IPVM Is "Trying To Completely Crash This Market" And "Needs Banning" Says UK's Mark Wall

This was a fascinating response from Mark Wall to our Wyze AI test report:

As I responded, excerpted:

  • Re: "continue to challenge one manufacturer" We challenge many manufacturers, this post calls out the biggest Chinese and Western video surveillance manufacturer - "Beat Axis and Hikvision"
  • The 'cost price' is already seen by everyone and anyone, Wyze is famous for its pricing and this has been covered by the NYTimes, Forbes, Techcrunch etc.
  • I do not own nor have any stake nor shares in any video surveillance companies, including Wyze, whom we are discussing here.
  • This is important news and instead of whining, you should recognize that a consumer company who is, at least for now, doing deep learning better than professional video surveillance manufacturers is a significant threat to the status quo of people like yourselves.

He's not the first person to complain about showing 'cost price for all to see' but it's 2019 now. Wyze trumpets their price and sells directly from their website.

This old-school mentality of hiding obviously publicly available information is foolish. Industry people need to deal with this and recognize where the market is and where it is going. Wyze will continue to sell millions of cameras regardless of what industry people like Mark Wall do.

IPVM tests and reporting help to inform industry people so they understand how technology and the competitive landscape is changing. As I mentioned in the Wyze AI report, this is overall a good thing for the industry since it should help push incumbents to deliver working deep learning, not just marketing materials.


Who is he? Not sure why I care what "Mark Wall" thinks about any of this.

Ouch! I do think it reflects a certain broader mentality.

Wasn't really trying to be mean. And I agree it does represent a mentality that I think is mostly shared by integrators who are behind the times and likely catering to smaller budget-oriented customers.

mentality stupidity

"Stay the course"

I agree with IPVM. The industry needs to pay attention to the “small” players and what they’re doing. It’s not as difficult now to get a product to market as it was in 2000. I gave a presentation a few years ago and listed a bunch of small players to pay attention too. Those companies are now much more significant and moving into our space. If we don’t know what their capabilities are, how can we even compete? I walk into businesses all the time with off the shelf camera systems from companies like Ring if you don’t know what Ring and others are offering how can you objectively sell against them. 

Maybe he isn’t familiar with Wyze since they don’t ship to the UK? I heard about them a few years ago when they first came out but again we are State side how much is the outside world going to pay attention to another start up?

He can do an Internet search and within a minute figure out who Wyze is and who is covering them. I don't excuse people who, in 2019, cannot spend a minute doing so. It should be a required skill / habit for any professional to first look something up. If this was 1989 and one had to go to the library, that's a different situation.

Wyze is a big factor, especially with their AI, and if Mark and others consider themselves serious video surveillance professionals, they should be aware of it.

He can do an Internet search and within a minute figure out who Wyze is and who is covering them. I don't excuse people who, in 2019, cannot spend a minute doing so.

LMGTFY ;-)  

I believe this was well worth the time spent to create it. 

I believe this was well worth the time spent to create it.

i agree.  initially, i had started to write a long, tortuous post precisely detailing the absurdity of the contention that Mr. Honovich’s disclosure of the Wyze camera pricing was tantamount to a market collapse, and therefore a sufficient justification for his banishment.

i soon abandoned that approach in favor of replacing four phrases from the iconic NY Times front page.  in addition to being quicker than finishing the post, the image is undoubtably funnier than my original turgid rambling.  

more importantly, satire is harder to attack; sometimes the best you can do is to subtly imply that the value of the post is not equal to the effort used in its creation, as you yourself may have discovered ;)

John, while I don't agree with much of what Mark says, I will say something that I've said before (to little effect) -- I do not understand why you choose to go the "clickbait" route with so many of the things you post. It seriously detracts from the quality of the posts, and it takes away a significant amount of credibility.

Two quick examples from this topic alone:

1. The original post with the title image with a check on Wyze and a big red X on Axis and Hikvision. It's disingenuous at best, and pure clickbait at the worst. While it's a cool product and they're doing some things fairly well, even the idea of comparing Wyze to Axis (and...begrudgingly...even Hik) is ridiculous to the point of absurdity. Two of these manufacturers have legitimate products that are suitable for a commercial application where there are real consequences. One of these is effectively a consumer toy that has jumped into the "deep learning" fray with a product that isn't even suitable for me to deploy for any serious use at my house, much less in a commercial application.

2. Your statement here that "a consumer company who is, at least for now, doing deep learning better than professional video surveillance manufacturers", and your statement in the original review of "it is seriously embarrassing for all the big companies that still can’t do this. [snip] Axis too, while they do not say much about AI, they really should if they want to justify their price premium."

