The $40 Million Funded Startup Canary Tested

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Jun 16, 2015

This startup, Canary, has raised $40 million total since 2014.

With Google buying Dropcam for $555 million, investors see big opportunity in security / video startups.

Canary now has a sizeable warchest for aggressive expansion.

But is Canary's product any good? We bought one to find out, testing it against Dropcam, as shown in the image below:

We tested:

  • How easy is it to set up?
  • Is the app simple to use?
  • How well does video search / playback work?
  • How well do Canary's extra features like environmental monitor and built-in sounder work?

Inside, we answer these questions and more.

**** *******,******, *** ****** $** million ***** ***** ****.

********** ****** ******* *** $555 *******, ********* *** *** opportunity ** ******** / video ********.

****** *** *** * sizeable ******** *** ********** expansion.

*** ** ******'* ******* any ****? ** ****** one ** **** ***, testing ** ******* *******, as ***** ** *** image *****:

** ******:

  • *** **** ** ** to *** **?
  • ** *** *** ****** to ***?
  • *** **** **** ***** search / ******** ****?
  • *** **** ** ******'* extra ******** **** ************* monitor *** *****-** ******* work?

******, ** ****** ***** questions *** ****.

[***************]

Key ********

*******, ****** ** * mixed ***, **** **** interesting **********, ******* **** potentially ********* *************:

**********

****** ****** **** ***** features **** ** * built-in ***** *** ************* monitors ***** *** *** found ** **** *********** options. ************, *** *** performance *** *********, **** few ***** ** ****** activations, ********* ** ***** nuisance ****** ** ****** recordings.

*** ******* ** *** third ***** ********** ** also * ****, ***** in *** *********** (*** notably *** ** *******), and ******* * ****** ********* to **** ******** *******: that **** **** ** self-monitored, ******* ***** **** to ***** ****** ** vulnerable ** *****-** ** other ******.

***********

*******, ***** *** *** limitations ***** *** ** dealbreakers *** **** *****:

  • ** ******:*** **** ** *** sort ** ****** ***** users *********** **** ****** through ******** ****** ** their ******** ** ***** to ****** ***** ***** ***** they **** **** **** their ******. ****** ***** ***** monitoring ** **** ***** events ** ********, *** adds $** *** ***** for **** ******.
  • ** ****/******* *****:*** **** ** * wall ** ******* ***** limits ****** ** *********/******** use, ***** *** ** undesirable ************* *** ********** impact ***********, ** * wall/ceiling ** * ****** option ** ***** ******* areas. 

***************

***** ******* ***** ***** only, *** **** ******** ****** to ***** ****** ******, will **** ****** **** useful. ***** ***** *** prefer from *** ******'* *****-** siren, ** ****, ** it *** ******** ********* to ***** *** ********* in **** ** *****-**.

*******, *** **** ******** users, *** *** *** constantly **** ** ***** mobile ******, *** **** the **** ** *** advanced ****** ** ****** functions *********, *** ** better ****** **** ******* or ***** *******.

Camera *****

****** ***** *** $***, direct, ** *** ****** retailers. **** ** ~**%/$** more **** *** $********** ************ ********. *******, ***** ****** do *** ******* *** built ** ***** ** environmental ********** ******** ** Canary.

Recording ***** *** *******

****** ************* ********* *****, ******* **** **** to $**.** *** *** month:

*** ***** ******* ****** recording *** ******.

******** ** *******, *** "Never **** * ******" plan ** ****** ********* ($9.99 **. $*.**). *******, the ******** ** *** plan ** $** **** than *******'* ********** ************.

***** ***** **********

****** **** ***********, ***** are **** ********* ** the **** ****, ****** offers ******* ******* ********** of *** ****** (********* *****), ***** *** ** added ** *********** *** ** ********** $** per *****. **** ***** plans *** *** *** this *******.

Physical ********

****** **** ***** ************ cameras, ****** ** ******** to *** ** * table ** *****. ** wall ** ******* ***** options *** ********. ***** this ** *** ******** means ** ********, ********* for *** ******** ******, it ****** ***** *** camera *** ** *********, potentially ********** ** **** obtaining ***** ***. 

 

Setup *******

****** ***** ** ******, with *** ****** *** walking ***** ******* ******** an ******* *** ****** a ******. ****** ***** cameras, ***** ******* ******* setup *** *** ** wi-fi/Ethernet, ****** **** * stereo ***** ******* *** camera *** ****** ******, with **** *********** *********** as ****** ** ******** setup ***********.

*************, ***** ***** ** ** way ** ****** * camera **** ** ******* once *********, ******* ******* for *******, ** ****** demonstrate *** **** ***** process. *** ******* **** starting *** ***, ******** an *******, *** ******** transmission *** ****** *****, is **** *****:

App ********

*** **** ****** ** the *** ******** ***** information ********* ****** ****** and ************* **********. ***** may *** "***** ****" to **** ******(*), ***** ** to **** *** ********, and **** ** **** account/camera ********.

