Google / Nest is Destroying Dropcam

Author: John Honovich, Published 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 complaints and what this means for the consumer market.

***.

*** **** ******* ******** ****** *** ******** ****** *** ** the **** *****.

******* ******.

** **** ****, ** ******* *** **** **** ********** *** **** this ***** *** *** ******** ******.

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

Dropcam ** ****** **** ***

******* ********* ** ****** ~* ***** ***** ****, ***** ** **** **** ******. *******, ** *** not ***** ****, **** ************ ***** *** ** ******, **** **** ****** ******* ** **** ***. *** ******* quickly ****** **** *******, ****** *** ******** *** ** ******. Combined ********* ***************** *********, ** **** ** *$*** ******* ****** **** ****** / ****.

***, *** ***** *** '*******', ****-****** ***********, *** **** ********. The ******* ***** *** ******, ******** **** '**** ***'. ** our**** *** **** ******* ******, *** '***' ****** ** **%+ **** *** *** ******, with *** ******* *********** ***** ******** ********* *** *********** ***** max ******* ** ****.

Changes ** *********** / *******

*** ******** ******* ********* **% *-**** ******* *** **% *-**** reviews ** ******.

***, *** *** **** *** *** **** **** **** ** those *-**** ******* *** **** **** ****** *** *-**** ******* (i.e., **% *-**** ** **% *-****).

******, *** **** ************** ******* ***** ****** ** ***** *********:

Terrible *******

******* ******* ***** *** **** ***** ***** *******, ** ********* element *** * ******** ******** ********.

****** ** ****** *** *** ******** ** ***** *** ********* speak ** * ****** ********. **** ********* ** *** **** better:

  • "******** ******** *******. **** ***** ******* ** ******* **."
  • "** ******* ***'* **** *** *** ******** ******* ** ********* and **** ****."
  • "* **** ****** **** ******** ******* *** **** **** ******** as ** *** *** ****** ** *******"
  • "* ******** **** ****** **** *** ****, ** ** ****** week, *** ******** ******* ******* **** *** **** ** *******."
  • "* **** ***** * **** *** * ***** ** *** phone **** ****. **** ****** ** ******** *** ******* ***********. They **** ******* ** ** **** ** ******** ******* *** nothing **** ****."
  • "* **** ***** ** ***** ******* ******* ***** *** **** had *****, **** ** ***** ******, ****** ** ******* **** time. ******** ** * *****-**. *** ******** ** "** *** happy ** **** ** **** ** **** **** ******* *** a ***********." ******* ******* ****** ******* ** ** ***** ** difficult ** ***** **** ****** ** ******* *** *****."

Google / **** *******

**** ********** ***** ****** / **** ****** ** **** ******* integrate / ****** ** ***** ***** ********.

*** *******:

  • "**** *** ******* *** ****** ** ****** *** ******* *** camera **** *** ***** ** ****** **** **** ***** (*** Fencing). ***** ******** ** ** *** *** ****/**** ******* ** the **** ********** ** *** ** ******** ** *** **** Cam **** *** ****** / ******* ***** **** *** **** to **** ** *** ******" **** *** ******** ********** ** reviewers.
  • "*** **** **** ****** ******* ** *** ****** ***, ****** or ****** * ****** **** ** **** **** *******. * got ** ***** ********* ****** ** ****** **** ****** ******** (it *** *******) ** * ****** ** *** ***** ** add *** *** ***********. * **** ******** ******** *** **** Firefox *** ******* ***** ****. ** * ****** **** ***** and *** **** *'* **** ** *** ******, ** * tried ** ** ** ****** ***** *** ****** *********."
  • "***** ******* **** *** **** ********** ** ******** ******** (**) or ******* *** **** **** ** ********* ** ****** **. They **** *** **** * **** ** *** ******."
  • "*** ************* ******* **** ***** ** **** ** ** ******* app *** *** ** ** ****'* ******."

