Dropcam is bringing you ever closer to going full NSA on your own home, offering up the Dropcam Pro, which features marked hardware and software upgrades over the Dropcam HD, which has now been renamed to Dropcam. The improvements make Dropcam Pro a pretty solid way to keep a constant, clear video stream of your home available, if you have security concerns that need alleviating.
On the hardware side, Dropcam Pro features an all-glass lens and a larger image sensor. In practical terms, that means daytime recording that’s twice as sharp, and, more importantly, low-light recording that’s up to seven times as sharp. If you’re thinking about using a Dropcam to monitor your home for nighttime threats, the Pro version sounds ideal. You’ll also got a 130 degree field of view, a 20 percent improvement over the Dropcam. There’s also a new and improved microphone, which picks up audio at twice the sampling rate of the original Dropcam.
When checking in on your Dropcam Pro stream from a computer or mobile device, there will be 8x pinch-to-zoom, which will be especially terrific if you have your Dropcam checking for external threats. Initial set-up can be done with mobile devices as well as computers now, thanks to low-power Bluetooth connectivity. Another new connectivity feature that increases the reliability of your video streams is the inclusion of dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz).
There’s also a nascent software feature called activity recognition. Over time, the software side of the Dropcam Pro will pick up on certain activity patterns that fall within its field of view. Once Dropcam Pro starts to organize those patterns, you can check them and, if you notice something you want to keep an eye on, you can name the pattern and create an alert for it, so you’ll be notified any time Dropcam picks up on it. For now, the feature is in beta, so expect some road bumps. But, it has intriguing potential once the Dropcam team refines the software.
And, don’t forget about the basic features of Dropcam – 720p streaming, two-way communication, night vision, and alerts. Those are all included in Dropcam Pro, as well. As of today, Dropcam is available from Amazon and Dropcam for $200. Streaming video, which you can watch from any Internet-connected device, comes with the purchase of the camera. If you want Dropcam to save a week’s worth of recordings for you to browse through, that will cost $10 per month. Saving an entire month’s worth of recording costs $30 per month. Knowing your home is safe and sound while your dog snores – priceless.