SAMi FAQ

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General Questions

Is SAMi right for me?

While the SAMi monitor works well for many people, here are things to consider.

The SAMi monitor is only for monitoring during sleep. SAMi alarms on motion.  The motion can be small and it does not need to be repetitive, but SAMi works best when the event lasts 15 or more seconds - You can adjust the length of time before the alarm sounds, but if you set it shorter than about 15 seconds you will probably get more false alarms than you would like.

If your child is a very restless sleeper or shares a bed, or if there is a family pet or service dog sleeping with the child, you may get lots of false alarms. SAMi has visible lights on the front. There is a bright power light which can be easily covered but there is also a ring of dim red lights that cannot be covered as they allow the camera to see in the dark.  It is fine for most people but some children are bothered by this (and some like it!) If this is a concern consider purchasing a SAMi IR Light which won't be visible to the child - Note that the lights do not flicker.

SAMi requires a good quality Wi-Fi network. If you lose Wi-Fi, SAMi will alert you to that. If you're concerned about your internet quality, consider purchasing a SAMi router, which does not require any internet connection. As long as you have a power outlet, SAMi can operate regardless of internet / Wi-Fi up to 50 feet away.

We want to be sure you have the best possible experience and that you get the best possible monitor for your needs.  If you have any questions or concerns about the product please email us at info@samialert.com.  If after using the monitor you determine it isn’t right for you please let us know and we'll take it back.

How is SAMi different from a baby monitor?

SAMi uses proprietary algorithms to filter out the usual motion and noise that would be reported through a conventional monitor. Fine tuning of the alarm sensitivity will greatly reduce false alerts. Fewer false alarms equals better sleep!  SAMi also has an automatic recording capability not found in baby monitors.

Is SAMi a medical device? Can I get insurance to pay for SAMi?

SAMi is not a medical device.  You should check with your insurance provider for assistance in purchasing. While we have had success in getting insurance to cover SAMi it is, unfortunately, uncommon.  If you have a financial need, check our resources page for organizations that can help you obtain a SAMi camera or kit.  Here is our full disclaimer:

"SAMi is a nocturnal movement monitor and will detect all types of movement regardless of the movement’s origin.  HiPass Design LLC. does not guarantee the effectiveness of SAMi for any particular application and use of SAMi is solely at your own risk.  SAMi has not been evaluated or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or any other government agency for any purpose.  SAMi is not a medical device and is not intended for use in the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, or cure of any disease or other conditions.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. "

Can I use SAMi during the day?

SAMi is primarily designed to be a night-time monitor. You can use SAMi during the day, for example to monitor during naps. Otherwise, SAMi is not designed to be able to detect non-sleep abnormal movements so the alarm would be of limited use. Since all movement is recorded, SAMi can be useful in capturing a daytime event for later review.

Can I use SAMi to record myself?

Yes. With the alarm muted you can record your sleep for review the next day. These recorded videos may also be useful for purposes of medical consultation. In addition, with the alarm on SAMi can alert you after unusual activity so you can take action if necessary (for example take medication).

Can I take SAMi with me when we travel?

Yes, but you will normally need to bring a Wi-Fi router as well as the SAMi camera.  Usually it is not possible to connect your camera to a hotel's WiFi. We sell acomplete kit that includes the WiFi router and is easily relocated.

Product Questions

What's the difference between a SAMi-3 Camera and the SAMi-3 Kit?

If you don't plan to move locations often, have reliable home Wi-Fi, and already own an Apple iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod made in the last 5 years) you'll be fine simply purchasing a SAMi Camera. You can easily connect SAMi to your Apple device through your home Wi-Fi.

Advantages of a SAMi Kit:
- Out of the box ready SAMi monitoring system (fully tested and pre-configured)
- Just plug everything in and open the SAMi App to begin monitoring
- Only requires access to a power outlet (no reliable Wi-Fi needed)

Is Wi-Fi required for SAMi to work?

The Apple device requires WI-FI but the camera may use either WI-FI or wired Ethernet.

Can I connect multiple iPhones/iPods/iPads to the camera?

Yes, you can connect multiple iOS devices to the camera. While you can connect as many as you want, we recommend not running more than 3-4 at the same time.

Will SAMi work with my personal Apple Device?

As long as you're running iOS 10.3 or newer the SAMi app will work on any supported Apple devices.

Supported Apple Devices:
iPhone 4s and newer
iPod Touch 5th gen or newer
iPad 3rd gen or newer


All the supported devices work well. However, we have found it is really nice if you can dedicate a Apple device for monitoring. That way you can leave it always running. 

Does the SAMi alarm only trigger on rhythmic movement?

No - SAMi's alarm can trigger on a wide range of movement, including non-rythmic, irregular, and subtle movement

How far away from the camera can my Apple device be?

This is limited only by your Wi-Fi connection. The typical range using a single Wi-Fi router is around 50 feet (15 meters) indoors. More routers will increase the range. There are also inexpensive WiFi range extenders.  

How much time can I record? How many days of recordings are saved?

The SAMi camera stores the most recent 1,000 recordings and can save as much as 138 hours.