Repeat ********* ******

*****, **** ** ***** **** ***** *********, *** *** **** buying ******** *** *** **** *** ***** *** ***** *** upset, *** ** * *********** ** *** ******** *******, **** features *** ****** *********:

  • "******* *** *** ******* ** * **** *******. ** *** easy ** ***, ***** ** *** **, *** * ***** to ******. ****, ** ****** *****! * ****** *** (*) Nest **** *** *** **** **** *** *** **** **** disgusted"
  • "** **** * ******* *** **** ** ****. ***** ************ that **** ****** ** * ***** **** ****. * ****** with *** ***** *******, *** ** *** *** **** ********** is *** ******. *** *** ***** ******* ** **** *** turn *** *** ******. **** ****** *****'* ** ****, ** I *** ****** *** ***, ***** ***."
  • "* **** ********* *** ******* **** **** *******"
  • "* ** ** ************ ** **** ****** ******. * **** had * ******* *** *** **** * **** *** *** been **** ***** **** **."
  • "* **** ** ******* *** **** *** ****** **** *** up. *** ****, *** ** ** *** ******* **'* *** an *******, *** * *********! **** ** *** ******** * used ** ** ******* **** ******* **** **** *** ****** such ** ***** *************, ********-***** *******, *** ******* ** ***** your ****** **** ****** ******* ****** ** ****** *** *** ability ** ********* ** ****** *******"

Complaints ***** ********* **** ******** ******

****** **** ** *** ************* *** **** *** **** ***, the ********** ***** ****** ** *** ** *** ****** ** recorded ***** **** ** ** ********:

  • "*** **** ** *** *** ** ***** $**/***** ** **** the **** ***** ************. ********* **** ** * ********* (*********) webcam. **** ***** * ** *** **** ***** ** ***, so *** ***'* *** ** *** *** ****** *** "*************" really ** ***** **********. ***** *** ***** $***/**** **** **** purchasing ********."
  • "**** ****** **** **** ****** **** ***** ** ** *********** useless ******* ***** ******* ************. * *** ********* **** * ***** be **** ** ****** *** ******* **** ********* * "****** Alert" **** ****-*****, *** **** ** *** *** ****. ** you ** *** *** ** ** ***** $**/*****, *** *** a ****-****-******. *** **** ***** ******* ****** *** ***** ******, you **** **** ** ****** ** *** **** ****** ****."
  • "**'* ********* ****** *** *** *** ***** ************ ** $*** or $*** * ****. *'** ** ********* ** **** **** capable ****** *** ***** *** **** ***** ***** **** *******."
  • "************* **** ****** ** ****** ********* ****** *** *** *** the $** * ***** ************."
  • "** ****** ** ***'* **** **** *** **** ****** *** JUST ********. ** *'** *** ** ***** ** ** ***** from *** **** *** **** ****** *** ********, *'** ***** the *****, *** ******* *** **** **** **** **** ******* to **** **** ** *** ** *** ** ****** **** of **** ****** *** *****."

******, *** **** *** ******** ****** ***** ~$*** ***, ***** is ** *** **** *** ** *** ****** *** ******** cube ** *******.

Big ******* *** ***********

****** / ****'* **** ******* *** ****** ** **** ******* integrate ** **** *** ****** ********* **** ******* ****** *** momentum ** *** ****** ******** ********.

********, *** **** ** *** ****** ** ******** ** *** now ***** *** ******** ******* **** ******* ******* ***** / access ** **** *** ** ******* ***** ******.

** *** **** **** *** ****** / **** ***, **** of ***** ********* **** ****** ********* * ***** ******** ** far, *** **** ** **** ** ****** *******. ****, ***** this ** * ***** *** ******* ****** ***** ****** *** take ********* ** ** **** ********* ** ****** ** ********* recurring *****, ***** *** ******** ** ****** ****** ** **** open ***.

Comments (29)

Get a Canary....no fee....monitors temp and humidity....1080 camera !

$250......

We tested Canary a few months back and found that it performed pretty well. Setup was just about as easy as Dropcam/Nestcam, the app was easy to use, and image quality was good. And like you said, the temp/humidity/air quality sensors are nice, as is the built in siren.

At the time it didn't allow for download, but they've since remedied that. And there is no search other than simply scrolling through the timeline, which makes it a bit of a pain to find older events. They also have no web interface, which Nest does.

It's not a bad alternative, but their advertising hasn't been particularly strong and I think a lot of consumers simply don't know it exists.

We have two Canaries (from the original crowdfunding) in continuous operation. Setup and operation are simple and useful.

This particular note on the Nest Cam caught my eye.

