The online interface won't let you record the video feed but you can take still images and have them e-mailed automatically, which should be ideal for getting a mug shot of a burglar just before he drops kicks the Rovio clean across the lounge and makes off with your flat-screen telly and DVD player.
Once away from the dock and roaming, the Rovio's battery is good for around an hour or so of use. A word of advice, though: make sure you site the dock with plenty of clear open space around it – nearby furniture seemed to sometimes mess with Rovio's ability to dock itself, and trying to dock the thing manually can test the patience of a saint.
Using the Rovio as a remote control guard dog while you're away has the downside that you need to keep it switched on and the dock plugged in. OK, at no point in our test did it, or the dock, get even remotely warm, let alone hot, but if you're the type of person who turns everything off bar the fridge when you go away for more than 48 hours, leaving your Rovio powered up may present issues on the peace-of-mind front.
Potential uses? Well, the makers suggest interacting with your boss by plonking a Rovio on the boardroom table during meetings or keeping in touch with your offspring while you are away. We aren't wholly sure about either – the former seems a good way to get fired, the later an even better way of ensuring your kids will need therapy. “So tell me, when did you first start having these nightmares about being chased around the house by a cybernetic tortoise that spoke with your father's voice?”
Is the Rovio worth £250? Not really, no. At the end of the day, like the Roomba 560 robotic vacuum cleaner, it's an extremely fine example of 'useless but cool': great fun for chasing the cat around when you're 5000 miles away – or just in the next room - but as a tool for remote interaction it's just too much of a toy.
WowWee Rovio Mobile
Goes to show...
...me and el-reg are on the same wavelength. Sort of.
Just yesterday I bought a Meccano SpyKee! That and the Rovio go hand-in-hand, as they are quite close in terms of features. I looked at the Rovio at the same time as researching the SpyKee, and came to the conclusion its just not worth the £250.
The SpyKee is £150 now from my local Tesco (RRP £200), which is about as cheap as you can get it brand new in the UK, after a quick googling.
Thats pretty much the most I have ever spent in one go at Tescos. It'll be a shock when I see my bank statement having probably forgotten about the purchase by then!
The Spykee only does QVGA / 320x200 at 15fps as opposed to the Rovio, so its price bump is a little justified. Just dont tell anybody that 640x480 webcams can be had for only a few notes nowadays! ;-)
One thing to note about the SpyKee, something which may very well affect the Rovio too - I have so far had to return it for a replacement as it refused to charge itself!! The replacement is now on charge, awaiting a full initial charge for the full test, but I'm not holding my breath as I did nothing wrong the first time round, after going thru the manual 10 times to see whether I did anything incorrectly, I think its way within my limited abilities to at least charge a device up!
Something to do with it using NiMH instead of trusty lithium Ions I reckon. Does the Rovio use NiMH batteries?
...let them sell a lot of these, and please let the default settings allow anyone with a handle on inurl: searches to find and control them.
I am sure that I could make one of these for less than a quarter of the price...and fitted with nerf rockets.