What's New, What's Hot: March 2016

Six home security systems for travelers to ponder:

Give us your feedback!

Ever tried a product from a What's New, What's Hot column? Hit the comments below to tell us what you bought and what you thought of it.

Swann HD Digital Video Recorder Surveillance System: The name of the product tells it all: This robust unit boasts an eight-channel video recorder and two weather-proof, 720P, 1 megapixel HD cameras for front- and back-door surveillance. Swann says its cameras are so acute that they can discern license plate numbers, facial details and the like, with night vision possible up to 100 feet. Any video incident can be captured and transferred, while the system can record continuously for 10 days to an external hard drive. An app for viewing on IOS and Android devices is available, as are links to other devices. $499.99; www.swann.com.

Samsung SmartCam HD Pro: It keeps getting easier to keep a watchful eye on the home front while off gallivanting in some distant locale. This system from Samsung seems to have it all: Motion and audio alerts on your smart phone, tablet or laptop; streaming at 1080 full HD (720 to mobile devices); Android and IOS apps; ultra-wide viewing angles; two-way talk capabilities (yell "boo" to spook intruders); the ability to specify areas for motion detection; day/night views with IR filter; multi-stream capability; and 64GB of video storage. The camera, glossy white in appearance, can be wall mounted or set on a flat surface. $189; www.samsung.com.

Myfox Security Cam: An integral part of the Myfox Security System that includes a door/window vibration siren alarm and a dedicated channel to connect and direct several home devices, this cam can be used solo to keep watch on your property or business. In addition to connectivity through Android and IOS apps, the Myfox Security Cam features night vision; wide-angle viewing; 4X zoom; motion sensors; a two-way microphone; and a backup battery with cloud storage to protect against power outages. What sets the 720P HD cam apart from others of its kind, however, is what Myfox calls a "security shutter" that enables users to unplug or turn off the cam to protect the privacy of users and their families when they return home after work, school, vacation or a business trip. $199; www.getmyfox.com.

Piper Classic Cam: This firm offers a number of home security devices, among them the Classic Cam, which includes a motion detector; easy integration with Piper's other devices, such as door/window sensors and remote control of home appliances and lights; an HD fisheye lens, with the ability to pan and tilt; alerts such as email, text messaging and notifications to those persons you trust; two-way audio; environmental sensors for temperature and humidity; video recordings; battery backup; and apps for Android and IOS users. Available in black or white. $199 (a more sophisticated system, the Piper NV with night vision among other new attributes, was recently unveiled priced starting at $249); store.getpiper.com.

Skylink Net Alarm/Alert Kit: This system is designed to work with up to 100 wireless sensors and 10 wireless cameras. An Internet hub set up through your wireless Internet router enables you to monitor and control your home alarm system through your smart device. The Skylink app allows up to six users to monitor one or various locations simultaneously. The kit includes a back-up battery, a motion sensor, a keychain remote and two door/window sensors. In addition, it can be customized with additional home security accessories, such as a water leak sensor and a garage door sensor. $169; www.skylinkhome.com.

Petzi Treat Cam: This security system has traveling pet lovers -- and their pets -- in mind. The device, not surprisingly, enables you, distance notwithstanding, to see your pets, talk to them (maybe communicate is a better word) and snap pictures that can be sent to friends and family. But what really makes this cam system unique is its ability to dispense pre-determined treats to your pets remotely by using a smart phone, tablet or any other Internet-enabled device. Of necessity, the treat can be any dry, crunchy morsel smaller than 1 inch. Multiple mounting options enable you to set up the treat-launching mechanism on a wall, strapped to a table or sitting atop a counter. The camera itself has a wide-angle lens and is equipped for night vision. $169.99; www.petzi.com.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI