On our most recent IoT Podcast episode, Paul called in with a question about his smart home. He currently uses indoor Nest Cams pointing outside, along with Ubiquiti UniFi routers and they work fine, as expected. However, he’s thinking about replacing his Nest Cams with different devices so that he can keep his video files locally instead of relying on the cloud. Paul also has video server capabilities with his UniFi system and another video storage appliance from Synology, although he’s never used either of those.
Stacey thinks there’s another local video storage option to consider here. It’s called Camect and it aggregates local webcam video feeds much like the options Paul is considering. However, Camect adds Artificial Intelligence for package delivery detection, animals, people, and other objects. This is worth considering because if Paul’s Nest Cams go away, so too could Google’s AI for these detection types.
Camect offers continuous recording, local storage, and those nifty AI features. Although Camect recommends certain cameras in its store, it works with any webcam that supports either the Onvif or RTSP network control protocols. It’s also worth noting that Nest Cams do have developer support for RTSP video, so it’s possible that Paul could keep using his current webcams but use them with a local storage solution like Camect, such as his existing UniFi, or Synology video appliance.
Paul could always opt for Ubiquity UniFi webcams and use the UniFi system he already has. These aren’t cheap, ranging from $79 to $449, but they’ll surely be compatible with his existing router and storage hardware.
Since I’m concerned that Paul could lose some smart home integrations if he does ditch the Nest Cams, I have one more low-cost option. In fact, I’ve used it myself: WyzeCams.
These would only cost $30 each, plus shipping to purchase, so there isn’t a large investment required. And, each of these can be equipped with a microSD card for local video storage. Rather than aggregating the video feeds on a single server, these would be viewable within the Wyze app. That may not be ideal, but the cameras are compatible with Amazon Alexa and IFTTT, in case that’s important.
To hear Paul’s question in full, along with our discussion on the topic, tune in to the IoT Podcast below: