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Dropcam Answers the Question: What’s Happening… When You are NOT There πŸ˜ŽπŸ˜ŽπŸ˜Ž

December 18, 2014

😎 Robberies… Break-Ins… Trespassing… Shoplifting… Productivity Issues… Protect your Home…

😎 HDTV video has become an affordable high-resolution solution for What’s Happening When You’re not There !

😎 DropCam has a Peace-of-Mind Solution, Live-Streaming HDTV Video Streaming so you can See what’s going on, when You’re not There.

😎 DropCam’s internet video-streaming is Encrypted with the same video system Security Protocols used by many US Banks. Looking at the featured images of the internals of DropCam, displays a remarkable miniaturization of many sophisticated components. Its got WiFi, Bluetooth, two-way Audio communications, true 1920x1080p HDTV capturing video at 30 frames per second, a 3 million pixel imager, a 130ΒΊ ultra-wide angle lens that may be remotely “zoomed” from anywhere on the planet. All of this is packaged into a case the size of a traditional Golf Ball.

😎 We’re focusing on this topic, because the DropCam company, a leader in Security Camera development, has recently released a HDTV video camera containing a 3,000,000 pixel imager coupled to a 130ΒΊ ultra-wide angle lens, driven by a world-class software system. This combination delivers true 1920x1080p HDTV at 30 frames per second high-resolution video. Simply, a solution that shows What’s going on, When You’re not There at your Residence, Property, or Business.

😎 Here are LINKS for two of our DropCam Cameras which have been “set” to Public Mode, so that you can see what’s going in Real-Time on from our Southern Balcony and a Street scene from our West Balcony:

http://dropc.am/p/RozKhV (Without Sound)

http://dropc.am/p/wXpSkA (With Sound)

😎 Personally, I have been waiting for years until these cameras had sufficient resolution to make the installation worth having. With DropCam Pro cameras, coupled with their comprehensive easy to use Software, the relatively modest investment decision was easy to make.

😎 DropCam Cameras: Personally, we’ve installed four internal DropCam Pro cameras. Two cameras are mounted showing the scenery outside each of our Balconies of our Boca Raton residence.

😎 Ever wonder what’s going on at Home, Weather-wise, Pet-wise, Other wise, while away on business or vacation. Plus, they show Balcony views that show someone jumping our railing, in the event the bad-guys attempt entry through our balconies.

😎 However, know this, anyone that has the desire, talent, courage, and financing, to enter one’s residence, they will enter. These cameras provide a solution for the simple-burglary, and provides “peace of mine.”

😎 As Buffalo, NY is under 70″ of Snow, Boca Raton’s weather was 70ΒΊ with light-rain in the sub-tropics of south Florida. As to the camera’s settings, I’ve turned off the “Night Vision” function, which stops the emission of infrared light (from its 8 internal high-power LEDs) to assist the Camera when in total darkness. Since the imagery is in a City environment, there is plenty of street and building lights, illuminating the scene.

😎 DropCam provides a Peace-of-Mind Solution with the ability to deliver Live HDTV Video Streaming, so you can See what’s going on, when you’re not there. Are the kids working on their homework while you’re finishing up your day’s work? How’s your pet doing while you are out for the day?

😎Whether its your home, the garage, the yard, the office, store… Whether its the Maintenance men, the Cleaning Ladies, the Employees, or an uninvited guest… DropCam Cameras give some peace of mind, knowing you can take a look at what’s going on, in real-time, any time you desire;

😎 DropCam’s software notices movement and unusual sounds, even in total darkness; DropCam’s camera contains 8 high-power infrared LEDs surrounding the lens, illuminating the entire room with infrared light.

😎 When movement is detected you will receive a DropCam Notification on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC or android device, mentioning movement, or loud noise, accompanied with a video-clip showing what caused the notification.

😎 DropCam initially delivered a 720p resolution camera with a 107º Lens system, several years ago which was a relatively high-resolution, compared with most of the competition. FYI, DropCam which has become very popular product, was recently acquired by NEST, a company that created an auto-programming thermostat.

