The firmware update means SmartCamera owners have another option aside from Ecobee’s $5-a-month subscription for video recording and movement notifications.
With HomeKit Secure Video, video footage is encrypted and stored in iCloud rather than on servers handled by Ecobee. Footage can be viewed in the Home app, and all motion and people detection is done on-device for privacy purposes.
Using HomeKit Secure Video requires an upgraded iCloud storage plan. Apple’s 200GB plan supports one HomeKit Secure Video camera, while the 1TB plan supports up to five cameras.
Users with the 200GB plan can store 10 days of recordings from one camera in iCloud at no extra cost, while those with a 2TB plan can store 10 days of recordings from up to five cameras. HomeKit Secure Video recordings do not count towards a user’s iCloud storage usage.
As The Verge points out, if you’re thinking of switching from Ecobee’s $5-a-month video recording subscription to HomeKit Secure Video, it’s worth noting that, like other HomeKit-compatible cameras, Apple’s Home app doesn’t support the camera’s ability to pan and tilt.