Simplicam Facial Recognition Tested

By: Derek Ward, Published on Jan 23, 2015

Facial recognition, available for $150?

That's the offer from a startup, Simplicam, who has not only cloned Dropcam setup and user interface but has added in facial detection and recognition.

In this report, we share our test findings of Simplicam, matched up against Dropcam:

In particular, we examine Simplicam's key differentiator, facial detection and recognition.

  • How often does the camera miss registered users?
  • Does it mistake one user for the other and why?
  • How will angle affect recognition?
  • ****** ***********, ********* *** $150?

    ****'* *** ***** **** a *******,*********, *** *** *** **** cloned ******* ***** *** user ********* *** *** added ** ****** ********* and ***********.

    ** **** ******, ** share *** **** ******** of *********, ******* ** against *******:

    ** **********, ** ******* Simplicam's *** **************, ****** detection *** ***********.

    • *** ***** **** *** camera **** ********** *****?
    • **** ** ******* *** user *** *** ***** and ***?
    • *** **** ***** ****** ***********?

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

    Key ********

    **** *** *** *** findings **** *** *****:

    ****

    • ** *** **** ******* but ***'* ********** ** ***** **** home ************ *****, ********* *** ************ copied *** *** *** setup *** **** ********* elements. ** ***** ****** like ** ***.
    • ********* *** ***** * thumbnail / ***** **** view (**** ******* **** not ****) ***** ***** it ****** ** ****** recorded *****. *******, *** thumbnails *** ******** ** it *** ** **** to *** ******* ******.
    • ****** ********* (*.*., *********** a **** *** *** a ******** ******) ****** ~90% ** *** **** when ****** **** ****** towards *** ******.

    ****

    • ********* ********** ******** ******** **** about **% ** *** time, ******* ***** ********* within ************ *************** (~*.*' ******** height, ~*-*' ** ******).
    • ***** *** ******'* **** angle (***°) *** ***** recognition ***** (*-*'), ** was **** ** *** a **** **** **** without *** ****** *********** walking ** ** *** camera.
    • ******* *** ****** ** ~*' caused further ********* ** ****** recognition ********
    • ******** *********** ****** **** ** recognizing *** ***** ******* only *** ******* *******, mistaking *** **** *** another, ** ********* ** enrolled *****
    • *** *** ********* **** is ***********, ******* ***** to ****** ****** ******* before **** *** ***********.

    ****

    ***********, *********'* ****** *********** is ** ****, ****** available ** *** *********. We ****** **** ** features ** ** ***** but *** ********* ***** how **** ****** *********** performance *** ** ********, especially ***** *** **** wide ***.

    *****

    *** ********* ***** ***$*** ******, *** ********* * recording ****. ********* ***** start ** $**/**** *** one *** *********, $*** for ** **** *********, and $*** *** ** days. ********* ***** *** 40% *** *** ******* beyond *** ***** ***.

    ** $***, *** ********* is $** **** ********* than ********** ***. ******* ****** * day ($**) *** ** day ($***)********* *****.

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

    ***** *********'* **** ****** recognition ********, ** ****** *** be ****** **** ** home ** ********** ********. With ********* ********** ** users, *** **** *****, along **** ****** ******* detections, ******** ***** ********* and ****** *********** *** likely.

    *** ***************-******** **** ***** who *** ***** ** these *********** *** ******* to **** **** ****, the ********* *** ** attractive, *** *** "***" factor, ** **** ** reduction ** ****** ** they *** ******** **** by ****** ***********.

    ** * ******* ***********, Simplicam ** *** ******* we **** ***** ** consumer *******, ** ~$** lower ***** *****. *******, their *********** ********* **** is ******* ** * single *** ** *******, forcing ***** ** ****** pay **** **** ****** ($129 *** ** ****) for ******** *******, ** react ** ****** ******* before ***** ** ***********.

    ******** ********

    *** ********* ** ***** in **** ** *** Dropcam ***, ****** ******** larger ** ***** ********. It *** ** ****** desk/shelf ******* ** **** mounted **** *** ******** wall ****.

