Dropcam, the company that makes WiFi cameras that let you stream live video of your home, is working on a new product that can alert you when a person walks in front of your camera.
Right now, Dropcams can detect motion, but they can’t tell the difference between say, your dog and your three-year-old toddler. This summer, the company will push a software update that can tell the difference. In theory, it will help reduce unnecessary alerts that get pushed to your phone. The obvious goal here is to accurately alert you when an intruder enters your home.
Dropcam cameras let you stream live video to your iPhone, iPad, computer, or Android device. You can also pay $US10 per month or $US99 per year for an extra service that continuously records the last seven days of video. The new people detection feature will only be available to customers who pay for the recording service too. Dropcam cameras start at $US149. The best model, the Dropcam Pro, costs $US199.
All of the processing for Dropcam’s people detection is done in the cloud, so users won’t have to buy any new equipment. Greg Duffy, the CEO of Dropcam, told Business Insider that the company was able to teach its software the difference between people and other objects by analysing the feeds of people who publicly broadcast their Dropcam feeds.
Dropcam also announced today its first accessory for its camera, called Dropcam Tabs. Tabs are $US29 rectangular devices about the size of a stick of gum that can talk to your Dropcam using Bluetooth and detect motion or presence. For example, you can put a Tab on your front door so your Dropcam knows when you enter the house. Tabs will go on sale this summer.
Dropcam is one of the buzziest hardware startups at the moment. Last year, the famous Internet analyst Mary Meeker mentioned Dropcam in her presentation on the state of the web, saying that user-uploaded video is one of the next big things. In fact, Meeker said Dropcam users upload more video to the Web than YouTube users.
Dropcam has raised about $US48 million so far. Duffy told Business Insider there are no immediate plans for an IPO.
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