Home security brand SkyBell makes some of the best doorbell cameras around and even featured on our holiday list of the best smart home products you can buy. It received another boost a few days ago when its doorbells were added to the Google Assistant compatibility list. Like many companies at CES 2018 in Vegas, SkyBell also had something new to show off, in the form of a camera that plugs straight into a simple wall socket.
The SkyBell Plug-in may sound like a fancy air freshener, but it’s actually a 1080p HD camera with a 180-degree field of view. The integrated microphone and speaker allow for two-way conversations. Simply press the button and whoever has access to the camera will be alerted that you want to talk. This could have a number of useful applications, and SkyBell itself highlights senior care and watching over children as two such areas, as well as security.
Google Home support is there out of the box, which can be used to trigger a photo or video recording. It will also work with IFTTT and SmartThings, among other smart home platforms, and if you already have a SkyBell HD doorbell the Plug-in can even be used as a chime. This all sounds rather promising, but there is a catch (of course there is). 199 catches, to be more precise. $199 is a lot of money for a camera that is tethered to a wall outlet, regardless of its feature set. Even so, it will surely appeal to some people, who’ll be able to pick one up sometime in the next couple of months when it’s released.