    Facial ***********

    *********'* ****** *********** ******** allow ***** ** ****** up ** ** ******, a ~** ****** *******. Once ********, ****** *********** events *** ***** ** the ********* ******** *** event ****, **** ********** faces ********* ** ******** video *** **********. ***** and **** ****** ("**** Doe *** ******** ** 1:38pm") *** **** ** triggered ** **********.

    ********* ********** *** ****** be ******* ***** *-*' high, *** ******** ** no **** **** *-*' away.

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

    ** ****** ********** *********** issues, ***** **** *****:

    *********** ********

    ** **** ****** *****, our ******* *** ******** properly, ***** *-*' **** from *** ******, ***** is ******* ** ***** 5.5' ****. **** *** looking *******, *** *** scene **** *** (~*** lux), *** **** ** clear.

    *******, ** *** **** scene, **** * ****** downward **** **** ******** recognition:

    ******* *** ****** ** ~9' **** ********* *********** rates ** ****, ** about **-**%. 

    ***** ******

    ** ******** ** ****** recognition, *** ****** ********* mistook *** **** *** another, ** ** ************ person ** * ****. This *** ********** ****** when **** **** *******.

    ************, ****** **** ******, the ****** ********* ******** multiple ******, ******* **** one ***** *******. *** overlay ** *** *** left ****** ** *** image ***** ******** ****.

Comments (7)

...now imagine how many failures you'd have in a residential setting, where family resemblance would become a factor.

I would recommend not turning that setting on. That setting is just a selling point with geeks that don't know about security cameras and the true state of video analytics.

We contacted Simplicam support asking what they recommend for enrolling subjects that wear glasses regularly, and they responded with "Enroll them with what they would normally wear on a day to day basis".

We told them of the high missed or incorrect facial recognition detections with subjects enrolled with glasses, and support replied with "Thanks, we were not aware of that. We will look into it more as we move it out of beta".

Simplicam has a major feature that DropCam is completely missing. That main feature, when I tested for 2 weeks, was the Facial Detection (non-human versus human) and alerts. This helped lower the alerts from cats, dogs, cars passing by and from Sun movement. DropCam is a major pain in these areas. With a few Central Stations now offering Video alarms/verification, Simplicam would be more favorable with Central Stations. (Central Stations can get email alerts with clips into their systems now)

Still both DropCam and Simplicam run into problems with residential families with Upload bandwidth when they get more than 1 camera. The average basic High-Speed Upload is around .75 Mbps (+10 -10) in Wisconsin (Download is usually pretty high 13 to 40).

Both of these cameras use 400-500K on average and average 1Mbps with a couple motions at 1 time. More than 1 camera is a great way to make the average residential upload come to a crawl. Mom and Pop Businesses roughly average 1.5 to 3Mbps for upload times and if they go up a tier they usually get 10-20 for upload (Again Download speeds are not a problem)

Residential customers would possibly have to get a little network setup savy if they go with a few cameras due to using cheap residential hardware. They should probably have their own switch and Access Points if they go with 4+ cameras just to prevent possible internal bandwidth jamming (family watches stored movies from NAS and streaming music)

On a side note - SimpliCam has did a great job at Marketing to the Residential Market. Every other day SimpliCam is in my Facebook newsfeed. DropCam was more about viral marketing through various Tech blogs in my opinion.

On a side note - I have two DropCam Pro's and 1 Simplicam and a few other cameras that I have tested. Currently they are all laying around collecting dust, as I really do not have a strong enough need for them. I'm looking for something that stores locally and allows me to view remotely with an app and get alerts. I'm currently testing some cheap Chinese cameras, which look promising so far, with a decent UI and local storage. The User Interface (VMS) usability is important to me, hence why I'm not a fan of the Foscam.

I'm looking for something that stores locally and allows me to view remotely with an app and get alerts.

Have you looked at the iCam360, in this thread?

I have not tested this cam yet. It seems to lack video management. It records and stores, however it does not have a management system.

As a long term advocate of usage FR within CCTV I can just repeat my point: use the right tool for the right purpose. I did not test this product but it is obviously does not fit with the used test scenario. From the first view it can be substitute for cases where people now use web cameras: cooperative, close range identification or even better verification.

