Not Satisfied With Just Listening, Amazon Will Now Watch Your House, Bring In Your Packages
Anthony KarczNovember 0217
The Seattle giant is casting its net even wider with its latest hardware release. Announced today, the Amazon Cloud Cam puts companies like Canary and Nest on the defensive. It's an indoor 1080p full HD camera with night vision that features two-way audio. It's wide-angle lens can detect motion within 120 degrees of the camera. Compared to Canary's 147 degrees and Nest's 130, it's a bit of a disadvantage, but Amazon makes up for it with it's sheer Amazon-iness.
Feature-wise, the monitoring package is solid. The free package supports up to three cameras and 24 hours of video storage. Bumping up to a $6.99 per month membership gets you person detection, zone masking (so that you can mark off areas that you want your Cloud Cam to ignore), and unlimited sharing. You can spend a bit more for support for more cameras (up to 10 cameras for $19.99 a month). Canary's $9.99-per-month plan gives you access to 30 days of recording (and offers person detection and zone masking for free), but only supports a single device (it's $14.99-per-month for 2-3 devices).
Besides working with its own dedicated Android and iOS app (for notifications and monitoring) Cloud Cam, of course, works with Alexa on Fire tablets, Echo Show, Echo Spot, and Amazon Fire TV. I have to say, being able to bring up the feed from your downstairs camera while you're watching TV is a pretty "living in the future" kind of thing.
The two-way audio is pretty awesome too. Vivint has this tech in their Ping camera and Canary has the feature as well (though it requires you to have a membership to unlock). While it seems like a pretty limited-use kind of feature, it's nice to have when you need it. It's also nice to have when you're letting people in to your home to deliver packages, fix your fridge, and crash on your couch.
That's right, Cloud Cam will support the other newly-announced Amazon Prime member perq, Amazon Key. Using the Amazon Key app, a compatible door lock, and the Cloud Cam you can have Amazon deliver packages in your house rather than leave them on the front porch. You can also get notifications when guests unlock your door and remotely provide access to your home for service calls. I'll dig into the service further when it launches, but being stuck at home waiting for deliveries or the A/C repair guy sucks. This sounds like a solid way to reduce that pain point considerably. You can read more about it at www.amazon.com/Key.
I'll have more thoughts on both the Cloud Cam and Amazon Key when they launch next month and I can get my hands on some hardware. But if you're a Prime member and you're thinking that Key sounds like a pretty awesome perq, then head over to www.amazon.com/CloudCam and preorder a bundle of Cloud Cams. It will ship on November 8, but Cloud Cam is available for pre-order now for $119, which drops to under $100 when you purchase a two-pack for $199.99 or a three-pack for $289.99.
Article Source: Forbes