The dropcam surveillance camera was already about as user-friendly as could be, now it’s added high-definition video and two-way audio to its arsenal of awesomeness. The previous model, Dropcam Echo rolled out in 2010, was presented as an affordable ($279, $199 direct) home surveillance system. Like the Echo Dropcam’s new camera, Dropcam HD, connects through Wi-Fi and works through Dropcam apps for iPhone and Android so you can stream video to your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android phone, and even a Kindle Fire tablet. The apps are free, but if you want to record the footage Dropcam offers a cloud-based DVR service. The $9.99/month plan allows up to 7 days of continuous recording with time-stamped motion and audio alerts. Because the data is recorded on Dropcam’s servers you don’t have to use valuable hard drive space to store video, which comes in handy given that the new camera has a 720p HD resolution, 16 times the resolution of Dropcam Echo. Storing videos in the cloud also allows users to log into the Dropcam network and review their videos from anywhere. You can keep the footage you want just by specifying date and start time and the length of time you want to save. New video recordings automatically erase old ones from offsite storage so you don’t have to do it manually. Email notifications are sent when the camera detects motion within its field so you don’t have to sift through hours of footage like a convenience store video rewind. And because Dropcam HD is powered by AC, you can potentially record your back patio 24/7.
Another feature added to Dropcam HD are twelve infrared LEDs that give it night vision for full 24-hour surveillance. Speakers have been added to so, together with the camera’s microphone, you can hear what’s going on and talk back. Who needs an iPad2 to Skype from anywhere?
Dropcam has also miniaturized the camera. It’s new circular plastic chassis fits into a wall bracket that gives it more pivot than the Echo had. And the small camera can be removed from the bracket and placed in a concealed location to make sure the babysitter isn’t pocketing the family silver.
In the following video CNET talks with Dropcam CEO Greg Duffy at CES 2012 about Dropcam HD.
Cameras such as dropcam are the perfect hardware to accompany video 2.0. Sites like Hulu and On Demand cable features mean you watch what you want, when you want. And YouTube revolutionized personal video. People can now instantly self-publish and share their videos, opening up an online dialogue in the form of comments, sharing and editing. Gone are the days of static content – Internet videos are works in progress. With its Wi-Fi connectivity and ease of use, Dropcam HD is the perfect “appware” to make creating videos as easy as sharing them.