Plucky 'internet of things' startup Netatmo is taking on Google's Nest Labs, with the launch of a new smart home
camera that competes directly with Dropcam, the home-monitoring camera that Nest bought for $555m (£326m) in 2014. Netatmo's camera, which is called Welcome, costs £199, and features proprietary face recognition technology that is capable of recognising registered people's faces even if it only catches a glimpse of them as they walk past. The Welcome camera sends the names of people it recognises to the user’s smartphone, offering peace of mind that their children have returned home from school, or that an elderly relative is at home and moving around. The camera also sends a notification to the user if it detects an unknown face. The camera records on a weekly loop, and if the camera is unplugged then a video clip of the last few moments is sent directly to the user's smartphone, to help identify intruders. “We’ve received great feedback on our revolutionary face recognition technology and have been working hard to make today’s smart homes even smarter,\' said Fred Potter, founder and chief executive of Netatmo. \'Now that Welcome is available, consumers have the ability to know exactly who enters their home and when. Welcome brings peace of mind to your home.” The Welcome camera compete's with Nest-owned Dropcam, which produces security cameras
that upload their recordings to the cloud, allowing users to check footage at any time. Dropcam owners can then watch live feeds from inside their homes via iOS, Android and web applications, turn the camera on and off remotely or set a schedule to turn on at specific times. Netatmo said that, unlike Dropcam, Welcome does not require a subscription for storing data in the cloud - the £199 price covers everything. All the videos are also stored locally, meaning that they are safe from hackers. Furthermore, Welcome is a full HD camera with a 130 degree field of view, meaning it is capable of capturing clear images in any light conditions, removing any ambiguity about the identity of people captured by the face recogition technology. The Welcome camera is available for purchase now at Netatmo, Amazon and John Lewis. The accompanying app is compatible with iPhones featuring iOS 8 and Android smartphones 4.3 and above.
Smart home products compete with an installed base of traditional products that are standard, cheap, effective, reliable and easy to install.Light switches and electrical outlets, for example, are easy to replace and frequently last for decades.Smart home products tend to be non-standard.
Standards take a long time—e.
, a decade or more—to gain adoption, and that’s once manufacturers have arrived at a consensus, which itself can take a decade or more.Smart home products can be complicated and expensive.Why doesn’t my network-enabled outlet just plug and play the way the manufacturer claims it does? Why do I have to send it back? Why does it take ten clicks to get to the right display? Just because the product is controllable by an app doesn’t mean it delivers an efficient, effective user experience.
Smart home products may not be offered as a service.Why do I have to install and manage this stuff myself?Smart home products may not be agent-based.Why doesn’t my home bot know about your system or have access to it? Why can’t I voice control it through my bot?Automation often doesn’t require real smarts.
Motion sensors that turn lights on and off are common now. Do I really need to control my house lights with my smartphone?If the product doesn’t make sense to homebuilders, they won’t install it in homes.Manufacturers set standards, but homebuilders lock them in.
They just want everything to work quickly and not have to tinker with it
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