Simplicam Tackles Dropcam With Face-Detection

Wireless security cameras like Dropcam are shaping up to be an integral part of the smart home experience, and ArcSoft is hoping its Simplicam will carve a niche courtesy of face detection. A compact WiFi camera with a companion cloud-based recording service, Simplicam offers alerts only if a human face is spotted in-frame, rather than just responding to any sort of movement.

Existing cameras, such as Dropcam's range, generally rely on movement to act as a trigger. Although you can usually set different hotspot zones within which motion is detected – useful if, say, you have a cat crossing the floor regularly – changes in light or trees waving in the wind can cause false-alarms.

While Simplicam can use the same sort of basic motion detection, its selling point is the ability to track faces instead. ArcSoft also claims the whole system is easy to set-up, too, going from box to wirelessly streaming video to a smartphone or tablet in under three minutes.

Video is at 720p HD resolution and is SSL encrypted, and there's support for recording from live streams and then sharing those clips directly from a mobile device.

As is the case with Dropcam, the biggest complaint among would-be Simplicam users is service fees. Live video is included in the $149.99 price, but if you want recording and historical access then you'll have to cough up every month.

The ability to look back over the past 24 hours is $49.99/year or $4.99/month, while extending that to the past eleven days is $139.99/year or $13.99/month. If you want 21 days of access, that's $229.99/year or $22.99/month.

For comparison, Dropcam charges $99/year or $9.95/month for seven days access, or $299/year or $29.95/month for 30 days access. The Dropcam HD, also with 720p video support, is $149.99.

Simplicam is available now, and comes with a 10 foot USB power cord and a wall mount. If you're curious as to why you might want a camera as part of your security system, check out our first-hand account of how a smart home could troll you.

SOURCE Simplicam