This is arguably the coolest feature on the device. Depending on where you place Piper, the camera’s super wide field of view allows you to surveil a large area of your home, and in many cases eliminates the need for multiple cameras to be positioned throughout a given room. It’s also equipped with a digital pan/zoom function, so you can zoom into the room and pan around without actually changing the position of the device. BlackSumac’s website claims the video is HD, and it may very well be recording in HD, but if you tap into a live video stream, don’t expect it to look super crisp. Even on the two blazing-fast Wi-Fi networks we tried it on, the footage came up a bit grainy and slow on our phones – but not to the point where it was unusable. On the plus, side, however, we found that playback was only a second or two behind real time, even on a crappy 3G connection.
In addition to using it for live video surveillance, you can also set up Piper to record video whenever certain sensors are tripped. Once activated, Piper will record a 20-second clip, and automatically saves it to the cloud — so even if an intruder breaks in and steals the camera, you’ll still have access to the footage. It’s a smart setup, and could definitely come in handy if you should ever need to use the footage is any sort of legal proceeding – but unfortunately the app doesn’t offer any way to export these videos, so the only way you can access them is through your phone.