Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Smart notifications are not detecting only people

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OleS
Guide
Guide

I have 2 VM4540 Pro 3 SmartHubs, 4 Arlo Pro 3 cameras and 1 Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera. 

 

I have been paying a monthly subscription for a while now. First and foremost to get access to Smart Notifications so I would be able to get alerts ONLY when People are detected. It has never worked as I thought it would. 

 

I have disabled everything except People Detection in the settings. But the system still triggers on snow, rain, birds, insects, bushes and ghosts, and more. 

 

My biggest issiue is that I have a subscription on a SMS-provider and it is starting to get very expensive having all these "false positives" triggering all the time. No devices in our house are connected to the Internet 24/7, and the same goes for our mobile phones - so push notifications have no value for us. 

 

The size of the notifications are also a problem since every notification that is sent to my SMS-provider is counted as 3-4 text-messages. And I have to pay for each message. All I need is "Alert: Person detected on Camera 1", or something like that. Something simple. But I can't find any way to modify the alerts... 

I have tried everything I have found in the Arlo Community. I have put up a ladder and climbed the walls to reconnect and reset the camera's, restarted the base units, nothing works. Several people have written that the analysis of triggered alerts are done on Arlo's servers, so I guess it was a waist of time and energy anyway. 

Does anyone know what's going on? Are Smart Notifications only for push notifications and not email-notifications? 

Thanks! 





 

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ShayneS
Arlo Moderator
Arlo Moderator

Hi @OleS

 

The SMS feature you are utilizing here: How can I receive text notifications from my Arlo system instead of email notifications? does not support the filtering feature within emails by design.

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10 REPLIES 10
StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@OleS wrote:

 

My biggest issue is that I have a subscription on a SMS-provider and it is starting to get very expensive having all these "false positives" triggering all the time. No devices in our house are connected to the Internet 24/7, and the same goes for our mobile phones - so push notifications have no value for us. 

I guess part of the tradeoff here is figuring out whether leaving your mobile phones enabled for cellular data all the is cheaper than the SMS costs.  Is that something you've explored?  You do have control over which apps can use the cellular data.  (I am assuming these are smartphones running the app, and not feature phones).

 


@OleS wrote:

 

I have disabled everything except People Detection in the settings. But the system still triggers on snow, rain, birds, insects, bushes and ghosts, and more. 

 


How are these notifications classified?  Are they all tagged as "People"?  FWIW, I've always used web push, so I don't have direct experience with using SMS for this.

 

If you are using timed recordings, you might consider switching to "until motion stops".  That can reduce the number of notifications you get when something is moving for longer than the recording time. 

 

Reducing unwanted recordings would also improve battery life (assuming the cameras aren't AC powered). (Note activity zones are an exception -  they do reduce unwanted notifications+recordings, but won't improve battery life). 

 

A weather cover is probably the best way to reduce rain/snow notifications.  Arlo doesn't sell one, but there are third-party ones that you could use.  One of several examples (not particularly recommended) is https://www.amazon.com/Uogw-Compatible-Protective-Security-Aluminum/dp/B099D9CTJ8  You could also make something if you are so inclined.

 

Not much you can do about birds or insects - if they get close to the camera, they will trigger it.

 

Wind will of course also result in unwanted triggers.   In some cases, I've been able to adjust the field of view of the camera to keep moving bushes, etc out of the field of view.  Also, the cameras are more sensitive to motion at the bottom of the field of view than the top.  So if you can angle them to keep the bushes at the top, that can help.  Alternatively, try inverting the camera - which will shift the most sensitive section to the top.

 

You can also try to reduce the motion sensitivity, and see if you can reduce the unwanted triggers that way.  Of course make sure you don't overdo it, as you do want it to trigger when needed.

 

After you'd done what you can with these measures, you could set activity zones to try and control the rest.

 


@OleS wrote:

 

The size of the notifications are also a problem since every notification that is sent to my SMS-provider is counted as 3-4 text-messages. And I have to pay for each message. All I need is "Alert: Person detected on Camera 1", or something like that. Something simple. But I can't find any way to modify the alerts... 


Unfortunately there is none.

ShayneS
Arlo Moderator
Arlo Moderator

HI @OleS

 

I have reviewed your Smart Notifications you have set for people only It appears the setting has been filtering properly. (It looks like you have received 5 push notifications and recordings yesterday on 12/13. Did you happen  receive more than this? Do you happen to be referring to the videos you are receiving in your library vs the actual push notifications when people only is selected? Do you have activity zones set for the cameras causing the issue?

 

Thank you

OleS
Guide
Guide

Push notification is not an option for us. Hence the use of a SMS service provider.  Which wouldn't have been that pricy if things worked as expected and the messages weren't 2-3 pages long and the system only sent a notification when detecting human beings. The main reason why I chose to subscribe for Arlo's services.

I don't care if the camera's detect birds, snowflakes or insects (all tagged as animals or motion). I just don't want to receive a notification when it does. If it is not possible to do anything about this I guess I might as well cancel my subscription and start looking for other options. 

Thanks anyway! 

OleS
Guide
Guide

I have received numerous notifications on animals and motion over time. 

The question is, why?
Why does it send me notifications at all when detecting Animals and Motion when I have set it to only notify me when the camera's detects people? 

ShayneS
Arlo Moderator
Arlo Moderator

Hi @OleS

 

The SMS feature you are utilizing here: How can I receive text notifications from my Arlo system instead of email notifications? does not support the filtering feature within emails by design.

OleS
Guide
Guide

So, to put it simple. Smart Alerts is not included when using email notifications. You cannot filter on People, Vehicles, Animals and All Other Motion when using email notifications. 

 

Then I guess I have no use for a subscription either. 

 

Thank you for the clarification. 

OleS
Guide
Guide

Hi again, 

 

Just wanted to let you know that I have cancelled my subscription since it doesn't really provide me with what I am looking for.  Will subscribe again if Arlo make Smart Alerts available also on email notifications and provide us with a way to modify the content in the email alerts. Switching to local storage because it gives me more or less the same as I get now. 

Thanks!

ShayneS
Arlo Moderator
Arlo Moderator

Hi @OleS

 

Thank you for being a valued customer. I am glad we could clarify that for you, please let me know if you have any other questions and I will be happy to assist you. Hope you enjoy the Holidays!

reedstr
Tutor
Tutor

It may be by design but it is poor design to have a major feature of the service, the detection of people, not implemented in the feature set of the product beyond push notifications  As the original poster demonstrates it dramatically reduces the value of the service’s feature.  And this lack of symmetry is not just that filtering is not supported in sms.  For example, it would be great to have an alarm go off if a person shows up in the middle of the night at my entrance walkway rather than a cat.  Sorry, by design the service person detection feature is not connect to the alarms feature.  Because feature implementation is not symmetric across the product it’s hard, at least for me, to say that the value of the product is more than a nice set of cameras that record motion detected clips on a monthly service.

OleS
Guide
Guide

Well said. 

 

I have cancelled my subscription and have started to look at other solutions.

Being able to detect people and get an alarm was the main purpose for me when I bought a bunch of cameras and a couple of base units. I was going to buy more cameras but decided to try to get an answer as to why the system didn't filter out "people" before I spent more money on Arlo products. I'm glad I did. And as you said, it's just a nice set of cameras that record motion detected on a monthly service.