By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
BEAVERTON, ORE. — VTech expanded its line of video monitors earlier this month, launching its first model that can pan and tilt remotely.
The Safe & Sound Pan & Tilt video and audio monitor, which carries a $179 suggested retail, comes with one camera and one monitor. Users also have the ability to add up to three additional cameras that will retail for a suggested $59.95 each.
Although the company plans to market the monitor to its traditional customer base — parents — it also said the device can address the segment of consumers who have told VTech they use them for monitoring pets or elderly parents in the house.
In a recent call with TWICE, VTech’s Brad Pittmon, product marketing director, spoke of the exceptionally crowded market its monitors reside in.
“This is a huge market,” said Pittmon, noting that as of six months ago, he counted at least 150 dedicated baby monitors. “This doesn’t account for any of the Wi-Fi remote-access cameras that are out there in the market too.”
When asked if VTech plans to enter the Wi-Fi remote-access category, Pittmon said, “Yes, that is a category that we’re interested in,” adding, “Adding remote capability adds more complexity and cost. So we have a staggered approach to our future baby monitor plan. We’ve been focused on bringing a very functional and affordable pan and tilt, [which] is still relatively new to this category.”
The monitor for the Safe & Sound Pan & Tilt, which is roughly the size of an iPhone, albeit thicker, has a 2.8-inch color screen with 320 by 240 resolution and 2x zooming capability. It can split into a four-way screen should the user add extra cameras.
The camera is able to pan up to 270 degrees and tilt 124 degrees.
Range is said to be up to 1,000 feet, and there is two-way audio capabilities and IR night vision. The monitor uses 2.4GHz digital frequency hopping spread spectrum technology to avoid interference and spying.
Other details include a LED sound indicator, vibrating alert, rechargeable battery and a temperature gauge.
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