Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Review: Nucleus

We were so excited when we were asked to review the brand new Nucleus system: A home intercom system that works on wifi, and connects families all over the globe using a mobile smart-phone app. We have a 5.5-year old (going on 15) who is consistently asking for her own cell phone, and while that isn't an option, we thought that the Nucleus system could be a "happy-medium".

So, what exactly is the Nucleus system?

Nucleus is a video monitor that you set up in any rooms in your home. They can be used as video security when you're not at home, a home intercom-system, baby monitor, and a way for you and your family to connect face-to-face at your convenience. You give access to anyone you'd like, and set the security level at your discretion.

We received three monitors and set them up in our 5.5-year-old's bedroom, the family/rec room, and main floor of our house. Setting these devices up was super simple, and our kids were excited to get involved too. I just followed the step-by-step instructions on the monitor, typed in some codes, hopped on our wifi connection, and TA-DAH! I then sent our access code and Nucleus app link to our kids' grandparents, aunts, and uncles, so they could download the Nucleus app on their smart phones, and have access to our Nucleus systems. Basically, our daughter could video-call these family members from the Nucleus device in her room, whenever she'd like (although we are able to set the security and privacy for the monitor), and these family members can video-call her Nucleus monitor in her room whenever they'd like. We are able to set the monitor on "private" at night, or whenever we didn't want her using it. Each contact/person has their photo next to his/her name, and connection is made with the press of a button. As parents, we have complete control of the security and privacy of these monitors.

Linna and Jimmy making a Nucleus video-call.

I loved having these systems in our home when I was working full-time for six weeks outside the home. During this time, we had some amazing in-home childcare, and our Nucleus systems allowed me to connect with my home and kids at my convenience/discretion. As an "admin", I would set the systems to ring before they automatically connected, or enable the person at home to answer the device before it connected. Our kids could video-call me as well while I was at work, which they did often (and I loved seeing their little faces). We did, however, run into a "mishap" one day, when my daughter decided to video-call me on her Nucleus, after our nanny had told her that she was supposed to be in her room having a "quiet time". As a result, we ended up taking the Nucleus out of Linna's bedroom until she could earn it back... Which she has.

Overall, I love having the convenience of monitoring our kids when they're in another room (especially the toddler, as he's into EVERYTHING), and monitoring our home when we're away. Our family members like having the ability to video-call the kids, without having to call my phone first. It gives our oldest a little slice of independence, while I'm able to monitor it all. I know that kids these days are getting cell phones at younger ages, but there is not a chance that our soon-to-be 6-year-old is anywhere near ready for one. Every once in awhile, we'll get really crappy video clarity on both ends, but this is due to us living in the boonies, where we have a very slow wifi speed. We're working to get a better one.

Our Nucleus on our main floor.

We haven't done this yet, but Nucleus can connect with Alexa (Amazon's cloud-based voice service) to give you news/weather updates, play music, and control other smart devices in your home. I need to get on that one, STAT! While the cost of a Nucleus system isn't "cheap" ($149+), you can try it for up to 60 days with easy returns. There's no "monthly fees/costs" involved once you've purchased your devices, as they just run off your home's wifi. It's totally worth giving it a try, because you really don't have anything to lose!

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