Totally Wireless HD Camera That Is NOT A Toy

Has anyone found a truly and completely wireless camera (as in: NO need for an external power source, just internal battery) other than this one ?? ;which to me is more a toy-webcam than a real CCTV camera capable of high quality recordings.

I got a very picky customer that wants at least HD 720p surveillance, does NOT allow us to leave ANY visible cables hanging in his living room walls and wants WDR thrown in to see faces clearly upon sunlight (backlight shadowing) entering the windows in the morning.


No.

There are a handful of other battery only cameras but they are consumer offerings.

However, the close thing we have seen is something like this which is a dashcam:

Zero Sightline Camera with true WDR.

Embedded video and image below for others:

Two main problems: I think it has a battery builtin but doubt it runs for long. Also, small but weird form factor to put in a home.

...I think it has a battery builtin but doubt it runs for long.

For the record, this camera has no battery. The wireless mic that goes with it has a battery, maybe that's what you were thinking of?

Is your picky customer interested in swapping out a bulky battery once a day? Because that's the only way you're going to get a "truly and completely wireless camera".

I am pretty sure my customer won't allow me to install this; I mean this dashcam is a horrible eyesore in a living room full of fancy home theater equipments. If this manufacturer can design a "home friendly" camera, I'm sure it will be a big hit with integrators though...
It's year 2015, an era where tiny little cameras in smartphones (which are 100% wireless obviously) can take prettier pictures than huge bulky cameras. How come no manufacturer had come up with an acceptable 100% HD 720p wireless camera ???

How many smartphones shoot true WDR video? How many smartphones have low light performance anywhere near as good as a professional surveillance camera?

The ones I have seen, including recent iPhones still don't compare.

Wireless streaming takes a lot of power.

Try using something like Facetime for a couple of hours and see how much battery you have left.

Even by increasing the battery size by 10x, you still wouldn't get enough runtime to make it practical.

You're right John. Excluding WDR for a moment, at least 720p HD video let's say, can this be implemented for wireless-aesthetically-pleasing mini domes with smoked covers that fit in most living rooms ???.... Maybe a clever manufacturer out there can translate what has worked so far for smartphones (NO bulky batteries, but slim ones paired along with portable little power banks connected via micro USB ports) ...

Maybe small powerbanks that are easily swappable near the cameras; i.e. same concept as the rechargeable-batteries charging stations available in any local Walgreens for $25 bucks. I mean, it is technically possible if enough brainstorming goes into it....

A portable powerbank (with a battery level indicator) in white/pastel color, sticked to the wall near the camera placement point is sure as heck a lot more eye-pleasing than black cables running up, down and all along the walls and ceillings via plastic moulding raceways to reach the nearest 110V outlet (which in most cases is NOT as near as you always want them to be) .....

Would *you* want to go around to your cameras swapping battery packs every day? And they wouldn't be that small if you are concerned about aesthetics.

Micropower just announced a 720p camera that is wireless and uses .75 watts. Assume you have a 5V battery bank. A 40Wh battery pack would be about 3"x3"x1", and would last about 2 days (technically, a little over 50 hours). That would give you the option to use USB power and chargers. But you're still talking about something that needs almost constant attention, plus the battery life might be 1 year at best if it's being charged/discharged like that all the time.

I mean, it is technically possible if enough brainstorming goes into it

Yes, it's technically possible to power a wireless camera with a battery, but it's not practical with modern battery technology (or anything likely to hit the market in the next several years).

I guess we'll have to wait for years for this to reach the market as a viable and affordable enough commercially available product.

btw, there's Blink, which is a startup with a battery powered camera. Is it any better than Vue? You make the call.

Is Arlo just a watered-down version of Vue?

My understanding is that Arlo is the new brand. Btw, do not respond or discuss Arlo or Vue here, since OP clearly is not interested in that.

What about the Torch?

  • Wireless digital IP camera in durable stainless steel housing
  • 5 Mega pixel image sensors High-resolution (up to 5184 x 1944, 10 megapixels)
  • 4G/3G/GPRS/Wi-Fi data communications
  • Integral SD card storage (up to 128GB),
  • Router and Battery
  • Choice of single, dual or hemispheric lens and thermal imaging
  • Deployable within minutes – no specialist skills required - one button operation
  • Built in event recorder with motion detection and automated alarms
  • Low bandwidth requirement
  • Low power consumption
  • Cameras accessible anywhere via web browser or license free software

From A's post above, but the Torch is even worse:

"I am pretty sure my customer won't allow me to install this; I mean this dashcam is a horrible eyesore in a living room full of fancy home theater equipments. If this manufacturer can design a "home friendly" camera, I'm sure it will be a big hit with integrators though"

I'm really trying to understand the requirement here A.

So you have a really picky customer who doesn't want any wires showing anywhere, yet is fine with changing batteries and recharging batteries or replacing batteries every X number of days?

Have you read this discussion, esp. Michael Silva's excellent post: Customer Does Not Allow Exposed Cables Nor Raceway Channels?

"C":

Well, to be honest, the original goal was to welcome any suggestions of the latest and greatest 100% Wireless HD Cameras readily available comercially in the market to offer a good deal for my customer, so that he doesn't have to pay an extra $19 hundred dollars.