😎 However, in the first quarter of 2014, DropCam Pro emerged with a HDTV resolution digital camera coupled to a 130ΒΊ Super-Wide-Angle lens, which is Super-Easy to setup and install. An interesting task is deciding where to place the DropCam cameras for best view of your living or business areas, and does the Camera need to be “concealed” from common view.

😎 The two Balcony Cameras have been “set” for “Public” viewing, although the other 4 indoor security cameras are secure and private. Take a look at the live-views with the two links below showing live-streaming video feeds of our two Boca Raton Balconies. The NW facing view shows better fidelity due to the position of the Sun.

😎 To View the South West Camera: http://dropc.am/p/RozKhV

😎 To View the North West Camera: http://dropc.am/p/wXpSkA

😎 The Front-Door Camera , opening into the living room and dining room is strategically placed in DropCam’s view, to show the main rooms, with a very clear, unobstructed view of the inside of the Front Door.

😎 One of the amazing features of the DropCam Pro coupled to the iPad/iPhone App is the ability to (remotely) Zoom for a tighter view capturing the precise angle-of-view best suited for your physical layout. Since DropCam Pro utilizes a 3-million pixel imager, there are plenty of pixels when zooming.

😎 Focusing and Zooming the DropCam Cameras redefines “remote control.” With DropCam’s Settings menu for each camera, one can re-zoom the DropCam’s field-of-view at anytime, from any place, from across the room, across the street, across country, where you have Internet Connectivity to your iPhone, iPad, Macbook, PC or Android device.

😎 The Library camera is mounted in our Library, eye-high and towards the windows, so that the scene is side-lighted. If the camera was mounted to the opposite wall, then the windows would be in the camera’s view, disrupting the exposure for the room’s contents.

😎 The electronic-remote-zoom feature, makes filling the frame an easy chore, just be sure the camera is tilted for a perspective with the properly leveled horizon. Having the Horizon level, the Camera has to be “turned” by hand when you set-up the camera.

😎 Notice the cube-shaped Box with a Blue Top in the image above – this is DropCam Pro’s retail box which includes the Camera, an Aluminum stand, a 10 foot USB cable used to power the Camera, and a USB Charger providing 5VDC @ 2A to power the Camera, plus three hollow-wall anchors and three screws to mount the aluminum frame.

😎 Camera-4: The Kitchen, a galley-layout is shown with the entryway in view, in the event someone pass in the hallway towards the back rooms. This camera is also mounted high rendering a wide-view. In order to make these camera installations as aesthetic as possible, I’ve surrounded the camera with fall-leaves and lizards.

😎 As you can see, we’ve not really attempted to hide the cameras; however, we’d rather not have them become annoyingly obvious, hanging on the walls in plain view. If you wanted to hide the cameras from reasonable view, the Camera unit, without the mountings, is about 40mm in diameter and 30mm high. This small footprint is capable of being hidden from view.

😎 When using DropCam’s Software, notice the 4-camera views on the iPad. by taping onto one of the 4 window-segments, it opens into a full screen image of that Camera’s view.

😎 DropCam’s software is quite easy to use, and makes connecting to the internet safe, easy, and secure, particularly if you use your iPhone to make the connections using the iPhone App and using the bluetooth connectivity that is built into the DropCam and in the iPhone. DropCam has made this installation effortless and simple. Previously with competitive “system kits” the installation process can be very annoying and tedious. No so with Dropcam.

😎 DropCam’s software permits you to capture a full resolution still-images with the touch of a button. You may also capture HD video clips of the RECORDED streaming video too.

😎 DropCam is particularly friendly for iPad and iPhone viewing (plus Tablets and Android devices). Notice in the image below, all four cameras may be visualized continuously on my iPad, in four windows stacked 2-by-2. By tapping onto one of the 4 panes, it will open to full screen, full resolution live-streaming display viewing.

