Nobody likes Big Brother, but that specter of constant surveillance isn’t so terrifying because it represents a perversion of human nature. Few things are more natural – or understandable – than the desire to see from a distance. If we can’t be everywhere at once we can at least keep watch on a few areas, reassure ourselves that our most valuable possessions aren’t being tampered with. Applied on a national scale, this impulse can lead to very scary outcomes.
On a smaller scale, it leads to badass gadgets like Stem Innovation’s Izon 2.0 Wi-Fi Video Monitor. While it doesn’t cover a particularly wide angle, this little camera is more than capable of covering the bulk of a room. And Izon’s app for iPhone, iPod and Android allows you to set a certain sub-area to scan for noise or movement.
I chose my front door and so, for several weeks, my iPad received a notification each time that door opened. When I loaded up the app, I’d be treated to videos of my friends making their entrances.
The obvious travel application of this is to scan the door of your hotel or hostel room. If anyone enters without your permission, you’ll have video proof of that fact – even if they steal your Izon in the process. All those videos are stored in the cloud.
I never did get the Android app to work – it kept saying it couldn’t recognize my account or password. But that same account/password worked fine on my iPad and I found the app intuitive and well-designed.
Perhaps the coolest aspect of this Orwellian little gizmo is that it doesn’t need to be plugged into a wall outlet to function. The Izon 2.0 draws very little power, and when hooked up to my 5,000 mAH Satechi battery managed to stay alert for nine or ten hours, with a little juice left over to charge my phone. This means the Izon is truly portable, even in situations where there is no access to reliable power.
The Bottom Line
Some of you will find $129.95 too high a price to pay for paranoia. I can’t dispute that, and this certainly isn’t a necessity. But if you’ve been stolen from before, the Izon 2.0 is a compelling option for future protection.
Disclosure: Vagabondish received one Izon 2.0 monitor in advance of this review.