I'm a big fan of WiZ: they make some of the best smart lights and portable lights for budget buyers, and they're a great alternative to their more expensive sibling brand, Hue. And now it looks like they want to be in the best home security cameras business too.
The Wiz Indoor Camera comes with the key features you'd expect from a smart home camera. It has full HD video and two-way audio, a wide 120-degree viewing angle, and an SD slot for storage. That means you don't need to take out a subscription to store video, although WiZ also offers a cloud storage option so you can access your footage from anywhere. That subscription also unlocks extra features such as motion activity and privacy zones.
WiZ hasn't forgotten about its smart lights here. The WiZ Indoor Camera can trigger your WiZ lights when they detect movement, which WiZ suggests can be used to notify neighbors of unexpected activity. And WiZ's new SpaceSense motion detection means that compatible WiZ lights double as motion detectors, turning your whole home into an alarm sensor. You can also use Vacation Mode to simulate activity as if you were still at home when you're far away.
The WiZ indoor Camera will be $69.99 in the US, £79.99 in the UK, and €89.99 in Ireland. It'll launch in the second half of May 2023.
Opinion: WiZ's smart home just got a whole lot more attractive. When's Hue joining in?
I'm very impressed by the thinking here: it's not a case of "everybody else is doing cameras, we should too" – although of course this does take WiZ into territory currently dominated by the likes of Arlo and Amazon's Ring and Blink – but something that takes the wider smart home context into consideration too.
The idea of using smart lights as motion detectors as well as alert notifiers is an excellent one, and if I were currently considering buying smart bulbs I think the prospect of being able to add clever home security would make WiZ an even more tempting buy.
Unfortunately for me, though, I'm already many years all-in on the sister brand Hue, and that means I've already spent a great deal of money on smart lights that I'm in no hurry to replace. And looking at this camera I can't help wondering how long it's going to be before we see something similar, albeit probably more expensive, for the Hue ecosystem.
We know they have the technology – they're part of the same company, after all – and with Google essentially running down the Works With Nest compatibility that enabled Hue and Nest devices to communicate with each other, it seems like a pretty major gap in the current Hue offering.
I do wonder whether launching a WiZ camera rather than a Hue one is a sign that Hue is working on something bigger, possibly via the new Matter smart home interoperability spec: the Hue Hub was supposed to get a Matter update in the first quarter of 2023, but that update has been delayed until it can "meet our customers' expectations", Hue told smart lighting blog Hueblog this March.