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New Dropcam Update Allows it to Distinguish Between Pets and People

TMCnet Feature

May 12, 2014

New Dropcam Update Allows it to Distinguish Between Pets and People

By Steve Anderson
Contributing TMCnet Writer

Many users like the thought of having a camera system on hand, particularly when out of the house for any length of time. The ability to turn on a smartphone and see what's going on in the living room, the bedroom or the like is a welcome one, as it allows a users to potentially catch something out of the ordinary.  But some cameras can get a little over-enthusiastic in terms of picking out movement, and Rover's trip to the water dish becomes identified as a break-in in progress. Dropcam's new update, however, will hopefully put an end to that thanks to a new algorithm.

The update in question, which is set to arrive in August, drew on the analysis of several hours of videos about pets, which in turn should allow Dropcam to better note just what movement is that of pets frolicking as pets will do, and which movement is of thieves breaking into a residence to lay hands on consumer goods.

This will likely prove a welcome update, but it's not the only one that Dropcam rolled out. Dropcam also showed off new motion sensors known as Tabs, small weather-resistant slips that function as small motion sensors. Dropcam Tabs connect to Dropcam Pro systems with Bluetooth Low Energy, thus allowing the devices to function for as long as two years on one battery. The motion sensing capabilities are great for security, of course, letting users know when a door or window has opened, but serve other purposes as well. For instance, connecting one to a washer or dryer can let a user know when the device has changed in movement somehow, great for noting things like when a cycle has stopped. It can even be used to let a user know when something has left, like a wayward family pet. Dropcam Tabs are set to sell at $29 each, so for less than $200, several doors and windows can be covered with the devices.

It's hard to pass up a system that can provide some pretty impressive coverage on an apartment, or even a smaller house or similar-sized small business, for that kind of money. The recording capability is even better, and those concerned about security may have just the solution right here. Meanwhile, the improved algorithm should be especially helpful for homeowners who want that added security, though some have noted that a fix may be much easier to get in the form of just aiming the Dropcam toward doors and windows instead of into a room, places where pets are less likely to go in the first place. Still, security is important to just about anyone these days as people seek to protect home and property. This is a point not lost on businesses like Frontier, who have previously been seen working with Dropcam to help augment the devices' connectivity capabilities.

Dropcam may well be on its way to establishing the solution that everyone needs in this situation, so keeping an eye on Dropcam, as it keeps its eye on home and business, is likely to prove a smart idea in the long run.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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