What we love…
The ability to not only watch my pets when I’m way from home but also interact with them to “see, speak, snap & treat”
What we’d love to see…
Longer power cord, separate containers for dog and cat treats.
The Petzi Treat Cam is a great pet cam, not only does it let you keep an eye on your pet when you are out of the house but also lets you interact with them too. The Petzi app also acts as a Social Media site for pet lovers allowing easy sharing of cute pet pics.
The Petzi Treat Cam is a newly launched product for pet owners, it is different from a regular Pet Cam, as not only does it let you watch your pets, but it lets you interact with them too. Petzi’s tagline is it lets you “see, speak, snap & treat”. I love my dog Howie & cat Buddy, so I was happy to get the opportunity to test it out with them.
To use the Petzi you need to first download the free app and create a free account – you create your own username and profile with linked profiles for each of your pets.
Set up of the Petzi is pretty straightforward. You can put it on a table or other flat surface or wall mount it, then you plug it in to a power outlet and wait until the red light comes on to indicate the camera is on. The front cover comes off and you can add pet treats to the reservoir inside. If you have small hands you may need some help with this, my hand was only just big enough to press the tabs on both sides at once.
In the Petzi app you click on the list symbol to the left of the screen and select Petzi Treat Cam. From there you can “add a new camera” and you can personalize the Petzi’s name. To add the camera first you connect to the Petzi cam WiFi, then enter your own WiFi network’s password to connect. Once it is connected you just select this Petzi cam from the list, or from the camera button on the home page of the app. My one complaint about the set up is the power cable is a little short, with the camera on an end table right beside a power outlet (at ground level) it only just reached, any further way and I would have needed an extension cable.
N.B. The first time I tried to set up my Petzi I had a lot of trouble connecting, but it turned out to be due to my iPhone storage being full which was preventing the Petzi app from working correctly. Once I cleared some storage it was very fast and easy to connect, so if you have any issues I recommend checking your iPhone storage.
I tested out the Petzi with Howie the Labrador and Buddy cat when I was in a different room of the house, when I went out for few hours, and when I was away for a weekend and Buddy was home alone.
When the Petzi is not in use it is in a sleeping mode, once you connected to it via your phone it makes a chime sound that alerts your pet that the camera is active. Howie very quickly learnt that when he hears that sound it it worth going to the camera as he may get a treat !
See: I found once I connected via my phone it typically look about 30 seconds to fully connect so I could view the video stream. The picture quality is good enough to clearly see your pets and their reactions, but is not super sharp.
Snap: If you catch a good view of your pet you can press the camera button within the app to take a picture of it. You can save it to your camera roll or share via the Petzi app. This is a picture taken with the Petzi, it has been cropped to focus on Howie, but gives an idea of the image quality.
Speak: To “speak” you press the microphone button and when you release the audio plays back through the Petzi a few seconds later. This got Howie really excited when he heard my voice through the camera. It comes through pretty loudly- which helps to summon pets if they are in a different room, and you can adjust the volume from within the app.
Treat: If you press the treat button (represented by a bone) in the app treats drop down behind a door in the Treat Cam then are launched across the room by a spring loaded barrier. The treat cam does make a mechanical whirring noise as it is preparing to deliver the treats which the animals learn to recognize. This really got Howie excited! He quickly learnt to come running when he heard my voice and the treat preparing, Buddy took a little longer to catch on. The treat dispenser is designed for treats less than 1″, I tested it with Meow Mix Crunchy Irresistibles, Milk Bone Minis and dry cat kibble.
The Petzi says it delivers 1-3 treats at a time and we found for the Milk Bone Minis this was true. With smaller treats more came out each time, for the Meow Mix probably about 6-8 and the cat kibble even more. The animals had great fun searching around the room to find the treats. I would probably use regular treats in it most of the time, but if I was away for a weekend I would put some of Buddy’s dry kibble in the Petzi. This would keep him active hunting for the kibble and also let me give him some extra food if I saw he had eaten all the food in his bowl.
One additional feature I would love to see in a future version of the Petzi is separate dog and cat treat reservoirs, this would be great for households like my own who have both dogs and cats. When checking in you could see which pet was nearby and give the appropriate treat instead of having to alternate which type of treat to fill the reservoir with.
My kids helped with testing the Petzi and they loved being able to talk to Howie and Buddy when we were away from home. They really loved being able to give them treats and thought it was hilarious watching them hunt around the living room to find the treats.
Petzi Social App
The Petzi app is also a social media app for pet lovers. It gives pet owners a easy way to share their favorite pet photos, both from their Petzi Cam and from their phone’s camera roll. You can easily ‘Awww’ (like) or comment on others shared photos and follow your favorites too.