Why $1,900 ?? you may ask...

Choice #1 was:
- $200 (for drilling holes and openings in the house's gypsum drywall, fishing & wiring ALL the concealed cables through the inner studs of his living room, bedrooms, kitchen and patio centrally to a power supply and repairing the gypsum afterwards) multiply that times 8x cameras = $1,600
- Add another $300 (for searching/buying the closest paint-color "which sort of matches" his existing wall color --with NO WARRANTY whatsoever from our part that it will match 100% (the house is NOT that new and the walls had received lots of UV sunrays already) and then painting the gypsum with this "original" color.
- Time for completion (including 8x cameras installation): 24-36 Hours / 3 workers including the gypsum guy.

Choice #2 was:
- Just put up the wireless cameras on each placement point, connect and configure wirelessly.
- Time for completion: 3-4 Hours Max. / 2 workers including the IT guy.

But then the discussion evolved naturally towards "the factibility of using powerbanks as in smartphones, etc." and it's main disadvantage (very well mentioned by "B" by the way): constant attention, replacing battery packs constantly and worrying about cameras running out of battery juice.

I guess that (from my point of view at least) the main takeaway from this very interesting discussion was:

- It seems people will NOT mind charging their personal smartphones every night, but will disapprove replacing their security cameras batteries every morning when they leave the house.


- Even the latest cutting-edge research on batteries has NOT yet solved the "power-hungry problem" that wireless HD cameras represent.

- And 100% wireless cameras are either UGLY, BULKY unfit for indoor use, or lack the resolution clarity (VGA 640x480, anyone ??) that customers desire (everybody wants HD/Full-HD nowadays).

I guess my customer will have to go with Choice #1 and pay extra ; ) : ) ....

Why $1,900 ?? you may ask...

Actually that seems quite reasonable for installing and wiring 8 flush mounted cameras without a trace in a high-end residence. I been charged more for installing/wiring of 4 intercoms, and then given a business card on the way out for "Mr. Paint" because "I don't do drywall".

This statement is helpful,

to offer a good deal for my customer, so that he doesn't have to pay an extra $19 hundred dollars

since without it, the originally stated demands from the 'picky customer' and his possible concerns over matching the 'fancy home theater equipments' might lead one to believe that this solution was being driven by the requirements of a perfectionist client, probably not one whose overriding motive was to save a couple of grand on the install.

multiply that times 8x cameras...

This also helps filter out solutions, since at first it seemed like we were talking about one or two cameras in the theater/living room, mainly due to the 'eyesore' and living room walls comments. And also because the idea of a one of a kind, uniquely driven requirement for the one room is plausible, but I think there might have been more pushback had everyone considered that there were to be 8 cameras with 8 batteries to be changed throughout the house.

Good luck with the install!

Probably too late for this install, but there's hope on the horizon via Amberella's new S2Lm:

The reference design enables fast development of a new generation of small, high-quality, battery-powered Full HD security cameras suitable for both professional and consumer security applications. The reference design is based on Ambarella’s new S2Lm ultra low-power HD camera System-On-Chip (SoC), which can start recording Full HD 1080p30 video in less than 500ms from wake up, and provides up to six months of battery life

The Ambarella S2Lm reference design supports a feature set similar to that found on high-quality AC-powered IP cameras. Advanced image processing provides clear video in challenging lighting conditions...

How much video can you get in those six-months, I don't know. Btw, does anyone think they really mean high-quality AC-powered IP cameras?

Late to the party here as well, but in case it's still relevant (and for future reference), here are some thoughts:

1. Consider alternate mounting locations to ease wiring. If a camera is going in a room with a bunch of A/V gear, consider mounting it in the A/V cabinet/closet/etc. There will plenty of power available, as well as the possibility of using powerline networking if necessary. Pinhole models like Axis' P12 series may work well in this instance.

2. Manage expectations. How much of the day is backlighting a problem? A couple hours in the morning? All year long, or only in certain seasons (eg. winter, when the sun is lower)? Obviously it won't be an issue (or not as much of one) when it's cloudy - is this an area where overcast is more likely (eg. Pacific Northwest) or where sun is the rule most morning (Arizona)? True WDR greatly limits your options, so maybe that needs to be sacrificed on at least one or two cameras.

3. Reality check. What is the customer looking for with these cameras? Intruders and theft? Those are far more likely to be at night, where backlighting is moot. If it does happen during the day, it will be when the customer is away - close the blinds or curtains in the window to negate any backlighting.

4. If you can't deal with backlighting, avoid it entirely or use it to your advantage - put the camera near the window looking into the room. Your view will benefit from the additional lighting when the morning sun is streaming in the window.

Finally.... surely ALL EIGHT cameras aren't in the living room?? Backlighting and wiring can't be the same problem for ALL of them?

- It seems people will NOT mind charging their personal smartphones every night, but will disapprove replacing their security cameras batteries every morning when they leave the house.

Yes, but these are two very different activities. Charging your phone is a simple part of the bedtime ritual - pull phone out of pocket, plug it in, and set it on the nightstand. Changing multiple camera batteries is an outright chore, especially if the battery packs aren't readily accessible. Most smartphones also don't require you to remove the battery for charging.