😎 The Software is very easy to set up and install, and it is also is very comprehensive with features, such as “Activity Zones.” This is a feature that permits you to outline a particular portion of your room’s View Image. For example, with our living room, I’ve created two Activity Zones outlining our Front Door and the Walkway from the Living Room to the Hallway to the back-rooms.

😎 ACTIVITY ZONES: Notice the two activity zones, the RED outline of our Front Door, and a Green outline that highlights the walkway from our living room to the hallway to our back-rooms. When someone Opens the Front Door and passes into our Home, the DropCam Pro’s software makes notice of the change in the video image, and sends to our iPhones and iPads Alert-messages.

😎 In the graphics, notice the current five notifications that was sent from DropCam’s system notifying my iPhone that (message #1, someone passed in the Hallway as seen from the Kitchen Camera, and message #2 that someone then entered the Kitchen area.

😎 The Notifications are coupled to DropCam’s cloud based streaming-video storage and retrieval capability. Simply once this capability is activated, the DropCam software system will retain the “most current week” actually the most current 168 hours of video streaming. This means that one may look back 168 hours at any time. DropCam also has a 720 hour look-back option which gives the user a full 30 days of stored video-streaming.

😎 DropCam’s secure video-streaming may be is annotated with the movements of people and pets that may be moving around one’s premises, that is in view of the Camera[s].

😎 DropCam charges $9.95/month for 168-hours of current video retention, or $99/year for ONE Camera’s video. This represents quite a good value, as you do not need YOUR computer to be left ON 24 hours a day, every day, dedicated to this chore; nor do you need to increase your computer’s HD disk-drive to hold all this video imaging storage, not to mention the software necessary to deliver the features provided by DropCam’s system.

😎 Internet Outages and Power Outages: A common occurrence in our society is the occasional WiFi being down, because of the Internet provider such as Xfinity, or WiFi’s failure because of the Power outage because of weather or other issue with FP&L, for example. In south Florida, weekly we experience issues with either of these providers. However, once power or the internet is restored all the Dropcam cameras re-login securely and safely onto your residence or business Internet-WiFi-Router.

😎 Internet Connectivity and Power issues, effect DropCam Cameras, WiFi, and their recording capabilities. Whether the power goes out, the WiFi goes down, or the Internet is Down, once one or more of these issues are resolved, DropCam’s cameras securely re-connect to your Router, as does the WiFi, connecting to your in-Home WiFi system; therefore all of these functions will automatically re-commence video-streaming, whether you are present or out of town.

😎 Internet Connectivity and Power issues, effect Traditional HD Video Cameras, WiFi, and your PC based local-recording capabilities. Once power is lost, the PC shuts down as does the WiFi Router and Modem. Once power is restored, the HD Cameras, the PC, Router and Modem may power-up and restart; however, the software operating your local-based PC video recording may not self-start, unless you have specifically dedicated one of your Computers, solely to store streaming-video from one or more HD video cameras. This type of PC based setup is relatively expensive to purchase and maintain.

😎 Solution, DropCam’s subscription for $9.95/month resolves these issues, and permits DropCam to store/retrieve the digital data and maintain the software.

😎 DropCam also provides a 50% discount if you desire to retain another 168-hours of video from your 2nd, or 3rd camera, so that would be $15/month or $150/year, for two cameras housing the most current 336 hours of HDTV imaging.

😎 The DropCam storage plans are optional and not requited. If you elect not to store any video history, the DropCam cameras will deliver Live HDTV digital-streaming video to any of your devices locally and world-wide, password protected; however, you will not be able to view what occurred minute ago, an hour ago, or a day or two ago. DropCam’s subscription for $9.95/month resolves these issues, and permits DropCam to store/retrieve 168-hours (7-days) of digital data and maintain the software for one DropCam HDTV camera.

