Ex Googler Startup, Camio, Targets Surveillance

By: John Honovich, Published on Dec 04, 2013

A team of former Google engineers are targeting the surveillance market with a startup focusing heavily on analytics and search. In this note, we examine Camiolog's product positioning, comparing it traditional surveillance and rival new entrants like Dropcam.


Camiolog is a service that processes and records video in the cloud. The main differentiators are (1) performing video analytics automatically on all incoming video and (2) a search optimized user interface.

Roughly speaking, Camiolog is like 3VR, Briefcam and Siri combined. Camiolog uses thumbnails, generated and sorted based on advanced motion detection, color recognition and zones. It creates synopses, which they call 'camios' that are video/image series summarizing the key activities over a period of time. Finally, in their mobile app, voice commands can be used to find relevant video (e.g., "Show me Tuesday front red interesting motion events").

Service Review

The image below shows a series of thumbnails filtered to specific events:

Unlike almost all video systems, the focus here is on search with minimal options for live monitoring.

Instead, they add features like zones, where motion detection areas can be labelled, like so:

These labels (driveway, walkway, lawn) are what enable users to do google / siri like searches. The system does not know what a 'lawn' is but it has a record that maps your entry for 'lawn' to a specific zone on a specific camera (compare to ipConfigure's similar approach).

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Additionally, the system automatically catalogs colors. Here's two of their marketing examples:

Of course, in these two, the white and blue trucks are much different colors that the surrounding scene. Something green or grey would have more difficulty with matching accurately.

Here's a short video clip that shows the whole search process in action, from typing in a free form query to reviewing results:

Additionally, the same process can be used to set up alerts / notifications for events that match specific queries / parameters.

Cameras Supported

Camiolog supports plug and play connectivity from Sharx [link no longer available] (1 indoor model at $199, 1 outdoor model at $349). 3rd party cameras are supported though one needs to manually set up integration via FTP or HTTP (see multi-step Axis process [link no longer available]).


The service is targeted at residential / consumer users and costs $16.50 per month. There is no per camera fee but it is restricted to cameras at a single site and only motion triggered video of certain sizes.

Additionally, a free Web cam option is useful for trying out the system and can also be used for basic monitoring. Also, a free plan allows for live viewing and 8 snapshots per hour from a web cam, but without the analytics, it does not have much use.

Competitive Positioning

Camiolog sees its core competitive advantage in search - the ability to quickly find meaningful results in lots of videos. In this video, they make the case of why their approach is far better than traditional surveillance as well as Dropcam:

The main problem we see is that search is not a core need for most surveillance users. Even for commercial / enterprise users, this is not the case. I found this personally when I was at 3VR and the ongoing struggles of companies like 3VR and Briefcam to become major players further validates this challenge. And with consumers, it is even harder to imagine that search will be such a driving factor.

By contrast, Dropcam's adoption is clearly driven by its ease of setup and use (as we have shown in our test reports). This has always been a huge challenge for consumers and SMB who overwhelmingly have no idea how to setup FTP, HTTP, port forwarding, etc. We expect the consumer surveillance market to continue to be driven by providers who make it easy to buy and deploy their products. Very few will choose a more complicated buying / setup process for greater video intelligence.

At the same time, what Camiolog is doing on a technical level is pretty amazing. To deliver advanced VMD, color analytics, synopses, natural language search and voice activated commands for less than $20 per month, no server required, is groundbreaking. However, positioned at the residential market as is, it faces significant challenges in achieving product / market fit.

All that noted, it is promising to see a team of engineers developing real technology that may eventually evolve / mature into something more productive to regular users.


See Camio Cloud Video Test Results

Comments (20) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Phone Camera Calculator Released on Mar 10, 2020
IPVM has released the first-ever Phone Calculator, video surveillance design software that you can use on your phone, without installing an...
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...
ROG Security - Cloud AI For Remote Monitoring on Jan 28, 2020
ROG Security is offering cloud-based AI analytics to remote guard companies, by touting having "nothing to install" to "add virtual guards." We...
Apple Acquires XNOR.ai, Loss For The Industry on Jan 16, 2020
Apple has acquired XNOR.ai for $200 million, reports GeekWire. This is a loss for the video surveillance industry. XNOR.ai stunned the industry...
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...
nFlux AI Startup Profile on Oct 28, 2019
nFlux, an Amazon, Google, and Microsoft funded AI startup told IPVM their mission is to build the most intelligent video analytics platform in the...
Ivideon Russian VSaaS Profile on Jun 27, 2019
Ivideon was an early VSaaS entrant, initially focusing on the consumer market, claiming massive growth to IPVM in 2014. We spoke to Ivideon, to...
Startup Vaion Launching End-to-End AI Solution Backed with $20 Million Funding on Jun 17, 2019
An EU / USA video surveillance startup, Vaion, founded by ex-Cisco Senior Directors is launching an end-to-end VSaaS platform with $20 million in...
Startup Rhombus Systems Says Twice the Features, Half the Price of Verkada on Jun 04, 2019
Closed cloud systems may be the fastest growing segment of video surveillance with Meraki and Verkada. Now another California company is joining...
AI Video Tester Released on Apr 02, 2019
IPVM has released the world's first AI video tester that lets you see how various AI models (including from Amazon, Google, Microsoft and YOLO)...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Wyze Raises $10 Million And Seeks Services Expansion on May 27, 2020
Wyze has raised $10 million, the company's first disclosed raise since the $20 million announced at the beginning of 2019. Inside this note,...
Startup Videoloft Presents Cloud Storage on May 27, 2020
Videoloft presented offsite cloud storage at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. A 30-minute video from Videoloft including IPVM...
Directory of 250+ Fever Camera News Reports Globally on May 27, 2020
This global directory tracks 250+ articles about thermal cameras used to detect fevers in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Articles are...
Integrators Rising Against Coronavirus on May 27, 2020
IPVM integrator statistics make it clear - Coronavirus's impact on business is lessening and many are anticipating even better news in weeks...
Netposa Stock Surges 46% After US Human Rights Abuse Sanctions on May 27, 2020
Last Friday, the US government announced it would sanction PRC video management provider NetPosa for being "complicit in human rights violations...
LILIN Presents NDAA-Compliant P2 Cameras on May 26, 2020
Merit LILIN presented its NDAA-compliant P2 camera series at the April 2020 IPVM New Products show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video...
ZKTeco Body Temperature and Mask Detection Reader Tested on May 26, 2020
While dedicated fever cameras emerged first, now tablet/kiosk fever detectors are ramping up. China's ZKTeco has been aggressively promoting such...
IDIS Presents 12MP IR Panoramic Fisheye on May 26, 2020
IDIS presented its 12MP IR panoramic fisheye camera at the April 2020 IPVM New Products show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video from...
FDA Defines Correct Operation of "Fever Cameras" on May 26, 2020
The US FDA has now defined the correct operation of "Thermal Imaging Systems", colloquially known as "fever cameras". Many in video...
OnSSI Founders Return, Start Corsight on May 25, 2020
The OnSSI founders are back, less than 2 years after selling OnSSI to Qognify, they have returned to Corsight, a spin-out of an Israeli AI...