Again, disingenuous at best, and clickbait at worst. In the post comparing the two, you criticize Axis for not offering it or being further ahead...while pointing out a couple of ENORMOUS flaws with Wyze that make it a complete and total non-starter in the commercial security market. Is this something that should push the big commercial players? Absolutely. Is this something that they should be ashamed of? Not just no, but hell no. If someone like Wyze had a product on the market that was even remotely close to being suitable for a commercial application, it would be one thing -- but they don't. You're criticizing Axis (and others) for not having a commercially-viable product...when so far, neither does Wyze (or anyone else, at least at a comparable price-point).

It's a totally fair point to say that this release from Wyze should "push" commercial manufacturers to step up their game. Why can't you just leave it there?

Also, let me be clear on something -- these types of statements don't bother me because I'm beholden to a specific brand and am trying to protect them. These types of statements bother me because end users and other individuals who don't know better read this site and occasionally take things away from it that I guarantee you don't intend for them to take away. I'm not saying that I have had a discussion with an end-user about Wyze vs Axis (or any other brand) because of this post, but I am saying that I have had to have long conversations with an end-user about things in the past that they read on here that were HIGHLY misconstrued because of the way they were presented. This is another perfect example of something that I can definitely see being taken out of context by an end-user. At the end of the day, it's my job to explain these things to end-users and I'll have no problems explaining and demonstrating the differences between Wyze and {insert commercial brand here}, but I would hope that you take your responsibility to be objective and factual seriously enough that you'd stop with the clickbait in cases like this.

[oldmanyellingatclouds.png]

Rant over.

Thanks for the thoughtful feedback!

I disagree with your analysis of our test. Wyze's "AI", which is explicitly what we said in the title, is better than Axis and Hikvision "AI".  We didn't claim that Wyze is a better commercial product, simply that Wyze's AI analytics are better than Axis and Hikvision, which our tests showed.

Yes, Axis and Hikvision, because they have broad 3rd party integration, better video quality, various form factor options, etc. are better options generally for commercial buyers. And if an end-user asked me, it would be simple to explain.

Is this something that they should be ashamed of? Not just no, but hell no.

I'll even more strongly disagree with this. AI is 'hard'. That's why Axis and Hikvision can't deliver it (yet). It's not like they don't what to deliver. Hikvision has been shouting off rooftops for 2 years about AI and $20 Wyze's AI is better. That's something to be ashamed of.

Not only should Axis and Hikvision and every other commercial manufacturer be ashamed but they should feel existentially threatened that a Seattle startup with less 100 people can sell a $20 camera with better AI than them.

There's a real risk that Wyze moves upmarket. They got a strong customer base and have proven they can deliver products. Maybe they will choose not to because the residential market is so large but it's a risk.

And just like Axis beat the analog providers who had huge businesses when they were a nothing print server company, it's not out of the question that a new generation of AI camera companies can shove Axis aside.

Do I think this will happen? Probably not, but hard to tell. And if these companies are well run, they should see this as a concern.

Not only should Axis and Hikvision and every other commercial manufacturer be ashamed but they should feel existentially threatened that a Seattle startup with less 100 people can sell a $20 camera with better AI than them.

This right here. This is the rub. This is why it's clickbait to the core. You're reaching Buzzfeed status now.

While Hikvision has loudly tried (and loudly failed) at launching/marketing an "AI" or "deep learning" product and is probably deserving of these comparisons, Axis has done nothing of the kind. You're saying that Wyze's AI is better than Axis, but that's because Axis (in their present-day form) will never release or even market a product that has so many fundamental flaws as the Wyze "AI". 

That is the part you seem to  me missing. You think that Wyze is "better" than Axis at AI, but the reality is, Wyze is in a position to throw out a half-baked product that is in no way fit for a commercial application, while Axis can never do anything like that. They actually have to develop products that work more often than they don't before they can release them...Wyze doesn't have that burden.

If you wanted to actually attempt a real, substantive comparison, why wouldn't you at least test this in comparison to the "Deep Learning" script from the Axis Solutions lab? I know that you're aware of it, because it was referenced in a post you made before this comparison went live, so it seems like it would make sense to at least test this script in comparison to the Wyze product before making such a ridiculous claim, no?

You guys do great work about 80% of the time. The other 20%, I find myself shaking my head at the pitiful comparisons and the ridiculous headlines. This is one where I couldn't keep quiet any more, especially after the follow-up post...

Wyze is in a position to throw out a half-baked product that is in no way fit for a commercial application

You can emote about pitful comparisons and ridiculous headlines but we did the testing. If you have testing of Wyze that counters or contradicts ours, bring it.

