Smart Home

iCamPRO robot tracks intruders, keeps eyes on them everywhere

The home security camera market is crowded with devices, but consumers tend to get what they pay for. For example, low-cost models tend to be stationary, lacking the ability to track moving objects.

Amsterdam company Amaryllo calls its iCamPRO FHD (full high definition) the first affordable, robotic camera that can see, hear, sense and automatically track moving objects. Algorithms were designed to make sure that the camera always keeps objects in the middle of the viewing area.  When an object starts to move away from the pixels in the middle of the viewing area, the camera tracks the object until it’s in the middle again. If two people are in the tracking area, the algorithm is designed to follow the first object detected until it stops moving.

The HD camera stands just over 3 inches tall and is powered by a high-speed central processing unit with a multi-sensor network. The iCamPRO features multiple motion sensors that always remain on, and it can see objects even in a dimly-lit environment.

Real-time object tracking like this is costly and has tended to only be available in military or professional surveillance systems in the past. The company already passed its goal of raising $1,000. Indiegogo backers can get either a white or black iCamPRO for $149 in May if they order now. That’s half the price that Amaryllo plans to charge at retail.

The camera offers a lot of promise and seems like an especially good deal at $149. But whether many consumers who are content with a cheaper Dropcam or Butterfleye will pay considerably more for an iCamPRO remains to be seen.

Smart Home

Campoint brings your home security footage into a central point

Over the past decade, home monitoring and security systems have been reduced from elaborate systems requiring hundreds of dollars of start-up and maintenance costs to just a few in-home, Internet-connected cameras requiring less money to maintain. Problems still abound, though, namely in the form of monthly service fees to store and view a user’s own video, false alarms, and privacy.

CamPoint’s in-home monitoring system is looking to address those problems. The device connects via Wi-fi to up to three HD cameras, allowing a user to enjoy the features of a monitoring system without a monthly fee. What’s more, CamPoint uses an algorithm that constantly learns what’s important by sending alerts to a user’s smartphone for review. Once decided, CamPoint will never send another alarm about the event again. CamPoint also liberates users of the worry associated with streaming video to unknown places for review by unknown people with both local and cloud storage depending on the user’s location. Even then, it doesn’t eat up all your bandwidth with the capacity to schedule your day into the system. Potential backers can go all in with a pledge of $279, which nets them a CamPoint with three cameras. If the cameras are unnecessary, a CamPoint solo can be had for just $149. The company is looking for $50,000 for mass production and assembly.

The elephant in the room when speaking about home monitoring is certainly Dropcam and all of the privacy issues the company has spurred. Addressing privacy concerns with smart design is good business sense, and CamPoint has hit the nail on the head. Although users of the system will appreciate that, the included seven days of cloud storage and its three camera maximum might be problematic. CamPoint has potential, but the company will need to keep innovating: the features they present can easily be copied.