A few weeks back I received a message via my Twitter account from Logitech asking if I’d like to try out their new Circle. “What’s a Circle?” you ask? I had to look it up, too before replying to them. Here’s what we received in the post, and how we’ve been using our Circle.
Logitec didn’t ask me to do a blog post on their product, but I thought it was a bit different from other things we’ve done in the past, and I thought you might like to see it as well.
What is a Circle?
The Circle is marketed as a home security camera with both day and night vision with remote accessibility. Although it can be used as such, there’s more that you can do with it….
What’s in the box?
What was in the cute cube box? Great package engineering went into the design of the box to hold everything secure, yet have it looking great (yes, I notice things like this – maybe I should have gone on in my psychology degree, things like this were an upcoming thing back then)! Anyway…back to the contents:
- The Circle camera (of course)
- Charging dock with usb/mains connectors
- Mounting dock and screws for securing if needed.
What wasn’t in the box?
Personally, I’d have like a little more instruction on paper to get me going. But maybe I’m just old-fashioned at heart.
How do you set it up?
I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to set up the app on my phone as it’s an older model without a lot of storage left on it. But it went on okay. You will need to use Bluetooth the first time you set up the circle with your phone, email address, and password, but after that you won’t need the Bluetooth anymore. Once that’s done you simply need to share the email address and password with anyone else you’d like to have access to your Circle.
You will need wi-fi to run your Circle if you don’t have it plugged into your pc/laptop, as well as wi-fi to run the app from your phone to see what’s shakin’ at home. It tends to drain my battery very quickly, but you may not have the same problem. Let me know if you have the same experience or if it’s just me.
Once you charge your Circle through your pc (we did receive a plug for the mains, but it had North American pins-I’m sure if you purchase yours in the UK you’ll receive the corresponding plug) you’re good to go. There is a base for it that you can screw onto a wall, etc. if you’d like to, but we haven’t gone that route. We’ve been moving ours around, so we like the flexibility of its mobility.
Turn on the Circle, open the app on your phone, and you can see life as it happens! You’ll see everything live (with a small delay), or you can go back and choose to see ‘moments’ over the course of the day. The Circle conveniently breaks up the day and time-stamps important events into 1-4 minute clips. You can download any of these clips to your cloud, iPhone, etc. At the end of the day you can choose to have it speed-play the days events into a fun 30-second clip. But be quick as this clip only shows events since midnight so if you try at 1am, you will have missed everything from the day before – the small clips are kept in the cloud for 24 hours before they’re gone, but the collective day won’t be accessible.
That’s how the Circle works…but how have we used it?
We’re not the most exciting family…but we found a few ways to have fun with it.
1) Of course, this camera can be used as a means of home security while you’re not there. Imagine catching a burglar in your home and the look on his/her face when you use the 2-way voice to let them know you’re watching! The Circle will go into a sleep mode when there isn’t anything happening, and wake up again when there’s movement. We have tried this out by leaving it on while we’re out.
2) Having a blog, I used the Circle to record the kids making bird feeders outdoors. You can see some of that footage above.
3) Phil ‘dropped in’ on the kids while he was at work (during his lunch hour, not during working hours). This was a bit creepy as I was in another room and all of a sudden heard a man’s voice talking to the children! But I was soon set straight. As a security measure, I have told the kids that if they hear someone other than their parents, to leave the room immediately and come tell us.
4) I have set up the Circle to watch the birds in the back garden. I was hoping to get a good view of the blue tit that’s taken up residence in our bird box. You can zoom in on your phone, but the camera isn’t quite equipped to capture small moving objects at a distance.
5) I’ll try watching nature again during the summer to see if we can spot a hedgehog or fox that have been spotted in the area. The camera has night vision, so it’s possible.
6) I have captured some endearing moments between the kids when I’m not around. I love to see how much they love each other and look out for each other when they don’t know they’re being watched.
7) I have also caught one of the kids (who shall remain nameless, and still denies the incident, even with video proof) sneezing into their hand and then continuing to type….yuck! (The keyboard was cleaned shortly afterwards.)
8) It was interesting to really see how much time is spent on homework vs looking around, fidgeting, etc.
9) I can see how the kids react to home ed programs on the pc – are they interested or bored? It’s different to see their faces rather than just the back of a head.
10) If you have pets, you could find out what your pets are really up to when you’re out of the house – I’m sure that could be an eye-opener!
11) Catch funny moments in everyday life – like me dancing to the alarm on my phone! Oops! Hope hubby didn’t do a replay of that day!
Two points to keep in mind with this product is that you won’t always be able to access it remotely…Our library blocks some sites, so I’m not able to see what the kids are up to at home while I’m working on blogs here at library.
The Circle has a wide-angle lens which does cause some distortion. I round it worked much better when used along a wider wall of a room that when set at a shorter wall.
Do you have a Circle? What have been your experiences? How do you use it? Let’s talk tech in the comments below!
If you’re interested in purchasing a circle for yourself, here are the Amazon (affiliate) links for your convenience if you’re in the UK or the USA: