I reviewed GotoCamera (previously called HomeCamera) in a 2008 article, since then the service has grown from strength to strength. This year an important development has taken place in the market, standalone IP WiFi cameras are now available for less than $100. That is, no PC is required, just plug-it in and you’re monitoring whatever matters to you. And critically thanks to GotoCamera its beautifully simple to set up and use with a world-class user experience.
After the initial set up of configuring the WiFi and GotoCamera account on the camera, that is the last you see of the equipment manufacturer’s user interface, my view is the camera manufacturers should just let GotoCamera manage the whole experience. With GotoCamera the experience is slick, secure, and multi-screen. I show below the GotoCamera home screen, the main user page for one of my cameras, the experience on the iPhone for one of my cameras (this one was taken with night vision), and the camera itself. GotoCamera makes monitoring what matters to you slick, easy to use, and can be securely accessed anywhere you have internet connectivity in the world.
For less than $100 the IP wireless camera shown below includes motion control, night vision which comes on automatically, and motion alerts. It is available from the GotoCamera site. The use cases for such a camera are limitless, the night vision enable us to see what the little one is doing in his crib, the motion sensor is great as we can see if he’s escaped from his crib, and the motion control enables us to see what he’s getting up to in his room once he’s escaped. All without having to get out of bed (so he knows we’re awake) or leave the study during his naps.
There are 11 WiFi IP cameras coming on the market through 2012, and critically GotoCamera technology is embedded in most of them. You can buy cameras from different suppliers as you may want a camera for outside and a discrete one in your home, the GotoCamera service works across them all. An analogy to what GotoCamera has achieved is to what Roku devices have done in making Internet TV so easy, GotoCamera has similarly made WiFi Cameras easy to use and they work across most of the devices on the market. If a WiFi camera does not have GotoCamera on it, it’s at a competitive disadvantage.
A key differentiator of the GotoCamera service is they’ve been embraced by most of the wifi IP camera suppliers: D-Link, TP-Link, AirlinkWifi, AV Tech, and others, since they make their products easier to setup and use (no Dynamic Domain Name System, Network Address Translation, and port forwarding) and through advanced video analytics enable things like human detection (instead of just motion detection), pet detection and recording (this is very interesting to pet owners, particularly where the pet is often alone at home on working days). They have global industry recognition being recipients of the 2009 IEC InfoVision Broadband World Forum Award, recognizing them as one of the best applications / services for the ISP (Internet Service Provider) industry. And the Napa Police Department started distributing flyers to their residents encouraging them to adopt GotoCamera (this was entirely their own initiative), see GotoCamera Facebook page for more on that story.
The IP WiFi camera hardware industry appears to be coalescing around GotoCamera, and just like Roku devices have done for Internet TV, I think GotoCamera has made home and business monitoring a beautifully simple experience. Check out the GotoCamera Facebook page for user stories to see real people using GotoCamera to make their lives better.
GotoCamera Home Page
Main Camera Page with Motion Control Next to the Live Recording
iPhone Experience with Automatic Night Vision
The IP WiFi Camera I Use