Wyze's AI is not 'half-baked'. The AI works. The limitation is on their free messaging service. They can and do run AI all the time but they only allow sending alerts/messages/notifications with a 5 minute cool down. What's harder? Wyze adding a paid service to allow for unlimited notifications or Axis stuffing AI in their existing cameras. The latter.

why wouldn't you at least test this in comparison to the "Deep Learning" script from the Axis Solutions lab

Seriously, do you understand how that 'deep learning' scripts work? Read the manual. The Axis camera does no deep learning. The script is run on one's own machine and it just gets the feed from an Axis camera, as this excerpt shows:

Axis 'demostrator' is simply a wrapper around open-source software like YOLO to make it easier to run on own's one machine:

YOLO is very resource-intensive, it's why Axis is not running it on their cameras. A big part of the engineering effort and innovation here is that Wyze/xnor.ai accomplished deep learning on a cheap SoC inside a camera. I'd encourage you to study more about deep learning to better understand the significance of this.

YOLO was initially designed to work on a single image. Pop in a picture of a dog, and it would draw a ROI saying "dog". The speed and accuracy depends on the training-model you pop in, and how many different types of objects the model is supposed to recognize. It is so damn fast that you can do >30 fps analysis on a video feed, but at its core, it's treating each image as a totally different one from the previous.

In my opinion, YOLO is overkill for a video surveillance app. The "getting started" model is a 237 MB download, but you can make your own. Doing so is technically trivial, but it's a lot of work as you need to provide input where you've marked what's what. That sort of work is often outsourced to cheap labor countries, where people mindlessly put ROI's around every person, car, bicycle etc. in each frame. This is also why Amazon had direct access to the video from your RING camera. Amazon is optimizing/improving the coefficients in its neural network.

Whichever way you slice it, we're seeing cheap and efficient cameras enter the fray - which is great for the consumers, but pretty bad for the old arrogant players who - in some instances seem to have become fat and complacent. Unwilling or unable to keep up.

How is it that the Axis/Canon/Milestone trifecta is unable to match anything that Wyze has been able to put together?  

I have no doubt that the guys in R&D could do something amazing, but it would quickly cannibalize the existing products and their fat margins, so instead they will be eaten alive by the smaller, leaner companies that are emerging these days.

the old arrogant players who - in some instances seem to have become fat...they will be eaten alive by the smaller, leaner companies

never count a fat guy out of an eating contest...

I think the point here is more that Wyze is putting forth any kind of AI at a price point that anyone can afford. $20 is dirt cheap. The world is littered with examples of small start ups that became huge players. Hikvision was founded in 2001and when they came on the scene many did not take them as a serious player. Even with their setbacks as of late they are a major player on the global stage. In addition remember that in todays business climate it is very common for small businesses to target a niche, gain a little success and then get bought out by big players so they can use the platform and technology they have developed. Just food for thought. If you remove the preconceived notion in your head that IPVM is trying to manipulate, things in the industry and consider that they are in reality just providing information for industry professionals to be informed and make decisions from then you should be able to admit that this type of review is in many ways just as important as a shootout between several big dogs in the industry.

I have no issues with Wyze cameras.  I've even recommended them twice recently.  But if someone wants real security and to see every corner of their house in more detail, I will easily be able to sell them a system at 100 times the price of a Wyze camera.

IPVM,

Congratulations!  You've reached BuzzFeed status, hopefully the money follows.

Woe be the manufacturer who ignores Wyze technology and their pricing model.  If this product was packaged in an "industry standard" case with some serious marketing . . . .

I have several Wyze Cameras in remote properties that don't have internet (Cradlepoint modems and Luxul WAP's are being used).  Flawless, never failed to connect and their firmware updates and app upgrades work every time.  Wait till they go from non-proprietary to an accessible RTSP stream.  Ouch!

Good reporting IPVM.

As a note, unfortunately, I have nothing to do with Wyze.

So much butt,

So much hurt.

In this one.

They do have RTSP capability but you have to make a choice whether you want RTSP or AI.  I have 3 of these around my house and one at a vacation house.  I prefer having the AI capability which is not at it's best right now but I'm sure with all the users sending in videos for training, it'll only get better. 

BTW, I also have several Xiaomi Dafang PTZ which is physically the same as the Wyse that I've been running for 2 years.  These have gotten better as well.  

As far as i am aware this site is for paid membership of security professionals, I doubt there are many retail customers as members here, so disclosing pricing should not be an issue,

For me it is great to see pricing of products so i can compare and IPVM does a lot of work in this regard saving me time to do the research myself.

just my 2 cents worth

Even without IPVM, it's so easy to find pricing. BH PHoto for example sells like everything, I don't even think you need to login to see a price. Amazon pricing is kind of all over the place, but theres stuff there.