Overall, the Petzi Treat Cam is a great pet cam, not only does it let you keep an eye on your pet when you are out of the house but also lets you interact with them too. The Petzi app also acts as a Social Media site for pet lovers allowing easy sharing of cute pet pics.
As well as being a fun way to interact with your pets this could also be a great help in preventing behavior problems in pets left alone. Popping in via the Petzi frequently to talk to them and get them hunting for treats could help alleviate boredom and prevent destructive behaviors.
Available from Amazon and other retailers, RRP $169.99
Petzi app iTunes Link Petzi – Petzila Inc.
by Petzila Inc.
Category: Social Networking, Photo & Video
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 51.5 MB
Screenshots (Click to enlarge)
NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.
Mother’s Day is coming up fast and The iMums have come up with some cool gift ideas that are bound to be popular with the women in your life. They are definitely gifts we’d love to receive this Mother’s Day! From a stylish bag through fitness, mobile storage, iPhoneography and home accessories we have gifts to suit all tastes.
Poppy Cross-Body Satchel from Mia Tui
iBridge Mobile Memory from LEEF
Every woman needs a good bag and Mia Tui make great bags! These are the most organized, practical bags on the market. The Poppy is a great bag for the woman who wants the signature Mia Tui organization, but in a more compact package than bags like the Grace, Sofia and Olivia Mia Tui bags we have previously reviewed. You will still find the unique pink Mia Tui interior, with an interior pocket for the included clutch bag, key clip, pen and smartphone holders, and a zip pocket on the back of the bag. A full-sized iPad will fit in the main part of the bag or an iPad mini will fit in the interior pocket.
Available from Mia Tui USA, in Pink, Pewter, Brown or Black for US$53. Get a 20% Mother’s Day discount on any bag from Mia Tui USA with code imum
Many moms struggle with having enough memory in their iPhone or iPad and the iBridge from LEEF is a tiny solution to a big problem. It is small and light enough to keep in her purse at all times, weighs only 10 grams (less than 1/2oz) and measures 63 x 19 x 18mm- that’s about 2.5″ x 0.7″ x 0.7″. Many portable memory solutions rely on Bluetooth or wireless connections to connect to your iOS device but the iBridge simply plugs in to the lightning connector. It will store music, photos and videos and you can even take photos directly onto the iBridge by-passing the iPhone’s storage completely. – this is a lifesaver when you need to take a photo but your iPhone is full. Read our full review. Available from Amazon or LEEFco.com from US$59.99
Screenguardz Pure® with the Crown™ Premium Glass Screen Protector iPhone case from BodyGuardz
The Crown™ is a solution designed to protect the curved edges of your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6+ with an aluminum rim combined with a Screen Guardz Pure protector which offers edge to edge protection for your device in case of drops, collection of dust and debris (which can get in under the protector). The Pure and Crown provide coverage for the entire screen and all four corners of the device adding very little “bulk” to your iPhone 6. This ensures that your phone is protected, even when your kids use it or if you have greasy or sticky fingers touching your device.
Available from Amazon, BodyGuardz for US$25.00 – $39.99
iPro Trio iPhone Lens Kit from Schneider Optics
The iPro Trio Lens Kit from Schneider Optics, is a great gift for the iPhoneographer mum. It provides a good selection of high quality add-on lenses including a macro, wide angle and 2x zoom, plus an iPhone Case, lens cap and handle. The handle is both a really useful accessory and a great way to store and carry the lenses. This kit is currently available for the iPhone4/4S, iPhone5/5S, iPhone 6, iPhone6+ and Galaxy S4. Read our full review. Available from Schneider optics, Amazon and other suppliers RRP $229
[EXPOSE] Smart Video Light for iPhone from KNOG
The [expose] from KNOG is a great gift for the mom who loves to take photos and videos with her iPhone, but is unhappy with the results when she takes pictures at night. The [expose] a tiny iPhone Flash that packs a lot of light. It has 9 LEDs and a total output of up to 130 lumens which is 6x as powerful as the iPhone’s built-in flash. The [expose] has a built-in rechargeable battery, so it won’t run down her iPhone battery and can be used for both video and still photography. Available in Black or White RRP $59.99 from Knog.com and other retailers.
Mpow iSnap X One-piece U-Shape Selfie Stick
Do you love taking photos but find as a mom that you are often not in any of them because you are taking them of your kids? The iSnap allows you to attach your smartphone or tablet to a “selfie stick” which then allows you to take photos of your family and include you as mom! It connects to your device via Bluetooth with a switch on the tripod which allows you to actuate your photos without having to touch your device. Available from Amazon for US$20
Mio Link Heart Rate Monitor from Mio Global
For moms who like to work out the Mio Link is a great gift idea. To get the most benefit from exercising it is recommended that you monitor your heart rate so that you can stay “in the zone”. The Mio Link is a really comfortable, easy to use heart rate monitor that you wear on your wrist, eliminating the need for uncomfortable chest straps. The Mio Link uses a series of color coded lights to let you know what “zone” you are in, and you can also view your exact heart rate on your iPhone. Read our full review. Available from the Mio Global website, RRP $99
Fitbug Orb Activity and Sleep Tracker
For the mom who wants to improve her fitness using a fitness tracker can be a first step on in providing an incentive to exercise more. The Fitbug Orb from Fitbug is a small, versatile tracker that tracks both activity and sleep and can be worn in a number of ways. It comes with both a wrist strap and a clip, so you can choose different ways to wear it. It comes with a watch-style battery that lasts approximately 6 months so you don’t need to recharge it. You can track your fitness data both via an iOS app and online and can also enter your food intake to track calories and join the Fitbug online community for support. Available from Amazon and other retailers RRP US$49.99
Pulse Dimmable LED Light with Wireless Bluetooth Speakers, Powered by JBL
Pulse Dimmable LED Light with Wireless Bluetooth Speakers (Pair), Powered by JBL from Sengled The Sengled Pulse is a smart lightbulb which includes an LED light with an embedded JBL Bluetooth speaker which allows you to control both the speaker and the light from your Smartphone. I loved how easy it was to stream music and turn up or down my kitchen lights while cooking dinner. You can install the Pulse into any standard light socket, and adjust light and sound from a Bluetooth enabled device without needing wires, cords or a remote. Available from Amazon for US$156
Withings Aura Smart Sleep System
What better gift is there for a busy mom than a good nights sleep? With Aura Smart Sleep from Withings is a system that not only tracks her sleep in detail but also provides tool to help her fall asleep and wake up better both from a night’s sleep and from a nap. It includes an under the mattress sensor that measures movement, heart rate and breathing to analyze her sleep. This connects to the bedside unit and includes a smart light, speaker, clock and USB charging port. The system works to lull her to sleep with soothing sounds and red light, and gradually bring mom to her light sleep phase in the morning before waking her with blue lights and gentle wake up sounds. Available from Amazon and other retailers RRP US$299
For additional gift ideas check out Gorgeous iPod, iPhone & iPad Accessories for Women.
We haven’t personally tested all of these products but they are from reputable companies that we trust and recommend. Products may have been received from companies for review purposes, no other compensation was received.
High quality lenses, handle provides a convenient way to carry and store lenses as well as being useful for steadying the shot, lenses can be used with different models of smartphone by getting a new case
Must use custom case, case not compatible with many screen protectors, no place to store lens cap in handle.
For the serious iPhonographer the iPro Lens Trio Kit provides a good selection of high quality add on lenses – including a macro, wide angle and 2x zoom. It also includes a custom case and carrying handle that doubles as a storage solution for the lenses. Highly recommended !
The iPro Lens system is a system of add-on lenses for Smartphones from Schneider Optics, a company known for its high quality professional lenses. The lenses are available individually or as a set. They require a special case for your Smartphone, this is currently available for the iPhone4/4S, iPhone5/5S, iPhone 6, iPhone6+ and Galaxy S4. I tested the iPhone 5/5s Trio set with an iPhone 5.
The iPro Lens Trio Kit Includes:
- iPro Case for iPhone 5/5S
- Macro Lens S2
- Super Wide Lens S2
- 2X Tele Lens S2
- Combi Handle (3 Section)
- Lens Cap
The case is a 2-piece black polycarbonate shell which slips on to the iPhone. The case has a bayonet-style mount in front of the camera lens and screw mounts on either side for the handle. It has a rim which hugs the front surface of the iPhone tightly. Because it is so snugly fitting it may not work with a screen protector I had a Screenguardz Glass screen protector on my iPhone and the case slid off the screen guard. It is a very simple looking case, but I quickly got used to having it as my everyday phone case, and it is easy to remove and re-install it. I did wish it came with a compatible screen protector as I do prefer to keep my iPhone screen protected.
