Canary finally brings two-way talk to its security cameras

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Security startup Canary is bringing a handful of new features to its camera products, the all-in-one and Flex. Most notable here is the addition of two-way audio, which has been conspicuously absent from the company’s products and ranks as their “most demanded feature,” according to Canary.

The feature lets users speak through the camera, using a mobile device with the Canary app installed. That means you can talk to kids, nannies or speak to pets — which is something I definitely don’t do. I do, however, speak to number of security camera makers, and they tell me that many users want this kind of feature enabled as a way to scare off would-be intruders, the minute the device’s motion detector is triggered.

Terrifying a potential burglar sounds fairly cathartic and is a pretty solid argument for picking up a security cam in and of itself. 

That feature is available now for the standard all-in-one Canary camera and is hitting the Flex next month. Oddly, it requires a membership to Canary’s $10 a month subscription plan to utilize, as does desktop streaming from the company’s newly introduced Web app. That feature moves surveillance beyond Android and iOS to the PC, which should make it easier to check in on things while you’re at work.

In addition to those features, the company says it’s also reduced the latency of real-time streaming to the app, which should make the two-way talk functionality less like watching a bad CNN satellite hook up. Notably absent in all of this is Echo Show functionality. Live views of security cams is one of the device’s most killer functions, and Amazon seems to have enlisted just about all of the connected security camera companies other than Canary.

Now that this refreshed functionality has arrived, hopefully that’s next up on the company’s feature list.