About 18 months ago, there weren’t too many choices for HomeKit cameras, but things have changed a lot in this relatively short space of time, with offerings from Eufy, Eve, Vocolinc, Aqara and others, all adding to a respectable lineup of decently spec’d and affordable cameras. With Matter due to make an appearance in 2022, we may well expect to see more cameras compatible with HomeKit, but that doesn’t seem to stop some manufacturers from bringing forth their latest offering, which in this case is a company called Zorachka, who have launched their own high-end, exclusively HomeKit compatible camera, simply called Homam.
Looking very reminiscent of an astronaut’s space helmet, the Homam certainly looks like no other camera in the HomeKit ecosystem right now, but given its exclusivity to HomeKit – barring the company’s own app – it generally offers pretty much the same feature set of other HomeKit cameras at a basic level, which is compatibility with HomeKit Secure Video, for example. However, unlike some HomeKit enabled cameras, not only does the Homam offer on-device storage, it’s actually embedded into the device, as opposed to a removable SD card. Rather than simple storage, the camera uses a dedicated chip that records regardless of whether there’s an internet connection or not, with the chip being capable of storing up to 64GB of footage. The chip uses a proprietary technology called VIS (Verona Index Storage) that uses RSA EAS for security. The company claims that this recording protocol “Dramatically decreases the required network bandwidth, without loss of quality”. They further state that “…A unique network system finds the shortest path between the phone and Homam, and connects them directly to the local network”, which results in “faster response, very little buffering, and long life of storage achieved by the proprietary video file system.” It all sounds very impressive, but this could all be marketing spin of course…
The camera does have decent specs though, with 7 glass, low-distortion fisheye lens, a field of view giving Diagonal 156°, horizontal 134°, vertical 75° and boasting 5MP resolution, with a focal length of 2.39mm. It also offers HDR image quality for both overblown or low light scenarios, at 30fps, and offers what sounds like a bucket list of image correction enhancements, including;
Optical black clamp
IR optimizer (night mode)
High light compensation
Lens distortion correction
Lens vignetting correction
As expected, the camera comes with night vision, being armed with eight IR diodes, split into four separate zones, each offering 1,024 levels of brightness. A camera with such impressive specs, comes with the ability to connect to either 2.4 or 5.0GHz WiFi networks, although it still only offers 1080p resolution, partially perhaps due to the resolution cap within HomeKit. It also has a Bluetooth 5.0 connection, although this is probably only for initial device pairing.
the camera is 75mm (WDH), with a separate magnetic stand that can be left on a flat surface or mounted on a wall or ceiling. The Homam is powered using a USB-C cord and USB power brick (5V, 1.5A) but is only designed for indoor use. The kicker here, especially in light of recent budget-priced cameras is that the Homam is going to cost you US$399.00. Whether the aforementioned specs add up to something worthy of the price is down to the individual, however. You can check out all the details via the company’s website.
Thanks to Bing Feng Yeh for the heads up.