Technology and small children are traditionally a challenging combination but it can prove extremely useful for us parents when carefully applied. At the start of the school holidays we had the opportunity to try out a smart home kit by D-Link, timed well to manage an increasingly independent toddler and time away from home.

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The D-Link kit comprises three smart components: an HD camera, smart plug and motion sensor, all controlled by smart phone. We’re already great fans of using a camera as a baby/small person monitor, which has been immensely valuable on several occasions (even if it does lend us to obsess over minutiae of Tilly’s movements of which we’d be blissfully unaware with a normal audio monitor.)

The use of smart tech comes at a useful time for us as not only were we going away over the summer but Tilly was being upgraded to a proper bed, meaning that she could get out of both bed and her room for the first time. If there’s ever been a time for employing monitoring, this is it.

Set up was incredibly easy and is led by the smart phone app, making clever use of QR codes to identify the devices being added. The process required pressing the WPS button on our home router once to allow the smart device to sync with the wi-fi. After that it’s just following a few steps with each device in turn, taking no more than a few minutes.

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As we were away for a while at the beginning of the school holidays I set up the smart plug first with a standing lamp to set it come on and go off automatically while we’re away, providing some appearance of habitation. There are a few different options but I went for manually setting on and off times for each day.

Photo 15-09-2015 21 17 02I’ve played around with the sensor a bit and it gives notifications when movement is detected. I’m waiting for the right time to use this in the house, possibly when we start potty training Tilly for overnights, although it would also make a handy security feature. The sensor can be used in conjunction with the camera too, essentially offering a security camera function.

The HD camera gives a nice sharp image, infrared for night view and a handy overlaid time stamp, which is something our existing nursery cam doesn’t offer. As with the sensor there are advanced features that I’ll look for opportunities to use in the future such as motion and sound detection.

All in all, the D-link smart home HD starter kit offers a nice range of devices to start setting up smart functions around the home with the option of diving in deeper to more advanced, linked up functions. I’m still exploring the variety of ways we can use them around our home but already they’ve proved useful while we’ve been away and for keeping tabs on a mobile toddler.

 

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