FR cannot provide with the same level of accuracy as for example iris or vein pattern recognition. But so far it is the only modality that can provide with the result on a distance. If your customer has watchlist bigger than 100 suspects it is just impossible to expect to recognize them manually (security officers with this ability are already in a CIA). For example, a project where the watch list consists of 2K suspects, throughput is around 100 - 300 people per hour, the user gets up to 100 alerts per day and on average only 15% of them are true match. The hardware and software are top notch, the watchlist material is pretty bad but it is usual thing. At the same time the customer is satisfied. Why? Because they get something instead of nothing. They can manage the load of their staff and get predictable results in a long term run.

So, use the right tool for the right purpose and get benefits from the biometrics.

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 Startup

ZeroEyes Gun Detection Startup on Jul 16, 2019
A gun detection video analytics startup, ZeroEyes, is being led by a group of 6 former Navy SEALs, aiming to "save lives" by using AI to assist...
Calipsa - UK AI Startup Profile on Jul 10, 2019
Analytic startups are a major industry trend. One UK company, Calipsa is aiming to use AI to filter out false positive alarms for live video...
2019 Mid-Year Video Surveillance Guide on Jul 01, 2019
IPVM's new 400+ page Mid-Year Industry Guide brings all of these issues and events together in a single resource to read and review. It can be...
Directory of 60 Video Surveillance Startups on Jun 25, 2019
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known. 2019...
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...
Carnegie Mellon AI Startup Zensors Profile on Jun 11, 2019
Zensors is a startup formed by Carnegie Mellon graduates from a Carnegie Mellon research project, offering customized models per camera that they...
Directory of 30+ VSaaS / Cloud Video Surveillance Providers on Jun 07, 2019
This directory provides a list of VSaaS / cloud video surveillance providers to help you see and research what options are available. 2019 State...
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...
OWAL Startup Profile - Ex-Googler Cloud AI Video Platform on May 29, 2019
OWAL, a NYC-based startup developing AI video analytics, is aiming to "improve the quality of life" within high-rise apartments, and commercial...
11 Facial Recognition Providers Review (Secutech) on May 09, 2019
Adding to our 19 Facial Recognition Providers Profiled report from ISC West, IPVM focused on facial recognition technology for our Day 2 coverage...

Most Recent Industry Reports

History of Video Surveillance on Jul 19, 2019
The video surveillance market has changed significantly since 2000, going from VCRs to emerging into an AI cloud era.  The goal of this history...
Mobile Access Usage Statistics 2019 on Jul 18, 2019
The ability to use mobile phones as access credentials is one of the biggest trends in a market that historically has been slow in adopting new...
New GDPR Guidelines for Video Surveillance Examined on Jul 18, 2019
The highest-level EU data protection authority has issued a new series of provisional video surveillance guidelines. While GDPR has been in...
Wyze AI Analytics Tested - Beats Axis and Hikvision on Jul 17, 2019
$20 camera disruptor Wyze has released free person detection deep learning analytics to all of their users, claiming users will "Only get notified...
Anyvision Aims For 2022 Revenue of $1 Billion on Jul 17, 2019
Only 3 video surveillance manufacturers do a billion dollars or more in annual revenue - Hikvision, Dahua, and Axis. Now, Anyvision plans to join...
HD Analog vs IP Guide on Jul 16, 2019
For years, HD resolution and single cable signal/power were IP camera advantages, with analog cameras limited to much lower resolution and...
How To Troubleshoot Wiegand Reader Problems - Inverted Wiring on Jul 16, 2019
Wiegand is the dominant method of connecting access readers, but problems can arise for installers. In fact, one of the most difficult reader...
ZeroEyes Gun Detection Startup on Jul 16, 2019
A gun detection video analytics startup, ZeroEyes, is being led by a group of 6 former Navy SEALs, aiming to "save lives" by using AI to assist...
Motorola Acquires Watchguard, Adds to Vigilant And Avigilon on Jul 15, 2019
2 years ago, Motorola had no position nor relevancy to video surveillance. Now, they own major video surveillance, LPR and body camera providers...
Hikvision Global News Reports Directory on Jul 15, 2019
Hikvision has received the most global news reporting of any video surveillance company, ever, ranging from the WSJ, the Financial Times, Reuters,...

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