Heck I can even find older Avigilon Price lists on the internet. IPVM certainly isn't the problem of end users finding pricing. Maybe instead of some people complaining that customers can find pricing on IPVM, they should look at how they handle their margin/mark up. Most regular, intelligent people understand companies can't sell items at cost. They understand there will be some sort of mark up to pay for the tech to install it, and the service person, and the office, and the accounts, and so on and so forth. But those same people don't want to pay 100% more for something they can find elsewhere.

John, will I get a refund when IPVM gets banned?

I have learned lots of info since joining IPVM. Thank you all :D.

Mark Wall is limited in real world security , companies like Dahua, he likes Chinese cheap products, and now has a low to mid level CMS, Webeye.  What a joke for him to be the preacher of anything.

When you have no real knowledge, you attack with words with no facts. Bring in the president, bring in anything that some may share on other fronts to get any tidbit of alliance.

If the President of the US is so bad, what does that mean in the UK since their economy has seen many days better than today. We don't pay the taxes they do, we have better health insurance and our 401K's are at an all time high,  job unemployment is at an all time low. Tell us about the UK.  Oh I know a lot about the UK, since I spent several years there on projects.

Ho hum, reminds me of a 2nd grader.

IPVM , I may not agree with but 70% of the time, but they do pass along information in this industry.  It is up the people to agree, evaluate for themselves or disagree but it opens eyes and challenges people to not be so blind to the industry .  IPVM provides good education classes and what has Mark Wall done in his entire life better than that for others except immediate family.

So why is Mark Wall running his mouth, attention, for himself or his company or just to see his article. Pick, none of them are worth reading. Now I can go back to sleep since today is my day off. Ho hum!

 

Anyone that does nor agree that slamming cheap products into a country does not  ruin an industry has never lived in the real world of GPM and hitting margins and making sure their employees have jobs.

We need higher tariffs on companies in China, not less.

 

 

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: IPVM, I May Not Agree With But 70% Of The Time, But They Do Pass Along Information In This Industry.

Just my two cents regarding pricing. If you are interested in obtaining some ball park pricing on a product and that item is offered to the Government via a GSA schedule you can take a look at this link and search my manufacturer: 

https://www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov/ElibMain/home.do

Once you find the product is is not hard to determine costing..Most all security manufacturers identify to the government that their "dealer" is the most favored customer..Meaning they get the best price. Thus the government allows some percentage of margin or profit to the dealer selling to them. In my 20+ year of selling in this fashion to the GSA it normally ranges between 25-35% above the dealer cost.  So in short, find the product, do the math and you can get pretty close to the dealer price for most items. 

1- GSA is just one of many contract vehicles for the government. How about STARS???? I can name many more.

2- lowest price when doing a GSA contract vehicle  is based on qty, could be qty 1 or more but LOWEST PRICE MUST GO TO government based on QTY when using GSA and product model pricing is on schedule.  Why? Government can audits ones' books and if it sees lower price given to some company at same qty, , GSA can adjust all purchases to that price because they get lowest price. Duh!

3- Reading what you wrote is not bad in getting an idea on pricing but no one, tells the government, my SI's are most important or gets best price. PLEASE!

Means you have never done a GSA schedule and YOU have never worked in the DOD based on your write up and you might want to learn about GSA before you give advice.

From someone that has done $$BB's in DoD $$'s and spent many years in DC on the beltway , VA, W VA, MD, SC and more.

 

 

Garry, 

Thanks for the response...I have executed and managed two GSA schedules for the last 18 years here at Galaxy...We have many DOD customers that use our schedules. We do not sell direct to the government and list our dealers under our contracts as our GSP (Government Service Providers) thus giving them the ability to capture contacts using these schedules. You are correct, there are many and we are involved in several outside the GSA..We are also listed under both contract as a "Small Business" using a manufacturing SIC code which is based on number of employees and not volume of sales. This also allows our products to be consider as small sourced with large DOD contractors and helps them satisfy their SBA requirements. As far as GSA Audits, we have them regularly and breeze through with this model every time... 

Ours is also based on Qty = 1 with not volume discounts and have been that way since we were first awarded in 2001...

If you are beltway based come on up to Frederick and visit us and perhaps we can chase some business together?? 

This industry needs to be challenged and disrupted.  They rip you off from mfg down to distributors to resellers that markup camera by 200% to 300%. Go Wyze!

 

They rip you off from mfg down to distributors to resellers that markup camera by 200% to 300%. 

Wyze up everybody!

Ha ha! IPVM must be doing something right! I operated a newspaper company for 27 years. Whenever we got this type of response, we always knew we were really on to something. I love how he pulled the Trump card. Pretty funny.