First Look: Dropcam Pro

First Look: Dropcam Pro

Always on the lookout.

There’s a certain appeal to home surveillance that has long eluded the casual nerd.

About 10 years ago, I picked up a (then top-of-the-line) web cam in an effort to keep any eye on my apartment while I was out. My dreams of capturing evidence of roommate-related thievery and mischief were easily thwarted by a low resolution sensor, buggy software, and the criminal genius of simply turning out the lights. It’s hard to prove anything from a postage stamp sized video that’s a pixelated mess.

10 years later, it looks like the folks at Dropcam (recently acquired by Nest) have finally created the solution I was looking for in the Dropcam Pro. An upgrade to their well-received original camera, the Dropcam Pro’s 3-megapixel sensor offers a live stream of any WiFi available indoor location with a wide 130 degree field of view. It can capture 1080p video at 30fps, see in the dark with built-in night vision, and even includes a crazy zoom-and-enhance feature like you’ve seen on CSI. “Wait… zoom in over there… ENHANCE!”

If you use other Nest products (like their thermostat or smoke detector), the Dropcam Pro includes special integration for instant recording when motion or smoke is detected. Probably my favorite feature is two way audio using the built-in mic and speaker; I can’t wait to tell Jovie to stop hitting her brother from hundreds of miles away.

The Dropcam Pro is available now for $199 and features free live streaming from anywhere in the world. Cloud recording is also available starting at $100/yr for a 7-day backlog. While that’s a great feature to have, I really wish they offered 24 hours for free; we plan to put a few of these around the house for home security, so spending hundreds of dollars a year for simple recording feels excessive. Hopefully competition in the marketplace with drive prices down.

Check back soon for a hands-on look at this awesome little camera!


Eric is the creator of At Home in the Future and has been a passionate fan of the future since he was seven. He's a web developer by trade, and serves as the Director of Communication and Technology for a large church in Nashville, TN (where he and his family are building a high tech home in the woods).