For those who know me you already know that I use the Spotcam Cloud Security Camera system, I was originally sent a model to review and then I bought a 2nd one to add it to my line up so I had multiple camera’s covering my home. The reason I had to have cloud security is simple, I need to record and monitor events that happen in front of my house. My parking spot is in front of my house and last year at night a car or truck drove into our community and crashed into my bumper and left, I never discovered who did it though I suspected the person delivering the paper route and I didn’t have any camera at the time. This was a costly repair, a monitoring camera pointed at my car would have helped capture when and what hit my car. The second is that delivery packages often get thrown over the gate, or people can show up on my property unannounced and being able to capture and keep track of that is always beneficial in case I need it.
I subscribe to the SpotCam 1 day cloud monitoring service and had been using the motion alerts where appropriate, sound alerts were often getting triggered from my kids inside the home being so loud they triggered the sound alerts so motion alerts was where I found the most benefit. When I go on vacation I sometimes enable to motion siren alarm on the Spotcam Sense Pro which not only sends you an alert but triggers a very loud alarm which can alert the neighborhood if it detects motion. This is particularly good for monitoring doorways or windows where nothing should cause motion unless it was someone trying to enter your home. But sometimes wild animals or if you left your pets at home they can trigger the siren so make sure it really is for spots that should be dead quiet and have no motion detected or it should trigger a loud siren.
Showing off the Siren Alarm on Spotcam Sense Pro Security Camera
Recently Spotcam announced they released a Video AI service which used AI to actually interpret what was being captured and be able to create more detailed triggers and alerts based on a larger set of criteria.
These include a set of indoor monitoring AI services like Missing Object, where the AI learns the objects in the video and alerts you if something goes missing as one example. Pet detection which is used specifically to catch your pet in the act doing something, like jumping on the bed, getting up on counters…etc. And finally, Fall detection for monitoring a staircase or area’s where someone may be prone to falling and send an alert immediately if one is detected.
They also include a set of outdoor monitoring AI services including Virtual Fence, Car Detection, and Human Detection. Spotcam gave me a trial of the Human Detection so that I could see how it works and report whether it provided more benefit that standard motion detection.
Here is a Video Review of the Spotcam Video AI Human Detection Service
With the Video AI service by Spotcam you can get notified via email or text messages when the specific AI match is triggered rather than just generic motion and sound alarms. For example I don’t care about cars driving by my house, but I will want to be more observant when people walk by my house. I setup an email notification for testing and sure enough if a human is detected, a trigger alert is sent off notifying me that a human was detected by the Spotcam Video AI service.
Now, it really does help and ignore all the cars that drive by and only trigger for humans, but it is funny when my kid and I both trigger the human detection alarms and I get notified while leaving or entering the house. I would like to see the video AI service have some sort of facial or recognition where you could train it to learn and ignore if your own face is detected. I would also like that it be smart enough to roll back and snapshot the video at it’s clearest moment when the person’s face or body is centered, like analyze some footage before and after the detection to find the best and most clear shot to send in the alert. I mean sure once you get the alert you can easily go back and watch the seconds before and after to get the details you need, but since it is AI and you are paying a monthly fee for the service it would have been nicer to include these additional features.
Overall each service by itself is expensive and I see it more for monitoring a business shop, I can’t see at the price of both the cloud storage and the video AI service to be overly needed for casual users where only the motion or sound detection are all that is needed. They have some cool benefits and features, but primarily I would use them if you are overly concerned and need the additional monitoring and detection level which I actually do for my house. Spotcam told me they are creating an Outdoor and Indoor package that will combine AI services and make them discounted at a bundle which will probably provide more benefit.
The other thing is that you have to add the Video AI service to each Spotcam separately if you have multiple spot cam camera’s, this of course can be very expensive if you run multiple and wanted to use say human detection for 2 or 3 camera’s instead of just one. It would be nice if they could bundle all camera’s included that are joined to your myspotcam dashboard in my opinion, especially at the monthly rates that they cost. The Spotcam Sense however is still one of my favorite cloud security camera’s and highly recommended, Spotcam includes 24 hour of video storage for free for buying the Spotcam, so you only need to buy a storage subscription if you want to upgrade to 3 or 7 day video storage. With the alerts in place, you normally should be able to just handle and download/record/save anything you find within the past 24 hours without needing longer storage unless you were going on vacation and needed more time recorded and stored.