😎 If you desired a current 30-days, or 720-hours of current video retrieval availability. DropCam charges $29.95/month for the 1st camera, or a single payment of $300/year, for 30-days of video retrieval. For either of the iCloud storage plans, Pay at the beginning of the year and get 12 months for the price of 10. Buy iCloud storage for the 2nd camera, and pay 50% more.

😎 Personal Opinion: The DropCameras are a very high quality compact device, that is very easy to install, hide, place anywhere you’d desire. The only wired-connection is the USB wire that connects to the camera to the plug-in wall “Power” both of which are included in the kit.

😎 At first glance, $9.95/month is really quite a bargain, particularly since there is such a huge volume of HDTV digital-data, plus the management of unlimited number 1920×1080 pixel still-image captures, the video clips that may be created, and the Activity Zones that one may create and change from time to time.

😎 Important Prerequisites: This system requires a fast Internet Connection to handle the streaming-video emitting from one or more cameras. DropCam states that about 1 mega-bit/second is needed to run one camera. Many high speed connections are from 2.0 to over 100 mega-bites/second considering upload and download speeds.

😎 WiFi Up-Load Specifications: Our Xfinity/Comcast connection relatively fast; However, its the UPLOAD speed that counts when sending digital-streaming to DropCam’s servers. Since our Xfinity connection is running presently at 9.47mbps UpLoad (9.47 mega-bites per second), about 2.5mbps of our upload-bandwidth is consumed with our 4 DropCam cameras.

😎 ONE More thing about DropCam Pro: I’ve been studying and evaluating TV cameras and HDTV camera surveillance and nursery systems for almost 30 years. Finally DropCam has designed and delivered to the general public a true HDTV camera/lens system that has image detail usable for law enforcement and arrest of a perpetrator.

😎 DropCam Pro for personal and infant/kids rooms, DropCam is spectacular for watching the little ones, late-night with the camera’s high-power ring of infrared LED lights, that surround the camera’s Lens, which literally illuminates an entire 18’x18′ room.

😎 DropCam Pro For Commercial use: Its very easy to imagine using these cameras for Restaurants, Retail stores, and Businesses, as they are easy to install, assuming you have a premium WiFi network, access to 120v AC to power the camera with the provided 10 foot USB cable (which can be extended) and 5v DC power adapter, both are included in the retail Box.

😎 DropCam Pro Specifications: The following are the specifications of the HDTV video camera, the information abstracted from the product packaging
😎 Dimensions 4.5″x3.15″x3.15″
😎 Wight 5.7oz or 162gm
😎 Power 5v DC at 2.0A
😎 Camera Unit Color with digital zoom
😎 Video H.264 encoding, for true 1920x1080p HD resolution at 30fps
😎 Field of View 130º Lens diagonal
😎 Audio Speaker and Microphone for 2-way communication
😎 Night Vision Night-time illumination by high-power infrared LEDs

😎 DropCam Pro Specifications: The following are the system requirements to operate the HDTV video camera, the information abstracted from the product packaging
😎 High Speed Internet DSL, Cable, FiOS
😎 Wireless Network 802.11 b/g/n with WEP, WPA, WPA2 encryption
😎 Internet Browser Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Chrome
😎 Optionally with iPad, iPhone, or Android devices
😎 In The BOX DropCam HD Camera, Aluminum stand, Wall mounting hardware, 10 foot USB wire, USB power adapter, quick-start guide



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If digital Imaging is of interest, I teach a course named "Principles of Digital Imaging and Post Image Processing" as an Adjunct Prof at FAU: http://www.416-1100.com/FAU-Classes/Principles-of-Digital

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As many of my friends, family and students know, I am an avid iPad adopter since its release April, 2010. With Apple’s release of the Retina-Display iPad Mini, (I sold my iPad 4 to Gazelle.com) applied the proceeds to purchase the "mini" with 128GB of Storage, AT&T connectivity, plus added Logitech’s UltraThin Keyboard Cover, and an ACME MADE San Francisco rubberized thin slip-over protective case. This thin package actually fits into my trousers pocket.

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