Startup: Blink Sells A Million of New Security Camera Tech

By: John Honovich, Published on Sep 05, 2014

A semiconductor company has launched its own security camera offering, selling over $1 million from a crowdfunding campaign that it bills as "the first ultra-affordable, totally wire-free smart HD home monitoring and alert system."

Despite the hype, the architecture has a number of key weaknesses. In this note, we break them down including comparisons to Google Dropcam and Netgear VueZone.

* ************* ******* *** launched *** *** ******** camera ********, ******* **** $1 ******* **** ************* ******** **** ** ***** as "*** ***** *****-**********, totally ****-**** ***** ** home ********** *** ***** system."

******* *** ****, *** architecture *** * ****** of *** **********. ** this ****, ** ***** them **** ********* *********** to ****** ******* *** Netgear *******.

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

Blink **********

************* ** ******** ******* and, ** *****, *** base ******* (****** **** Modules) ** **** **********.

*** *** *** *************** are:

  • *****'* ***** **** ** ******** a '**** **** ** battery ****', *********** *** need ** *** ***** cables ** *** ******.
  • *** ******* ****  (~$** per ******, ***) *** no ******* ******* **** (free ****** ******).

****'* ***** ***** *****:

Key **********

*** ******** / ******* based ******** *** * number ** ******** *** weaknesses:

  • ** ********** *********
  • ******* ****** ***** ********* based ** *** *********
  • ****** ** ******** ** record *** *********** ** missing ***** ******
  • ******* ******* ******* ******* ******** battery (**** ~* ***** hours ** ***** ******** projected *** **** / battery)
  • **** ***** **** *********** (*** company ** ***** ******** what **** ** **** to *** / *******, however, **** ******* ************* more *****, * ******* with *********)

****** ****, ******** ***** could ** ** *****, as *** ****** ** minimize ***** ********** *****. Blink ********* ***' ** range *** ************ **** need ** ** **** testing ** **** ***** environments, ***** *****, ************ and ***** ******** ******* *** reduce ********.

Compared ** ****** ******* - ***** *** *******

*** *** *** ********** that ***** *** **** Dropcam ** *********** ** power ****** *** ***** cost (*******'* ****** **** is $*** ** $*** per ****** **** $** per ***** ******* *** recording).

*******, *** **** *******, Dropcam ****** ********** *********, ability ** ****** ****** your ****** *** ** long ** *** ****, no ******* ***** ********* batteries, ******** ***** **** *****.

*** ******* ** **** Blink, **** **** **** to ** ******* ** sacrifice **** ***** ******** and **** **** ****** be ****** ** *****'* lower *****.

Compared ** ******* ******* - **** ********, * ***** *****

**** ** ********** ***** Blink ** **** ** is *** **** ***** approach ********* *** (********** *******) **** * ***** ago. *** / ******* offers ******* *******, ******** cameras **** * **** station. ******* $**+ ******* in *******, *** **************** ***** *** *** eventually **** ** *******.

*****, ** ********, ****** deliver ****** ********** (**** vs **) *** ********** lower ****** **** ******* (retailing ** $*** *** a *** ****** / base ******* **). *******, VueZone ****** ****** *** wireless ***** *** ****** the ********* ******* (**** 15 ***** ***** ** battery ****).

Great ** ********

****** *** ***** ** the$* ******* ******* ** the *********** ********, ***** ****** * ton ** ********** *********. With **** *,*** ****** committing *** ******** ** thousands ****** *** ********, this has ******* ***** *** beginnings ** * *****.

******* *********, ** *** generated **** ****** *****, **** ******** in************ ********* *****,*******,******, ***.

*** ******** ******* ****** was **** **** & Co, * ****** ***** for ******* ****** ******, whose ***** ******* *** titled, "*******! ** ********** **** Monitoring ****** **** ******* Will ****," ***** ******* *** a *********. 

Money *** ****** ** ** ******* *****

***** ***** *** * way ** ** ** development (*** *** ********* for ******* ******* ** 8+ ****** ****), ** has *** ********* ** get *****.

*****'* ****** ******* ********* *************, * ************* **** that ********* ****** $** ******* in ******* ****. **** *** ***** their *** **** (***-***) ** ***** ***** camera ******.