"By itself it won't even show you what motion was JUST detected. So I'll get an alert on my phone from the Nest app that motion was detected, I'll swipe the alert, and usually the live feed will take minutes to load with no way to see 20 second clip of what caused the alert."

This limitation would completely eliminate the usefullness of this type of camera to me. We use this feature constantly for pet monitoring.

Canary is an almost invisible product market-wise. It also has no hooks such as for IFTTT (at least so far). Too bad.

BTW, the siren is disconcerting loud - as it should be. I do wish the air quailty readotu was more quantitative - but maybe I am too much in geek land.

Nest should have acquired Canary. ;)

I keep getting messages from Nest to upgrade the app from my old Dropcam app to the new Nest app that state something along the lines of "the new NEST app does not have some of the functionality of the existing Dropcam app, but.." So yeah, I am not "upgrading" anytime soon!

Google technically no longer owns / controls Nest, as of this afternoon.

This is not a joke, but they have created a new company, called Alphabet, that will own and control Google and other companies, such as Nest, as individual subsidiaries.

From the NY Times article on it, here is a breakdown of Alphabet's organization:

The Google founders declared, "the whole point is that Alphabet companies should have independence and develop their own brands." On the other hand, those 'companies' will still report to the same basic owners, the Google founders.

Well that's unexpected.

Google technically no longer owns / controls Nest, as of this afternoon.

still doesn't remove enough of the creepy feeling of google watching me to convince me to take the dropcam off the shelf and put it into use at our office...

And I suspect the increasing negative connotation of Google's power plays a role in their emphasis on multiple 'independent' brands.

Dropcam doesn't have a google problem, it has Nest and more specifically a Tony Fadell problem.

Alphabet.com is a BMW-owned automobitive fleet management company. So maybe that's the next aquisition? I mean the whole company, not just the domain.

Negative. It's https://abc.xyz/

Larry Paige stepping down as CEO also.

The pessimist says that it is being done to insulate mother Google from the volatility that an owning an incubator typically has.

In addition, with this new structure we plan to implement segment reporting for our Q4 results, where Google financials will be provided separately than those for the rest of Alphabet businesses as a whole.

To be clear, Paige is stepping down as CEO of Google but will be CEO of Alphabet, which will still own / operate / control all subsidiaries including Google, Nest, etc.

Well they have a sense of humour anyhow. .xyz is very close to HBO series Silicon Valley Hooli.xyz company strategy...the series is worth watching

Presumably abc.xyz implies the whole alphabet from a to z....

What they do with the initiative, remains to be seen.

There is actually an easter egg in the Alphabet announcement related to this:

1. go to http://abc.xyz

2. Scroll to the 8th paragraph ("Sergey and I are seriously..")

3. Click on the '.' that punctuates the second sentence (ending in "our drone delivery effort")

..it takes you to a site http://www.hooli.xyz/#inspiration

Good info. I was actually thinking of purchasing a few Nest Cams for my mom's house. Now I'll wait.

I'm also wondering when the market will be flooded with Chinese versions of the same, but for half the price. $129 a camera, while reasonable, seems high for the residential space.

"$129 a camera, while reasonable, seems high for the residential space."

Actually Nest is $199, so yes, there is a lot of room for many competitors to undercut them on price, both for hardware and for ongoing recording / alerts.

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Sorry for the customers, glad to see the mythology of Google's perfection is again under discussion.

This is a really good analysis. Fair disclosure, as I am on their Board, but I think the most interesting, fastest growing, and highest reviewed IoT video product on Amazon, right now is Ring (Ring.com). Their UI, setup process, battery/low-power options go well beyond Dropcam, and though generally thought of a "smart" doorbell, they are well positioned to emerge as the new leader in the IoT camera space as well.

Steve, how are they positioned to emerge as new leader in the camera space? They sell the doorbell/camera and an add-on chime for it, correct? They don't do standard indoor or outdoor cameras, do they?

Ethan, I can't really comment on the company's roadmap but the device as it stands today works very well as both a doorbell and an indoor/outdoor video device with the recent launch of their cloud recording option. When not being used as a doorbell, a Ring can use combination of IR and video analytics to function well in light/shadow and its low voltage and battery options mean it can be mounted where a Dropcam can't...sometimes for months without a recharge.

Steve, I like the Ring product a lot, it seems quite solid and could add a lot to a larger system like Alarm.com. But it seems like another point product that wants to be a company.