The handle is a really neat feature of the system, it screws into the long side of the case giving an easy way to hold the camera steady when taking pictures. There is a tripod mount in the base of the handle allowing you to easily use a tripod with your phone if you wish. The handle is made up a several segments and inside each one. It is also where you store the lenses- each segment has a bayonet mount inside allowing you to safely store a lens, and when you close the handle a little lens cleaner cover the lens surface. If you purchase additional lenses they come with an extra handle segment so you can just add them to the handle. It really is an ingenious way to carry the lenses, keeping them protected and close at hand, and at the same time providing another useful accessory. The only downside is the lens cap does not seem to fit anywhere in the handle, so it is easy to lose.
Included in the Trio set are a 2x Telephoto, a Macro and a Wide-Angle lens. The lenses attach to the case by a bayonet mount, and stay in place very securely. The lenses can not be used without the case, but if you upgrade your phone you only need to buy the new case to be able to continue using the lenses.
The lenses all have very high quality optics and produce really sharp images. I have really enjoyed using them to take photos with my iPhone. I am including a selection of images taken with each lens.
Macro– this gives 2.5x magnification, I found the handle really useful with this lens as it much decreased the camera shake I had when using other companies Macro lenses.
Telephoto – for everyday use this as the most useful of the lenses as I find many situations where I wish the native iPhone camera lens was more zoomed in (of course you can use the digital zoom but that decreases picture quality.)
Aircraft museum with Telephoto
Same picture without Telephoto
Wide-Angle – this doubles the field of view of the iPhone camera. It does cause an exaggerated perspective with rounding at the edges – this can make for some fun effects. There are also available for purchase a wide-angle lens which has lens distortion and a fish-eye which is even more exaggerated (we did not test either.)
With Super Wide Angle
Overall, I was very impressed with the iPro Lens Trio Kit. For the serious iPhonographer it provides a good selection of high quality add on lenses including a macro, wide angle and 2x zoom, and additional lenses can be purchased separately. The iPhone case works well, though I do wish it came with a compatible glass screen protector. The handle is a really useful accessory and a great way to store and carry the lenses. I also appreciate the fact that you don’t have to buy new lenses when you upgrade your phone, you just need to replace the case. Highly recommended !
The Trio Kit has an RRP of $229, and is available from ScheiderOptics.com, Amazon and many other retailers
NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.
What we love…
Totally wireless camera installation, magnetic mounting system, free cloud storage with basic plan, weatherproof cameras with HD recording, motion detection and night vision, ability to schedule modes.
What we’d love to see…
More options to integrate with other Smart Home products, more detailed “how to” guide within the app
I find the Arlo security camera a really useful addition to my home. I really love the mounting system and that fact that the cameras are wireless -no need to worry about finding an electrical outlet, no wires to hide and really easy to reposition the cameras. I have been happy with the video quality, motion detection and night vision.
Disclaimer: I am a NETGEAR Ambassador and I received this product in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion and review.
The Arlo Security system consists of a base station which you attach to your router, wireless cameras, and a cloud based storage system. The cameras can record in HD quality, are battery operated, have night vision, motion detection and are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The camera feed can be accessed via a SmartPhone app or via the Arlo website, and can be set to send you alerts by text and email when motion is detected. I first got to see the Arlo home security camera system at it’s launch press conference in San Francisco in November 2014, and liked what I saw, so I was excited to get the opportunity to check it out in my home. I tested the Arlo home Security System and 2 cameras using the iPhone app and the Arlo website (via my Mac.)
It was very easy to set up, after installing the camera batteries I plugged in the base unit and connected it to my router via an included ethernet cable. Then I created an online account which just took a few minutes, and as I also like to access my Arlo camera feed on the go I installed the free Arlo app on my iPhone and iPad. Then I synced the cameras to the base station. This was very easy: you just bring the cameras close to the base unit and press the sync button on both cameras and base station and lights on the camera let you know when they have successfully synced.
One of my favorite features of the Arlo system is how easy it is to mount and move the cameras. They are totally wireless and mount by a clever magnetic mounting system, which makes mounting and moving them a breeze. They come with 4 mounts which you can put up with 1 screw each, these look like a metal ball cut in half, the camera attaches to it via a strong magnet and the semi-circular mount makes it really easy to change the camera angle. The cameras run on 4 CR123A batteries, they come with disposable batteries but you can easily buy rechargeable versions with a charger if you prefer.
