Why Is My Blink Mini Camera Not Detecting Motion?

Is your Blink Mini playing up? Does it seem as if it isn’t detecting any motion? Well in this article I will provide you with a list of seven settings to check before you go and sit on your sofa and weep with frustration!

And these are seven real and relevant options to check. Not a list that contains vague notions such as your Blink Mini being switched off, or not connected to WiFi or the Blink servers being down. Or even that your Mini isn’t detecting motion because the lens is blocked! 

Before I start my list proper, I want to start by talking about how the Blink Mini detects motion.

How does the Blink Mini detect motion?

The Blink Mini detects motion by using software to compare each frame of video that it captures. The software analyses and compares individual video frames with the next one and tries to identify differences. 

This process is called Pixel Difference Analysis (PDA.) If a difference is detected and it is considered to be large or big enough (which is controlled by the sensitivity setting with the motion menu in the Blink app) a motion alert will be sent and a motion clip will be recorded. 

If your sensitivity option is set to 1 (the lowest setting on the app) then the software would need to detect several big differences between the video frames in order to create a motion alert. 

However, if the sensitivity option is set to 9, then the opposite would be true. The software need only detect small changes between different video frames in order for a motion alert to be generated. 

  1. Blink system is disarmed

I think the most likely reason that a Blink Mini camera isn’t detecting motion is because it is part of a Blink system which has been disarmed. 

An armed Blink system is when the cameras are active- they are ready to detect motion. 

A disarmed Blink system is the opposite- it has been placed on standby and isn’t ready to detect motion. 

It becomes a little complicated because only systems can be armed or disarmed. Individual cameras can’t be armed or disarmed unless they are in a system that only contains one camera. 

There are two ways to arm or disarm a system- by toggling between the armed or disarmed options on the homepage of the Blink app and by adjusting the scheduling options in the system settings menu (Settings→Device And System Settings→Systems→Scheduling.)

There are 4 options within the motion settings menu which could be directly responsible for your camera not detecting any motion. 

1 Motion detection disabled

The first option within this menu enables you to enable or disable all of the other options within the menu.

The reason that your Mini might not be detecting any motion is that this option has been disabled. Tap on the white circle with a grey background button on the right to enable this setting. It changes to a white button on a blue background. 

2  Activity Zone

The second menu option which might be causing a problem is with the Activity Zone.

And there are two possible reasons for this. 

Activity Zone is too small

Most probably too much of the zone is inactive. 

Your camera’s field of view is divided into a grid of rectangles. Coloured rectangles are active and black and white rectangles are inactive. 

A reason that your Blink might not be detecting motion is that they are far too many rectangles which have been greyed out.

To create a bigger active zone, touch on lots of these grey rectangles to reactivate them. 

2 No thumbnail

The second reason that your activity zone might be faulty is because your camera hasn’t got a thumbnail.

A thumbnail is a photo taken by the Blink Mini and your camera needs a thumbnail in order to create an Activity Zone. 

Without a thumbnail, the Mini doesn’t have an activity zone and without this it cannot detect motion. 

If this is the case, when you select activity zone from the menu a message will appear “no photo has been taken for this camera..”

Tap on the UPDATE PHOTO link in blue to create a thumbnail so that you can create your activity zone. 

The good news here is that your thumbnail doesn’t need to be up to date. It doesn’t need to match your camera’s current field of view in order to work- which is a real relief for those of us who like to move our cameras a lot. 

Sensitivity too low

Having motion detection disabled for a camera is one certain way to stop any motion alerts. Another way, which is almost as bad, is when your sensitivity option is set so low that even if there is any movement in front of the Mini it won’t detect anything.  

Sensitivity is the camera’s ability to detect motion

The sensitivity scale goes from 1 (least sensitive) to 9 (most sensitive.) It could be that your scale is at 1, 2 or 3 which are settings that are too low to detect any movement. 

Motion recording not enabled

It might be you have the previous three options set up correctly but that the motion recording option is for some reason disabled.

You should still be getting motion alerts- the notifications by the Blink app informing you that a particular camera has detected motion but these alerts include video clips.

But, if you have disabled the Blink app from sending notifications, then you won’t know if any motion has been detected. 

In order to enable motion recordings, tap on the white circle with a grey background to the right hand side and it will change into a white circle with a blue background. 

If this is you it shows that the main method that you use to check for any motion detection is the clip menu in the Blink app.

Blink notifications are disabled

But supposing that the opposite is true? That your main method of checking for motion detection is via the notifications that are sent?

It could be that the “show notifications” option in the notification menu is disabled (Settings→Notifications→Notification options.)

If this is the case you won’t be getting any notifications at all- but your motion clips have still been saved and can be viewed via the Clip menu. 

Blink notifications can also be sent to arrive with a sound or a vibration and if these options are disabled then that might be a reason why you think that your Blink Mini isn’t detecting motion. 

Night vision “always on”

This option is a bit of a long shot but it is a possibility and so I will include it. 

In the night vision settings within the device settings (device settings→video and photo settings) night vision can be set to always on. This means that your camera only uses its infrared sensor to take recordings and not its ordinary lens- even in broad daylight. 

If for some reason this setting was enabled, the quality of images that the camera was capturing in daylight would be much poorer and might be too poor for the software to detect any motion in them.