Panasonic this week announced the launch of a Nubo, which it claims is the world’s first 4G home monitoring camera.
Consumer awareness of video surveillance and home video monitoring is increasing. Retailers are taking note and network cameras are increasingly present on the shelves and webpages of many stores. IHS forecasts over 11 million consumer and DIY network cameras will be shipped worldwide in 2015.
With the proliferation of standalone network cameras, the category has evolved beyond just security.
Cameras in the home are very much lifestyle products that invoke consumers to regularly check-in at any detected change in environment, whether this is checking if the kids are home from school, or if their pets are okay. The regular events detected by cameras’ sensors or connections with other non-video devices means higher user engagement with the camera.
This can justify potentially lucrative cloud storage add-on fees, which made Dropcam such an attractive buy for Google’s Nest Labs. The active monitoring approach is a stark contrast to the closed circuit (CCTV) analogue camera and DVR systems available in many DIY stores. These systems are traditionally installed and left running until there is an event noticed by the user which requires a video review.
The addition of 4G connectivity of consumer network cameras was a natural progression for the category. What 4G and battery power enables is the further evolution into truly portable home monitoring. Start-up Link-U along with Panasonic’s Nubo are vying to be the first to offer portable home monitoring when shipments start later this year. Nubo’s IP66 rating will allow for use outdoors, an advantage over Link-U and current Dropcam models.
Concepts such as the FLIR FX, which combines a portable home monitoring camera with both a dashboard and action camera, could be a glimpse into another potentially interesting direction for the category.
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