I stoped by the Ring booth at ISC and was confused as to why they wasted so much money on a big booth only to tell people they had no plans to support the pro market or channel sales (other than Amazon.) Did not seem to be a wise use of investor funds. Perhaps they just wanted to be next to Nest booth and let some google gold rub off ;-)

These one product companies seem to always have the same business plan Burn cash till you sell to a bigger company or bust.

I will continue to keep an eye on them as they clearly have some solid product talent.

To be honest, I suspected they bought that booth because they were trying to get Nest to notice them and acquire them. So far, it doesn't seem to have worked!

This one oCO, I saw and tested the online version today. I will have to say, it is pretty easy to operate. The first year of storage is free and after a year, the fees are not too bad. http://getoco.com/us/

Mark, thanks, I had not seen oCo before, it appears to be a division of iVideon who we profiled here - Russian VSaaS Startup Claims Massive Growth.

It's 1 year free but 1 day of recording only. It's better than no days free but that should be noted.

I saw the oCo camera last week, but had not read up on it yet. It seems like every one of these on the consumer side is copying the dropcam model, but not improving on either the software or hardware, so the value proposition is confusing..., On the flip side, the enterprise people seem able to build a decent piece of hardware, yet the software seems to be a very difficult piece to solve for them.

New article: We're hearing about troubles at Nest, the smart-home company Google bought for $3.2 billion: "Nest had an internal culture where it was "always crunch time" because of unrealistic deadlines and a hierarchical management structure."

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 on Consumer

ADT And 'The Defenders' Silent About Massive Complaints on Feb 14, 2019
ADT's largest dealer, "The Defenders" has been the subject of a massive number of complaints over many years and many forums, most recently a CBS...
Surging Wyze Raises $20 Million, Threat To Chinese Brands on Feb 01, 2019
The Seattle Startup that is disrupting consumer IP cameras with $20 pricing has just raised $20 million dollars (SEC Filing and company press...
Bad: Dahua Villa Video Doorbell Tested on Jan 11, 2019
Doorbells are one of the hottest segments in the residential market but Dahua's Villa Video Doorbell is the worst we have tested.   We bought and...
Worst Products Tested In Past Year on Jan 09, 2019
IPVM has done over 100 tests in the past year. But which products performed the worst? Which ones should users be most aware of? In this report,...
The Battle For The VSaaS Market Begins 2019 - Alarm.com, Arcules, Eagle Eye, OpenEye, Qumulex, Verkada, More on Jan 02, 2019
2019 will be the year that VSaaS finally becomes a real factor for professional video surveillance. While Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS)...
Dahua Lorex White Light Camera Tested on Dec 20, 2018
IP cameras with integrated white light LEDs are a growing trend, led by most notably Hikvision ColorVu. While the Hikvision models are not...
Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference 2018 Review - ADT, Resideo, Alarm.com, Arlo, Eagle Eye, ACRE, More on Dec 14, 2018
Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference is an event matching industry executives with financiers that frequently leads to future funding...
ADT Wins Fire Death Suit But Faces Appeal on Dec 05, 2018
ADT/Protection 1 has won a wrongful death court case in which it was sued by the estate of a deceased customer. However, the attorney for the...
Wyze Explosive Growth Disrupting Consumer IP Camera Market on Oct 30, 2018
Wyze, a company founded only in 2017, is poised to disrupt the consumer IP camera market by combining American marketing and Chinese manufacturing...
ADI's Financials Revealed + W-Box Growth Priority on Oct 15, 2018
  ADI is one of the most powerful distributors in the security industry but how big are they? How much profit do they make? How much do they sell...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Silicon Valley Cybersecurity Insurance Startup Coalition Profile on Mar 20, 2019
Many industry people believe cybersecurity insurance is not worth it, as the voting and debate in our Cybersecurity Insurance For Security...
Covert IP Camera Shootout - Axis, Hanwha, Hikvision, March, Vivotek on Mar 20, 2019
Covert cameras were one of the last holdout areas for analog cameras. However, in the past few years, IP / HD covert cameras have become...
Top Metrics For Ensuring Integrator Profitability - Statistics on Mar 20, 2019
How do integrators ensure the profitability of their projects? As part of our profitability study, 100+ integrators answered the following...
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...

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