Home video security can be kind of expensive. There’s lots of wires, cameras, mounting, VCR’s, changing tapes, and other hassles. The people from Austin-based cam.ly hope to change all that by bringing simplicity to the video camera experience.
Cam.ly will sell you a web-enabled camera for $129. It will do 24 frames/second at 640 x 480 resolution, and has enough local storage to keep 24 hours of video. If you want to add cloud storage, it’s $19.95/month. With that option your live video gets uploaded to the interwebs via your existing home wireless network. You can then view that live video either through a website, any Flash-enabled mobile browser, or the iPhone app. The camera can run off a small battery, or can plugin to the wall.
All that is pretty clever. The company appears to have just launched, so no doubt they have future plans.
It’s a little bit of a novelty at this point really. It would only be a security app if the video were monitored somehow. If you were monitoring your house and someone broke in, you might not even know it. If it was obvious, you could certainly go back and review the video to see if it provided any clues. But there might be more interesting ways to provide monitoring.
What if you hired a security guard to monitor, let’s say, a dozen video feeds for suspicious activity? You could even offshore that task, to attempt to reduce the cost. But people get bored watching the screen, and get familiar with the view the camera has. This complacency might cause a guard to not see a security issue. But what if the video images were randomized and rotated. You had no idea what property you were watching, and every 3 minutes you were watching a different one? It might make it slightly less boring. You could massively distribute this task, similar to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.
I’m just sort of riffing here, but it would be cool to divide up the Neighborhood Watch duties, or check in on grandma who doesn’t really need a full blown nursing home.