SAMi recordings use about 4 Mbytes per minute. 1GB can store a little over four hours of video. Note that iOS devices overstate their storage, a 16GB iPod actually has about 12.6GB of storage available for use. The rest is consumed by the operating system and formatting.

The 16GB iPod stores up to 50 hours of recordings.

The 32GB iPod stores up to 122 hours of recordings.

The 64GB iPad stores up to 256 hours or recordings.

If you only enable recording at night (recommended) you should get from 1/2 hr to 3 hrs of recordings each day depending on the level of activity. So the 50 hours of record time on an 16GB iPod should store at least two weeks of activity.

How long will SAMi run on battery?

The answer is, unfortunately, not very long. The SAMi app is continuously streaming video and analyzing for motion so it uses a lot more power than your typical app.

We've seen a run time of about 2 1/2 hrs on a fully charged 6th Gen iPod touch while the SAMi app is locked. Your results will vary based on many other factors including the particular iOS device you are using, the WiFi signal level, and the screen brightness. SAMi can be configured to alert you when the battery is running low.

App Features and Settings

Does SAMi work with Android devices?

Not at this time, no. If you don't own an Apple device at this time, consider one of our SAMi Kits which will include a new iPad.

Can I turn the motion alarm on and off with an automated schedule?

Yes, you can configure the alarm to only sound between the times you specify. For example, between 9pm and 7am.

Does the app work in the background?

For the alarm to function the app must be running in the foreground. However, the app does not need to be running at all for the camera to make recordings. These will transfer to your IOS device once you start SAMi again.

What is the difference between using the border setting with SmartEdge and without it?

Any motion in the border is ignored.  This is used to exclude areas where regular motion occurs (like the motion of a fan for example) that is not relevant to the movement you want to monitor.

If SmartEdge is on the border size is fixed.  If there is motion in the border before motion in the center, the alarm is suppressed.  If there is motion in the center first, the alarm will sound as usual.  This feature helps prevent false alarms when a person is going to sleep or when a caregiver enters to check.  

What is the alarm sound?

The default alarm sound is a Navy Surface ship General Alarm sound, AN/SIA-114B to be precise.  Very effective!

There are also a variety of other alarm sounds available.

What if I receive a text message or call while I am using the app?

The SAMi application will be suspended while you answer a call. At the end of a call, SAMi will resume. Notifications appear briefly, and will will not interrupt SAMi unless you leave the application to read  or respond to a text message. Note that the camera will continue to make recordings even when the SAMi app is not running. These will transfer to your IOS device once you start SAMi again.

What does the motion button do?

When the motion button is pressed the live display highlights motion in red. This is useful for testing the sensitivity of the motion detection.

What happens when my iOS device runs out of space for recordings?

The SAMi app will automatically delete the oldest non-locked recordings to make space.  Locked recordings will never be automatically deleted. If you have recordings you want to save it is important to lock them and/or copy them to your computer or email them.

How do I save recordings?

The easiest way to save recordings is to email them. While playing a recording touch the Email button.

An alternative is to copy them using a computer. This is faster if you want to save a large number of recordings. Additionally, emailing splits longer recordings into multiple parts. Using your computer saves the recordings intact.

What is the difference between motion threshold and alarm threshold?

The motion threshold determines how much motion is significant. The alarm threshold sets the amount of time for significant motion before the alert is activated. These come with a default setting that can be adjusted.

What is the lock function for?

The lock function dims the screen and secures the SAMi buttons in their current state. This reduces the chance of changing settings in SAMi while handling the IOS device or carrying it in your pocket. While locked the app is still monitoring and will vibrate in addition to playing an alarm sound when triggered.

Why are some recordings marked in red?

Red indicates that the alarm was triggered close to the time when the recording was made.  

Can I make recordings when I am not using the alarm?

Yes, recordings are made even when the alarm is disabled.

Can I trigger an alarm from just sound?

No, the alarm is based on motion.

Wifi Questions

What do you recommend for Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi performance is important so we recommend using a high quality router. The camera supports IEEE802.11b/g/n, 2.4Ghz only. We strongly recommend a "Dual Band" router, this allows the camera to connect to one band while the iOS device connects to the other increasing performance. All Apple brand routers work well.

Do I have to be connected to the internet for SAMi to work?

SAMi does not require an internet connection to operate, only Wi-Fi. Running without being connected to the internet (by dedicating a router to SAMi) is more secure, and can be more reliable. An internet connection is useful if you want to email recordings or send us diagnostic information. 

Shipping, Returns & Exchanges

We use all major carriers, and local courier partners. You’ll be asked to select a delivery method during checkout.

What is the shipping policy?

Once your order is placed, you will receive a confirmation email letting you know that our fulfillment team has received your order. Once your order is fulfilled, you will receive an email notification with your tracking information. Shipping fees are non-refundable in the case of returns.

Do you ship overseas?

Yes, we ship all over the world. Shipping costs will apply, and will be added at checkout.

Do you offer over-night shipping?

Yes! You can select this option during checkout

What if it doesn’t work for us? Do you offer a trial? What is the return policy?

You may return SAMi for any reason within 45 days of receipt, no questions asked (but feel free to give us feedback!).  Refund does not include return shipping costs or expedited/international shipping costs.