**** ****

**** *** **** ******, users *** ***** ****** recording, ******* *** *****-** siren, ** **** ********* calls. **** **** ********* numbers ****** ** ****** checked ***** ***** ** they *** ** *********, which ** ****** ** configuration, *****.

******* ******* **** **** screen ** *** **** of ******** ********. ***** must *** ***** ****** device's *****-** ********** ****** (home + ***/**** ****** on ***, *** *******) to **** *********. ***** is **** ** *** to ****/****** *** ********** of *** ******, ** audio ** ****** **.

********

******* ** ** *** live ****** ***** ** the ********, *********** ****** a **** ** ****** and ********** *****. ***** the ******** ** ****** to ***, **** *** controls, ***** *** *** key ***********:

  • ** ******:***** ** ** *** to ****** *** ******** days ** ***** ** timeline, ******* ***** ** scroll ******* **** ********. Users *** **** ****** from *** ******** *** easier ********* *****, **** each ******** ******* ***** saved ***** *****.
  • ** ******:***** ** ** *** to ****** * ***** clip **** *** ****** app. ***** ******* ** turn **** ***** ** law ***********, *** *******, *** limited ** *********** **** (also *******, *** *****).

*************

******* ****, ***** *** access *************. **** ******* here:

  • **** **** *********:***** *** ********* ******* Canary ************* ******** **** to ******** ** ******* when ***** *** ******* (in *** ******** ****** configured ** *****). ******** mode ********* *********, *** does *** *****, ***** Privacy ******** *** ****** altogether, **** **** ***** and ***** ***********.
  • ********* ********* *******:****** ************* ********* ***** numbers *** ******, ********* medical ********, *** **** based ** *** ******** given ****** *****. *******, in *** ********, *** out ** ***** (****** and ***) **** *****. Users ****** ** ******* to ***** ******* *******, or ****** *** ***, to ****** **** *** contact *** ****** ********** in ** *********.

VMD ***********

**** *** *********** ** especially ********* *** ******, as **** ***** ***** party ********** ** ***** alerts, *** ** ***** ** to ** ********, **** very *** ***** ********* or ****** ***********.

**** ********* ** ** open ****** ****, ****** did *** ***** ** all ***** ***** ****** lights ** *** **** morning, **** ** ******** caused ** ******* *****, floating *********, ** ***** changes. ************, ******'* **** missed *********** **** ** low ***** **** *** subject *** ****** *** IR *****. ** *** ********** room **** ***** (**'***', larger **** * ******* residential ****), ****** *** not **** *** ***** activations. 

Image ******* **. *******

******'* ****** ** *****, higher ********** **** **** competitors, **** ** *** Dropcam *** (****). *******, video ** ****** **********, with ******* ***** ********* and ************, ********* ** only ******** **** ****** than **** ******.

************, *** ***** ***** of **** (***° **. 130° ** ******* ***, seen *****) ******* ******* PPF.

** **** **** ***** comparison, ***, ** ***, more ****** ******* *** delivered ** ****** ******** to *** ******* ***, with *** *******'* ******** slightly **** **********, *** lines */* ** *** test ***** ******** **** legible (*****/*****).

** *** ****, **** IR **, *** ********** is **********, **** ******* camera ********* ****** ****** of *** *******, *** only **** ******* ******* on *** ***** **** of *** *****.

 

Comments (10)

I've got an idea! And yes I work for Mobotix. 12x40= $480 recurring yearly plus $250 for camera. Buy any other real security camera with SD card recording , event search, analytics, two way audio, and list goes on and on- for under $550 and you will be 10 times better off and save 2 to 3 times the cost of this solution!

Hunter, how happy are you Mobotix guys now that you have a camera under $1000? :)

A few things:

  • The $40 per month cost estimate is misleading. That's for their longest storage duration plan (60 days) that very few take. As a point of reference, a while back Dropcam's CEO disclosed the percentage paying monthly and it was ~40%, meaning 60% pay nothing ongoing. Literally, for most of these people, the only cost is for the camera.
  • Both Dropcam and Canary have made set up and ongoing access far simpler than what any 'real security camera' does. For professionals, this is not a big deal, but for consumers, easy set up and access is a critical differentiator.

I'm disappointed that the Canary doesn't have built-in PIR for detection. I read the Amazon reviews where people reported falses with the VMD.

Hey Brandon, it does seem a bit of a strange omission, especially when a number of others have started to include them.

In our tests, we had few false positives. A few Amazon reviewers mentioned events every time the camera switched from night to day, and we didn't experience that. It happened once or twice, but not consistently enough to call it a major issue.

This will sell, as it's all about ease of use. The typical consumer doesn't really know the difference between low light lux ratings, IR, or any other "professional industry" terms. They only care about 3 things, 1. Price, 2. ease of use, and 3. can I see video.

