree field-of-view and 4K Ultra HD resolution capabilities. ALLie also enables homeowners to share their video content on Facebook, YouTube and streaming sites like UGC live; supports the growing virtual reality market; and has voice control capabilities under development.
Supported by a companion app that enables local and remote monitoring, the ALLie provides local content storage on smart devices and the company augments the product with a tiered cloud-recording option that users can subscribe to for a more powerful and versatile storage amenity.
The ALLie VR headset works with smartphones of 3.5- to 5.7-inches in screen size. When used with its ALLie VR App and built-in optics system, users can enjoy an immersive experience from their cameras.
Plus, parent company IC Real Tech offers a more powerful version of the ALLie for the A/V and security integrator channel called the IC Realtime IC720 360-degree camera.
This benchmark product features a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor; 4K imagery; VR; and a powder-coated aluminum body that is IP66 rated.
Getting back to the ALLie, the small-footprint camera is as easy to install as the company states.
I downloaded the companion app from the iTunes store, onto my iPhone 6 and my kids’ iPads. On my phone it prompted me through a series of steps to create an account.
After I completed the setup and then positioned the camera on an end table in my living room to allow me to see into my dining room, living room and out the window to the top of my driveway and street.
After designating the camera “Living Room ALLie” in the app, I checked out a few snapshots and made a couple of setting adjustments. I rebooted the camera to confirm the changes and I began to access the live content and streaming capabilities of the camera from
Performance & Conclusion
I was impressed with the app’s functionality. The design, which is easy to navigate, simply requires users to use finger gestures to move the camera. Using the still mode you can employ the app and camera to take pictures, and if you do want to start a subscription with ALLie’s cloud service it’s simply a matter of following the prompts.
ALLie and the parent company deserve a lot of credit. It’s not common enough to find a robust, well-built product and a companion app that is just as thought out as the performance and functionality of the hardware it’s supporting — you’ll usually find one or the other is lacking somewhat. The 360-degree camera feels well built, not like a cheap plastic model, and the elegance of its industrial design further enhances its build quality.
My home experienced a high number of power outages last summer that can sometimes play havoc with IP addresses and networks. Illustrating its quality back-end engineering, the ALLie stayed rock solid. It never went down, I never experienced connectivity issues with the camera, and once power came back on I was able to hop on the app and scan its full 360-degrees of sight and sound.
On the latter’s note, the camera’s built-in microphone works great at delivering the audio side of ALLie’s A/V capabilities. Like any microphone, you need to find a “sweet spot” with the volume to avoid “feedback” if you are in the same room with the camera. Having the microphone complements the video nicely.
The camera also works well in night situations, which honestly surprised me, but after thinking about it perhaps I should have expected as such. IC Realtime is a premium manufacturer of security products for the professional installation market, and I am guessing there was a sharing of resources for the new brand during the development phase of the camera to help ensure its nighttime operation.
One unexpected byproduct of the camera that may interest family clientele is that the app actually facilitated “playtime” with my kids.
My 11-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son were both amused to “spy” on my wife, each other, and myself — and they never once asked how to access a particular feature.
They figured it out on their own, underscoring the device’s ease of use and intuitive nature.
I wasn’t able to test its VR features without the optional headset, but that option may also be a nice way for someone to introduce VR into their homes if they wanted to get out in front of that trending technology. It’s a bonus to the security pitch.
My only trepidation with the ALLie is its price. If dealers choose to offer the ALLie instead of the professionally installed IC720, they may find some consumers pushing back on its price, especially if they are making general comparisons to products on the Internet.
I would highly recommend that dealers fully demonstrate how ALLie is much more than one of those typical online products. It could even be looked at as a bargain compared with some professionally installed and monitored systems.
A few ALLies will deliver more than enough to justify the cost.