One exciting thing about a new gadget—or even a new version of an old gadget—is taking a look at how it stacks up to previous versions. Dropcam Pro, meanwhile, represents a software outlet's step into hardware, and it looks to be a piece of hardware that will stand up to scrutiny on several critical fronts. Dropcam turned to some of the team behind Cisco's Flip camera to create the Dropcam Pro, a surprisingly powerful little camera that's proving to be a big hit with users.
Reports suggest that revenues on the original model Dropcam turned out to be fully five times higher than anyone at the firm expected, which made the Dropcam Pro something of an important release. Clearly, expectations were high; surely the successor to the company's flagship model, which had already been so well received would have to be something special to keep the momentum going.
Indeed, based on early reports about the Dropcam Pro, “something special” seems to be well at hand. The Dropcam Pro is the beneficiary of a redesigned optical system, with an all-glass lens. That's actually a comparative rarity in the field, as other lenses are often just mostly glass. But as Dropcam CEO Greg Duffy (News - Alert) explained, that's what holds back a lot of cameras.
Duffy elaborated, “There's a limit to how good of a resolution you can get with plastic...it's just not as exact as glass.”
The Dropcam Pro also offers up a 130 degree field of view, which allows it to capture the goings-on in an entire room without the need to pan or tilt the camera remotely, meaning its overall design can be simpler. Reports suggest that the images even hold up well at night, with a special night shot mode included that produces some impressive image quality even under low-light conditions.
It's not just image quality that improves here, though, as the addition of dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE makes for better connectivity and less interference in image transmission, which is a great combination to have on hand. It also seems to boost the ease of installation, which at last report took bare minutes to go from “out of the box” to “up and running.”
Dropcam Pro is available now, and selling at $199, complete with free live video service. Cloud recording, however, will cost $9.95 a month for seven full days of recording at a clip, going up to $29.95 a month for 30 full days of recording. Check out some video of Dropcam at the 2013 CES (News - Alert) event below, and a wide array of videos on similar topics at this link.
For people looking for an easy to use camera for security around the house—or anywhere else as long as it's in range of a Wi-Fi signal, chances are the Dropcam Pro is going to be an item well worth considering. The initial reports suggest that this is a powerful and comparatively inexpensive piece of hardware that will offer great image quality and terrific ease of use, making it a great model for those who aren't all that well-versed in technology. It's likely not going to be for everybody, of course, but for those in the market for a little more security, without a lot more expense, this is a good place to start looking.
Edited by Blaise McNamee