Dropcam First Generation 2009/2010 Overview

Author: John Honovich, Published on Aug 16, 2010

In this update, we review the competitive positioning and differentiators of Dropcam, a recent entrant providing hosted video services. An AnandTech test of Dropcam provides a good overview (but poor understanding of the VSaaS marketplace).

Product Options

Dropcam's approach is to use COTS IP cameras (currently from Axis - M11 series), load custom firmware and stream video to their cloud management service. Dropcam offers two camera options, both cube camera, a basic version (called 'Dropcam')and a more advanced version with audio (called 'Dropcam Echo').

Pricing

The product pricing is $199 for the 'basic' Dropcam and $279 for the advanced/audio 'Echo'. Dropcam offers 3 ongoing plans. Live monitoring only is available for free (no monthly charge). For 1 week of continuous circular recording, the monthly charge is $8.95; for 1 month of such recording, the monthly charge is $24.95.

Key Product Points

The following are key features (or ommissions) in the offering:

  • Maximum resolution is QVGA (320 x 240) for live and recorded video
  • No local archiving is provided. All archiving is done in the cloud.
  • No 3rd party camera support / no analog support
  • The web UI is simple single camera viewer but has an easy to use slider for scanning through video (see demo)
  • Emphasize social / sharing of video

Channel Strategy

Dropcam sells direct on the Internet under its own brand.

Competitive Positioning

Compared to other market entrants, Dropcam has a very basic, limited product offering:

  • Limited product options: only 2 cube cameras that are relatively expensive (though consistent with Axis prices). Most AVHS providers have a lot more options for both IP and analog encoders.
  • Limited resolution: At QVGA, the maximum resolution is less than almost any other provider in the market.
  • Limited scalability: With no on-site storage option, both video quality and number of cameras supported are constrained.

The two most interesting elements we find are:

  1. Free live monitoring: We think this will be attractive to those who just want easy remote access. However, since the resolution is relatively low and the custom firmware blocks local recording, the attractiveness of this is limited.
  2. Clear direct Internet sales: While a number of providers only sell through dealers or are split amongst approaches, Dropcam is focused on building a direct to end user model that might be easier and cheaper for small deployments.

We are skeptical about the utility of the current 'social' features. While it's the big buzzword of the valley currently, the benefit of their sharing video is limited (beyond easy remote access that most VSaaS providers offer).

Dropcam is receiving a solid amount of Silicon Valley coverage. While Valley comentators are impressed, such endorsements reflect poor understanding of the broad number of global competitors. It will be interesting to see how Dropcam develops and what product advantages it can achieve.

1 report cite this report:

Google / Nest is Destroying Dropcam on Aug 10, 2015
Wow. The most popular consumer camera has suddenly become one of the most hated. Just add Google. In this note, we examine the four main...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on Audio

Church Technology Director Security Interview on Mar 07, 2019
With 40+ years of experience in IT from a wide array of verticals, including US and foreign military, and large corporate and industrial settings,...
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...
CES 2019 Show Report on Jan 10, 2019
IPVM was at CES 2019 for the second year (see our CES 2018 Show Final Report) and is reporting on announcements and interesting news from the show...
DVR Examiner - Recorder Hard Drive Recovery Tested on Dec 13, 2018
Bypassing passwords and long download times on-site, DVR Examiner collects and organizes video evidence directly from a hard drive extracted from...
Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Axis 2N Intercom Tested on Nov 08, 2018
Axis expanded its video intercom business buying Czech-based 2N in 2016. Despite competing against owner Axis' intercoms, 2N recently registered as...
VMS Mobile App Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone on Oct 01, 2018
Mobile VMS apps are a critical interface for the modern surveillance user. But who does it best and worst? We tested 6 manufacturers - Avigilon,...
Alexa Guard Expands Amazon's Security Offerings, Boosts ADT's Stock on Sep 21, 2018
Amazon is expanding their security offerings yet again, this time with Alexa Guard that delivers security audio analytics and a virtual "Fake...
Favorite Intercom Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 14, 2018
Intercoms are certainly increasing in popularity, driven by the integration of video and IP networking. But who is the favorite? On the one side,...
Zenitel/ Stentofon Turbine IP Intercom Tested on Aug 06, 2018
IPVM has published reports testing an Axis door station and a Hikvision door station (tested). However, those companies are new entrants to this...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Avigilon Launches 'Renewed Products Program' on Mar 19, 2019
There are lots of 'pre-owned' cars but pre-owned IP cameras? While such programs are common in other industries, in video surveillance, they are...
Hanwha Tax Evasion Probe, Camera Division Implicated on Mar 19, 2019
A Hanwha group subsidiary was raided as part of a tax evasion probe. While a Korean news media report listed the raided entity as 'Hanwha...
Genetec Security Center 5.8 Tested on Mar 19, 2019
Genetec has released Version 5.8. This comes after a wait of more than a year that caused frustrations for many Genetec partners. Our previous...
Retired Mercury President Returns As Open Options President on Mar 18, 2019
Open Options experienced major changes in 2018, including being acquired by ACRE and losing its President and General Manager, John Berman who...
Large US University End-User Video Surveillance Interview on Mar 18, 2019
Schools have become targets in modern days of active shooters and terrorist fears. The need for video and access security is high. Universities...
Hikvision Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 18, 2019
Hikvision favorability results declined significantly in IPVM's 2019 study of 200+ integrators. While in 2017 Hikvision's favorability was...
ONVIF Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 15, 2019
In the past decade, ONVIF has grown from a reaction to the outside Cisco-lead PSIA challenge, to being the de facto video surveillance standard...
Installation Course - Last Chance on Mar 14, 2019
This is the last chance to register for the March Installation course. This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
City Physical Security Manager Interview on Mar 14, 2019
This physical security pro is the Physical Security Manager for the City of Calgary. He is a criminologist by training with an ASIS CPP credential....
US Drafting Separate Rule for NDAA Dahua/Hikvision 'Blacklist' on Mar 14, 2019
The most debated provision of the NDAA ban of Dahua, Hikvision, Huawei, et al. is the so-called 'blacklist' provision which would ban any company...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact