With CES looming, it seems clear Arlo has been hiding a few secrets. The biggest of which may be turning Arlo into a complete smart home solution, not just a line of Internet-connected security cameras and lights.
Let’s connect some dots. When Arlo announced their new 4k Ultra camera solution, CEO Matthew McRae tweeted the following, and his last line caught my attention.
– Dual microphones w/ beam forming
– Active noise cancellation
– Full duplex audio (VoIP)
– New modular, unibody design (indoor, outdoor)
– New magnetic mount system (more articulation)
– New magnetic cable (improved weather resistance)
And a few surprises TBA at CES…
— Matthew McRae (@mbmcrae) November 30, 2018
What surprises could those be? Searching thru the FCC database, I found the specs for the 5th generation Arlo base station (VMB5000). What stands out is the fact that it looks to include include Zigbee, Z-Wave and additional Sub-GHz radios. Those additional communication protocols would allow Arlo to expand beyond cameras and lights (latter of which currently use a Zigbee bridge). The new base station could potentially connect to a myriad of sensors (motion, contact/window, water, etc) for home automation.
Even looking at Best Buy’s listing for the Arlo Ultra yields a clue as the base station is now labeled SmartHub. The question is how much automation would be built in? Arlo already allows you to configure arm/disarm via schedules and geo-fencing. You can add additional family members to your account for multi-user. And soon Arlo will support 2FA. With additional sensors, it could bring the Arlo system to a whole new level. And I wouldn’t even be surprised if Arlo launched a monitored alarm service to keep up with Ring and Nest. Need to get those Arlo Smart subscribers up!
One last surprise might be HomeKit integration, as Matthew McRae hinted earlier this month. The company has dipped its toes into the HomeKit water with the Arlo baby earlier this year. HomeKit expansion to the other Arlo cameras would be a big draw for new customers. It could also mean incorporating arming/disarming Arlo as well.
Seeing Arlo more fully take on Ring and Nest sounds great, but we’ll have to wait until next month to see if I’ve correctly read the tea leaves.