Andre, though on price, this is not exactly low cost at $250. I do wonder how much of a market they can capture at this price point.

I believe they will not have any issue selling at the $250 price, dropcam is at $199 and you have a handful of additional features for only $50 more.....

A lower cost model would not hurt though.

It's not a direct answer to how much of a market they can capture, but they are ranked fairly high in some Amazon categories:

Of course, Dropcam has been #1 in at least one category or more for years, and the Nest Cam took that over in the only a couple of days:

Being #22nd in surveillance cameras is not impressive given how new they are. However, given how much marketing budget they have, maybe it's not.

The list of products ahead of them are not that impressive but most are half the Canary's price.

The Canary iOS app updated today with the ability to download videos, which was one of their key limitations. Users queue downloads for processing, and the app alerts them when the clip is ready, which is then downloaded to the device's camera roll.

Note that the video looks a little square when I start playing back. That's due to the way the iPad screenrecorder I'm using works, not the app. It plays back just fine in the proper aspect ratio in the app.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Dahua Intercom Tested on Feb 07, 2019
Video intercoms are a growing market with video surveillance manufacturers expanding into this niche. IPVM is continuing its series of video...
Bezos-Funded Deep Sentinel Tested on Mar 28, 2019
Backed by Jeff Bezos, the Silicon Valley startup, Deep Sentinel, has declared: No One Does Home Security Like We Do Our Surveillance Team has...
Camera Disruptor Wyze Enters Sensor / Security Market on Mar 28, 2019
Wyze, the company that has disrupted consumer IP cameras, combining American marketing and Chinese manufacturer, has just announced its expansion...
Network Optix / Hanwha Cloud Access Tested on Jul 02, 2019
Remote cloud access is becoming a bigger differentiator, as cybersecurity issues underscore the problems of port forwarding and many integrators...
Commend ID5 Intercom Tested on Sep 12, 2019
Commend touts the new ID5 intercom as 'timelessly elegant' and the slim body, glass front touchscreen indeed looks better than common, but ugly,...
Camect "Worlds Smartest Camera Hub" Tested on Oct 18, 2019
Camect is a Silicon Valley startup that claims the "Smartest AI Object Detection On The Market", detecting not only people and vehicles, but...
Aiphone Video Intercom Tested (IX Series 2) on Nov 05, 2019
Aiphone was one of integrator's favorite intercom manufacturers but how well do their products work? The company's newest offering, the IX Series 2...
Rhombus Cameras, VMS and Analytics Tested on Nov 06, 2019
Rhombus boasts they have created "the new standard in Enterprise, cloud-managed video security" and told IPVM in January 2019 they offer twice the...
Avigilon H4 Intercom Tested on Nov 20, 2019
Avigilon is well-known for video surveillance and access, but how well does the company's intercom work? We purchased and tested Avigilon's H4...
Verkada Notification Outage on Dec 12, 2019
Verkada is suffering an event notification outage and analytic search failures. Inside, we examine what the issues are, what Verkada told IPVM...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Motorola / Avigilon Drops ISC West on Feb 26, 2020
Motorola Solutions has pulled out of ISC West 2020 effective immediately, because of coronavirus concerns, IPVM has learned. This is done amidst...
Cancel or Not? Industry Split Over ISC West on Feb 26, 2020
The industry is split, polarized, over whether ISC West 2020 should run or be canceled. New IPVM survey results of 400+ respondents show heated...
Coronavirus Hits Sony, Bosch Says Switch on Feb 26, 2020
Sony's fall in video surveillance has been severe over the past decade. Now, they may be done. In this note, we examine Bosch's new...
Video Surveillance Cameras 101 on Feb 25, 2020
Cameras come in many shapes, sizes and specifications. This 101 examines the basics of cameras and features used in 2020. In this report, we...
Favorite Video Analytic Manufacturers 2020 on Feb 25, 2020
Video analytics is now as hot as ever, driven by the excitement of advancing deep learning offers. But what are actually integrator's...
Latest London Police Facial Recognition Suffers Serious Issues on Feb 24, 2020
On February 20, IPVM visited another live face rec deployment by London police, but this time the system was thwarted by technical problems and...
Masks Cause Major Facial Recognition Problems on Feb 24, 2020
Coronavirus is spurring an increase in the use of medical masks, which new IPVM test results show cause major problems for facial recognition...
Every VMS Will Become a VSaaS on Feb 21, 2020
VMS is ending. Soon every VMS will be a VSaaS. Competitive dynamics will be redrawn. What does this mean? VMS Historically...
Video Surveillance 101 Course - Last Chance on Feb 20, 2020
This is the last chance to join IPVM's first Video Surveillance 101 course, designed to help those new to the industry to quickly understand the...
Vulnerability Directory For Access Credentials on Feb 20, 2020
Knowing which access credentials are insecure can be difficult to see, especially because most look and feel the same. Even insecure 125 kHz...