******, **** ** ** interesting **** ******, ** Immedia ** ********* **** *** own ******** ****, ** offering ***** *** ****** system. ** ******* ** be **** ** **** represents * *********** ***** of **** ************* ******* end **** ******** ** over ********** ** ********** crowd ******* *********.

Comments (9)

I understand and agree with the authors comparison but may be we are comparing apples and oranges here. Blink and other "complete wireless & budget cameras" are a niche and different category. The average consumer does not need the full video surveilleance of their homes 24 hours a day. We know what is happenning in our homes as most of the time we live in them, and the rest of the time when we are not in our homes the only valuable moment to record is when there is a movement. Our homes are not bank offices or casinos where we need to record every second. So what these cameras are useful for? As an advanced burglar alarm system, when you are leaving your home just set it up in front of your door entrance and it will alert you and give you visual evidence when someone enters. Watching the baby for a short duration of time when you are at work. The advantage of carrying and placing it within any place in your home without wires attached is a huge advantage as well (which dropcam and others lack)

So I believe these products will be more common, with more added features may be, such as noise alarms (baby cry or glass break), temperature sensors, air humidity and air quality sensors, etc.

I dont think they should be named as cameras as well, they are compact home monitoring systems in my opinion.

"Blink and other "complete wireless & budget cameras" are a niche and different category."

No. The other complete wireless & budget cameras, whether from Dropcam, or Dropcam's clones, or D-Link or whomever, all support continuous recording, unlimited live viewing, etc.

"The average consumer does not need the full video surveillance of their homes 24 hours a day."

Agreed but Blink and VueZone do not stop someone who wants to watch it 24 hours a day, they stop it for someone who wants to watch it 6 minutes a day.

Ultimately, I think this has a market but the initial hype is going to come down quick, when end users realize the tradeoffs involved and competitive offerings that are out there.

Also perhaps we can think of them as advanced visual sensors that will be part of Internet of Things. May be in the future we will have even smaller cameras inside our fridges to check what is missing in the fridge (using cloud based video analytics) and send this data to us as shopping lists (or directly order them online) If they can be sold for 50 USD now, in 5 years the price can go down to 10 USD, and then they will be everywhere.

Compact, no wires attached, re-usable at different locations wherever we like. Perhaps in the future IP cameras will be used for more about sensor information (for visual analytics) rather than for security.

This is a great option for new construction areas. Just move them when done.

Construction is an interesting use case. Note: They are not outdoor rated. At some point in the future, if this progresses, it will be but that's some time away.

Maybe I chose the wrong words... I mean more on the renovation side. Home flips, etc.

They have added on-board USB Storage. Since doing this, I wonder if they plan to add the option of recording 24/7. With external storage, this would beat Dropcam Pro when it comes to the amount of cameras in a house with the average home internet upload bandwidth. But again, I have not tested this product myself yet. When it comes to tech products like these...never believe anything they say and draw conclusions when you test the product yourself.

The main complaint about Dropcam is the always on 24/7 recording or no recording as your choice.

"But again, I have not tested this product myself yet."

Since the product is just a prototype, that's understandable ;)

Even with on-board storage, the problem is that the camera needs to be on to send video and when its on, it chews through the limited battery. Regardless of where the storage is, it does not seem to solve the big limitation, running on batteries. Am I missing something?

They just need to create a "power plug" one and a battery powered one. Then they would really have something even with a slightly less qaulity image than Dropcam.

I find it shocking that these Tech companies can never come out with a solution with simple features that the average joe wants. Dropcam has no local storage and records 24/7 or no recording. Companies like Beam and Netgear are only battery powered with no option to get a "power plug" version. Crazy!

I know you tested Foscam about 3 years ago. But have you tested their Dropcam like camera (HD Version), but with local storage (Mainly for homes)? I tried to get information from them a month or 2 ago... but they don't seem that great at wanting to help out. Most valuable information is from 3rd party forums. Everything I see online always uses their 720 camera but not their 960. (Blue Iris is probably the main downfall)

How about the Belkin Netcam? I'm not a big Belkin fan, however, I do like the Belkin WeMo Lighswitch.

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