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Hands on: D-Link Omna 180, the first Apple HomeKit security camera

This week, accessory maker D-Link began shipping the Omna 180, the first security camera on the market boasting compatibility with Apple's HomeKit line of smart home accessories. AppleInsider offers a closer look at the new hardware that can keep your home safe.

Priced at $199.95, the D-Link Omna 180 integrates with Apple's Home app in iOS 10, and also connects to other HomeKit-compatible devices, allowing users to create custom scenes and triggers based on the device's capabilities.

Boasting a 180-degree field of view, the Omna 180 is slightly smaller than a "slender" aluminum beverage can, such as the kind used by Michelob Ultra. On the front is the lens, accompanied by a pair of sensors that allow it to also offer black-and-white images in low-light situations.

It includes an integrated microphone, as well as speakers for broadcasting to the camera, such as to comfort a pet or infant. While there is no way to speak to the camera through Apple's Home app, such functionality is offered through D-Link's official Omna app.

One of the nicer features of the Omna 180 is an integrated micro SD slot, supporting up to 128 gigabytes. This means detected movement will be recorded locally without affecting internet bandwidth.

It also gives D-Link a leg up on competitors, like Alphabet's Nest Cam, which require subscription-based cloud storage. Nest Cam also lacks support for HomeKit.

Another upcoming competitor, the Withings Home Plus, will offer HomeKit integration, though premium cloud video recording plans start at $7.95 per month. Again D-Link wins by including local storage on the micro SD card slot, which can be streamed from anywhere.

By default, the Omna 180 can track any and all motion and record 20-second snippets leading up to the trigger. Diving into the Omna app, users can select up to 16 different segments from the camera's view, allowing it to focus on a specific area for potential movement, like a door or window.

D-Link's Omna app also lets users adjust the sensitivity for motion detection, and there is a customizable "Motion Retrigger Delay" with options ranging from 30 seconds to 5 minutes.

In our initial tests, setting up and using the D-Link Omna 180 was about as dead simple as you can expect, thanks in part to the HomeKit integration. With Apple's Home app, we simply scanned the identification code stickered to the back of the unit, and the device connected to our network and was ready to operate.

We especially appreciated the ultra-wide 180-degree lens, which allowed us to truly capture the entirety of an apartment with ease. If you want to keep an eye on as much of a room as possible, this camera will get the job done.

It should be noted that the Omna 180 does not come with a micro SD card, so you'll have to bring your own. We inserted one into the bottom, formatted it through the official Omna app, and the camera began recording anytime it tracked motion from our specified "hot zones."

Notably, once the camera's "hot zones" are configured in the official Omna app, those are the areas that trigger motion detection capabilities in Apple's Home app.

This opens up a world of possibilities with automation, allowing users to receive notifications or trigger scenes based on parameters such as time of day or location.

Unfortunately, these same capabilities do not currently apply to saved recording files, as neither Apple's Home app nor the Omna app do not have any control over when the Omna 180 saves recordings. It would be nice to instruct the device to only save motion detected video during set hours, or when the user is seen as away from home via geofencing.

Regardless, if you're looking for a HomeKit-connected indoor camera, the D-Link Omna 180 is the only option available to you at the moment. Our first impressions are positive, and you can expect a full review from AppleInsider in the coming weeks.