By Daniel Rasmus on Mon, 11/24/2014
If you need a web-based camera that rocks, then this is a great choice, because it sort of, well, rocks. The iBaby Monitor M6 ($199.95) swivels and spins, but if you manipulate the controls the right way, you can also make it rock.
iBaby is intended for watching babies. Not just watching them, but also communicating through voice and music. It works best with little people, and with creatures, that are mostly stationary or at least contained—babies in cribs, lizards in a cage, birds in a cage, puppies in a pen—you get the point. It doesn’t do much with a dog that has the run of the house. You might glimpse a curious nose occasionally, or witness a sweeping blur of head and tail, but iBaby isn’t designed to chase a pet around a house. iBaby is designed to watch things in a confined space, along with the area around it. The camera rotates up and down and in a circle on a fixed base.
iBaby sees color by day. At night, it runs night vision, just like on ghost hunting shows. So yes, if you want to use iBaby to monitor the preternatural, it can do that, but it’s an undocumented feature. Another undocumented feature is freaking out older children using their account on a home computer (or trying to cook something after school) while you are out. It’s not a hidden camera by any means, and makes some noise when it runs. So use its conspicuous appearance and think of it more as a deterrent.
Given its basic rotational capabilities and night vision, the iBaby could also monitor yards or external areas easily viewed from a window that's near a power socket.
iBaby requires an iPhone or iPad to connect it to a network. Plug-in the power, run the app, plug in the phone and the iOS device gets the iBaby connected to the network. Make sure you have all of the latest software installed, because it took me a couple of tries get the Wi-Fi up. Control works well from an iPhone with iOS 8, but was challenged with UI and crashes running the iPhone app on the iPad. An easy-to-set-up Internet account provides access to the net from any network, even 3G (though slower connections result in lower quality video).
iBaby’s design is fun and functional. It looks like a tiny snowman on a saucer. The 720HD resolution is adequate for monitoring a beautiful bundle of baby, or a pack of Labradoodle puppies.
Other features include video recording, timed image capture, easy access for sharing the camera with others (yes, you can give Grandma a link to the baby) and two-way audio.
If you want to be the coolest parent on the block, ditch the traditional baby monitor for an iBaby. It may seem like overkill if the baby is in the next room, but on date night you’ll feel comforted to be able to watch the baby and the babysitter.