For each camera you can set up rules as to when to record – you can record when motion in sensed by that camera or by another camera, and you can adjust the sensitivity of the motion detection and how long to record- from 10 second clips up to 120 seconds. The motion sensor works best when the movement is occurring across the viewfinder of the camera rather than straight towards it, so it is good to bear that in mind when positioning the cameras. You can use “motion detection mode” during set up, which flashes lights to tell you when motion is detected, to adjust the sensitivity to the level you want. To get the best camera positioning there is a “position mode” which lets you view the camera feed in real time as you adjust its positioning. You can also change the video quality settings depending on whether you want to the best video quality or want to optimize battery life. The camera can record up to 720p quality, I set mine at the medium quality level, and I’m happy with the video quality and have seen no noticeable decrease in the battery level after a month’s usage.
The camera system is set up to allow “if,then” programming, at the moment the options for are limited to: when motion is detected record on your choice of cameras +/- sending alerts, but the system is set up to allow more options in future. I hope that in the near future that we will see more options available for integrating Arlo with other smart home products. NETGEAR have already announced a partnership with LIFX, so I’m looking forward to having the option to automatically turn on my LIFX bulbs when Arlo detects motion by the front door.
Once you have set up your various modes and rules for those modes you can switch between modes manually or set up a schedule. I love having the schedule option as it means I can set up for my regular day- having my “security” mode on during the times I am usually out so I can get notified if there is any activity, and my “home and awake” where I don’t get notified of any activity in the house but do get notified if someone is at the door, and then a sleeping mode for night time. I also have a vacation mode that I manually switch on when we are away. If my schedule changes from my pre-set routine I can just switch off the schedule from the Arlo app and manually pick the mode instead.
I was going out on vacation just after I installed the Arlo system so I set it up to monitor my front door and inside the house, this gave me great peace of mind from a security viewpoint, but also let me know when we had some packages delivered so I could contact a neighbor and ask her to look after them until we returned home. Now I am leaving one camera set up permanently near the front door, and as the camera is weather proof I don’t have to worry about it being affected by the fog or rain. The second camera I use indoors and move its position depending on what I am using it for at the time – sometimes it is a child monitor, other times a pet monitor or an indoor security camera. With the magnetic mounting system and no wires to worry about, I love how easily I can move the camera.
As well as recording with the Arlo you can look at your camera feed in real time via the app or website – I find this useful to check on my pets remotely when I’m not home and to watch what my children are up to when they are supposed to be going to sleep! When using it as a baby/ child monitor remember it does not have audio, just video, which can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your viewpoint!
The night vision also works well – this is great for security if someone rings the doorbell after dark as you can see who it is before answering the door. I also have a child with Sleep Apnea who can have difficulty getting to sleep or problems with waking up in the night, so it is useful for me to be able to check on her without going in to disturb her.
The first time I used Arlo I came back from vacation and got about 30 text messages and recordings due to motion being detected as we unpacked the car, before I worked out how to switch it off! So I would recommend taking a little time to get familiar with how the settings and modes work. It would be nice to see a detailed “how to guide” within the app, this information is available on the website and in YouTube videos, but it would be nice to have it right at your fingertips on your smartphone.
Video Storage and Pricing
Your video clips are stored in the cloud and can be accessed via the app or website. In the library there is a calendar, days you have clips stored from are marked in green, and you can view collections of clips by the day. You can mark clips as favorites (which won’t be automatically deleted), share them, delete or download them from the library.
There are 3 levels of service for the Arlo system – basic is free, supports 1 base station and up to 5 cameras and includes 7 days of cloud recording (up to 1GB cloud storage); Premium is $99/ year, supports up 10 cameras, 30 Days of Cloud Recording (Up to 10 GB Cloud Storage), Elite is $149.00/year, supports up to 15 cameras and 3 Base Stations, and includes 60 Days of Cloud Recording (Up to 100 GB Cloud Storage.) I do like that you have the option of having a free service as not all systems offer this, but with the basic service you do need to be quite “on top” of your storage-checking it regularly to see if there are any clips you wish to download or favorite so that you don’t miss them before they are deleted.
The Arlo Security system comes in a variety of packages I tested the 2 camera starter system which includes 2 cameras, 4 mounts and 1 base station its RRP is $349 it is available from Amazon and other retailers, additional cameras sold separately.
Overall, I find the Arlo security camera a really useful addition to my home. I really love the mounting system and that fact that the cameras are wireless -no need to worry about finding an electrical outlet, no wires to hide and really easy to reposition the cameras. I have been happy with the video quality, motion detection and night vision. I love that the cameras can be used inside and out, though it does make me a little nervous that it is so easy to remove the outside camera- although at least if a thief it take a camera I’d get a video of them doing so!
Arlo – NETGEAR
Arlo is the worldwide leader in Smart Home Security, and the creator of the world’s first ever 100% wire-free, weatherproof HD security camera.
Arlo cameras make it easy to keep tabs on all the important.