Dropcam Pro

Connected home gadgets are gaining popularity, and Dropcam is right there with its latest offering

When it comes to home monitoring solutions, one name you might be familiar with by now is Dropcam. Over the past few years they've been reworking their home video monitoring and do-it-yourself security solutions for the masses. Today, they've announced their next-generation solution known as Dropcam Pro that the company says offers great video performance, premium audio quality, better wireless connectivity, fast mobile setup and more.

  • Stunning video quality - Dropcam Pro incorporates a six-element, all-glass lens, a first in the home monitoring category, and a larger image sensor to provide 2x sharper video during the day and 7x better performance in low-light conditions and at night.
  • Wider field of view - Dropcam Pro supports an amazing 130-degree field of view – 20% wider than the prior-generation Dropcam.
  • Zoom - Dropcam now offers pinch-to-zoom with an enhance feature that supports up to 8x zoom for Dropcam Pro and 4x zoom for Dropcam.
  • Better audio - Dropcam Pro has a new microphone with double the sampling rate and a new speaker for sound that's louder and clearer.
  • Mobile setup - Get up and running without a computer.
  • Dual band Wi-Fi - Dropcam Pro supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks for improved wireless connectivity.
  • Activity Recognition (beta) - Using advanced computer vision and machine learning technology, Dropcam Cloud Recording can now recognize motion patterns in your video stream and group together like activities. Customers can name these activities and customize alerts for them.
  • Bluetooth LE - Dropcam Pro integrates a low power Bluetooth LE radio that is used for mobile setup and allows Dropcam to integrate with additional devices.

That's quite a few improvements from the previous Dropcam HD version we looked at back in July. When it comes to pricing and availability, Dropcam Pro retails for $199 while Dropcam HD will continue at $149. Both cameras are available through Amazon, BestBuy and the Dropcam website.

Source: Dropcam


Reader comments

Dropcam introduces its next-generation home monitoring system, Dropcam Pro


Is that $199 and $149 per camera? Can't you get weather proof, motion sensor, WiFi connected camera sets for this price?

Posted via Android Central App

Indeed. It seems to me the best application for a cloud-cam is outdoors and perhaps remote areas like a barn. Inside the house, it's trivial to have cameras that feed to a computer in a closet or whatever. The computer can then upload the pics/vids to the cloud, keep a local copy, or both. It can also do some image analysis to trigger alerts, etc.

I was one of the beta testers for this. It is a huge upgrade from the HD...but still not what most people would consider HD quality due to the compression. it has a slight bubble lens that really make capturing a whole room pretty easy, but yet not strange looking. Color accuracy and low light performance are its biggest improvements over the HD

The BLuetooth LE only support iOS at this time. But, it is only for first time setup.

To be useful, it has to store images to the cloud. Otherwise, the bad guy just makes off with the cam, and there's no evidence! Does it have this capability? Even uploading a frame a minute to drop box or something like that (and auto-deleting old footage to conserve space) would be helpful and make the solution more compelling

Cory, are you saying that if I was using for security purposes I would not be able to go back and see the footage at a particular time.

Posted via a SkyRocket running LiquidSmooth 3.0

Yes you can go back, but not forever.

Archived footage is a subscription service, that you have to pay for.
You can choose the amount of back storage you want, week, or month.
And of course you can view this from the phone app, or from your computer.

Time periods with motion in the view are book marked, but the whole period you pay for is actually recorded.

From your computer you can even export a clip, to give to the police or whatever.

Have six dropcams. Four original and two HD all with seven days of cloud storage to monitor a primary and secondary residence. Have been happy with improvements over the years to both cameras and software.

Posted via Android Central App

My observations of Dropcam:

Its quick and easy to set up, but allows no local storage, either on the device itself or an inhouse server. You have to stream hours and hours of hi-def video with absolutely NOTHING happening to the web 24/7.

This means its going to put a fairly heavy load on your wifi and your broadband connection with a constant 24/7 stream. If you have a pretty fast connection you probably won't notice, but it is there all the time unless you turn off the camera.

The wifi chipset is WEAK, and you have to have it pretty close to your WIFI router. Not going to work to monitor the Barn. Probably won't even monitor your front door if you place the camera outside because wall penetration is abysmal.

(Why they can't use one or two of the wires in the USB cable for an antenna is beyond me).

You are never sure it is off. They stop recording, but you have to do deep-packet analysis to know if its really off. (Haven't had time). Its always connected to DropCam servers, whether its off or not.

They say its encrypted, but you never get to specify your own encryption key, so the privacy is highly suspect at best. You have no way of knowing just how secure this thing really is.

Not being weather proof, your ability to put it outdoors is limited to places that have an overhang for protection as well as an outlet near by.

Its motion sensing is highly suspect, and pretty limited, and you don't have the ability to set sensitivity. Any movement in the view will trigger it, even a slight breeze blowing a branch, a change in illumination, etc. This needs a lot of work.

All in all, I like it. (Warts and all).

They should come out with an in-house storage server, that you could hide in a closet, which would store all the dead-air time and have intelligent motion detection to pick out motion/sound triggers and upload only those segments to the website for remote monitoring. There really is no point of transmitting video fo your house plants growing.

It only uses half a megabit a second. Well that's what they say, may own tests show it uses more like a tenth a megabit. You can also set up schedules for when it should record.

WiFi has been fine for me. I have a camera setup above my front door, outside (under a covering) My other 3 cameras are scattered about my medium sized 2,300sqft house and none of them have issues. The Pro also supports 5ghz WiFi, which has less range than 2.4ghz, but I still don't have any issues with it on that band. I have two of the Pros, one is on 2.4 the other 5.

I know just enough about antennas to know I don't know anything. I don't think it is possible to wire up a WiFi radio antenna in a USB cable. Besides interference from the power, it wouldn't be the right wave length.

It is off when it's supposed to be off, you can confirm this by simply monitoring your bandwidth use on your router.

I don't really know of any commercial services that let you pick encryption keys. Dropbox, google, etc.

I wish they had a weatherproof one too.

I agree on the motion sensing. I do not understand why they don't include a simple IR motion sensor on it. They keep trying to fix the problem with gimmicky software, and it doesn't work. I ended up setting up a motion sensor next to mine which ties into my home automation system and sends me alerts.

They won't ever allow local storage. I have worked with the company a lot on beta testing, and their core philosophy is keeping things as plug and play as possible, which is why you can't setup motion detection regions. They have said many times they don't like clunky "knobs and levers". Their DVR packages are also a major revenue generator...which is why their smallest plan is 7 days when most people probably just want 24-48 hours for in case they need evidence of a breakin.