Marshal Rosenthal is a freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture. Plus he likes dogs.
GO With a Security Camera
Security cameras have come a long way since the days where they had to be installed and monitored by a service company. Installation is no big deal since the cameras use the Internet and pretty much everyone has a fast enough wireless network. But any connectivity issues can cause a problem...except for the AITO GO.
The Cellular Connection
Noting that the GO is 100% wireless means more than just not there being cables connected to a power supply or a router. In this case, it means not being connected to a home network either. That’s because the GO works through cellular and, being an outdoor camera, is more likely to get a good signal than if indoors (when moving in to our new house we were intrigued to find that both the electric meter and the water meter didn’t necessitate having anyone come out to read it. Why? Because it was cellular).
Of course this means you must have a data account through a cellular provider, but that’s just a cost to bear and not something complicated to set up. As you can imagine, it’s similar to a smartphone in that the camera uses a SIM card. And not being 5G means that there’s no location that the GO can’t be utilized — 4G LTE being pretty ubiquitous these days. And because it’s a data plan, one must consider the use of such data when doing things like viewing video, etc. because you’re not accessing it through the Internet but through a data plan (a number of different data plans being available through the app). And just to avoid confusion, putting an SD card into the camera allows it to record/store information locally.
It’s a given that the GO has to have power, and if there’s no cables attached providing electricity, then there must be a rechargeable battery doing the work. There is and it gives you about two months on a charge. But there is an alternative to having to remove/charge/return the GO, and that’s through the use of the optional Solar Panel. Basically it’s a solar panel attached to a short stand that can be mounted near/next to the GO, with a connection going from it to a corresponding port on the GO.
Performance, Installation, and App
As to the camera itself, it performs exceedingly well due to having a high-end Sony CMOS image sensor. Besides the expected two-way audio capabilities, the camera’s resolution is FULL-HD, which is to say 1080p at 30 frames a second. The field of view is a nicely wide-angled 130 degrees.The night vision is viewable up to 26 feet (we didn’t measure but viewing a minimum of 15 feet we can attest to). As to the passive infrared sensor (PIR), it had no issues locking on stuff interrupting the view from 25+ feet away either (specs says up to 33 feet).
Installation is simple, obvious and conventional—you place the mount where you want the camera to be and put in the right kind of screws for the material it’s being placed against. Trying to mess with it once mounted will set off a warning, but getting wet doesn't hurt it.
As to the app, it aids in the setup for the included SIM card and provides the type of functions necessary and expected: for example, a (near) live view of what the camera is seeing and two-way audio talk/listen, object detection and alert customization, scheduling recording, a free 30-day file playback and a useful preview function to avoid data depletion from downloading something that it turns out you didn’t want/need to see.
Additionally, the app will show you how much data you have left, as well as enabling you to buy data annually or monthly ((you're not restricted to using the default service provider by installing your own existing SIM card from AT&T or T-Mobile 4G prepaid).
The GO functions as well, if not better, than a similar featured outdoor camera. One might ask: What is the difference between using a cellular connection to connect to a camera that is working through the Internet as opposed to using a cellular connection that connects directly to the camera? You are connecting directly to the camera and avoiding the Internet “middleman.” Plus there’s always Internet outages and electrical issues both inside/outside the house that can occur.
The AIOTO GO comes with everything needed for installation and that includes the battery and battery charger. Plus the SIM card provided comes with a complimentary 100MB of data. Besides having LED indicators for various functionality, it’s a comfortable price especially considering all the tech that goes into it.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.