The Home app for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS lets you view and control all kinds of smart devices. That includes cameras built to support Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video, which can have a live video stream and triggered clips that can be viewed through the Home app. However, you may still receive more notifications on your devices than you wanted about camera activity that isn’t important to you, even after tweaking the notification settings quite a bit.
To reduce the number of notifications, make sure you’ve set up Activity Zones, which define areas within a camera’s view where the camera should detect motion when it occurs.
You can configure Activity Zones in this way:
In iOS/iPadOS, open the Home app, tap the camera view and tap the gear icon. Tap Select Activity Zones.
In macOS 10.15 Catalina or later, Control-click the camera view, choose Settingsand click Select Activity Zones.
You can now tap to create zones. Zones always have four corners, but they don’t have to be rectangles: you can drag any corner in any direction to form shapes. After connecting the fourth corner of a zone, you can tap a corner to activate and move it.
Create zones that cover the areas in which you want to detect motion. Conversely, create an area that you do not want motion to be detected, then tap or click Reverse Zones. Allows you to crop areas if most of the camera’s image represents the positions to be viewed.
For our camera facing the front of our house, the camera can also see cars passing on the street. I’ve defined a tight set of areas through which we can see people coming out the front or onto the porch.
When you’re done creating zones, tap or click Done. You can always return to edit the zones. Since we have one of our cameras on a ledge, not taped or bolted or taped to a window, it occasionally bumps and I have to realign and often adjust activity zones.
Next to Activity zones, you can customize notifications in the Notifications section of the camera settings with Activity notifications enabled:
Time: You may not need to receive notifications around the clock. You can refine that.
People: Use this to limit notifications to when you or anyone added to the set of HomeKit devices is home or away. That is, you can only receive notifications when no one is home, if you are there, and so on.
Action type: It can be tempting to be alerted when your camera is recording a clip or detecting motion. However, a leaf blowing over the camera or power lines wiggling in the background can mess things up. Apple’s machine learning system now recognizes people, animals, vehicles, and packages, and you can choose to be alerted to any or all of these alerts.
Keep in mind that these notification settings are unique to each of your devices: if you want notifications on more than one device, you’ll need to enable Activity notifications on each device.
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