In 2017, Amazon took the wraps off its latest device, the Amazon Cloud Cam, a small, white, streaming security camera that has two-way audio communication, night vision, and 1080p HD resolution. It looks a lot like Google’s Nest Cam, and a number of other internet-connected security cameras that have hit the market in recent years.
But the Amazon Cloud Cam is significantly cheaper, at just $120 each (or $200 for a two-pack, and $290 for a three-pack), plus it’s designed to work seamlessly with all of Amazon’s Alexa-powered devices, including its video-enabled Echo Show and Echo Spot. You can ask Alexa to show you what the Cloud Cam is streaming on the devices, as well as on Amazon’s Fire TV, or Fire tablet. Now, Amazon has added a number of new features to help it establish parity with some of the other big players on the market.
Folks using the Cloud Cam can now view live feeds from a computer, not just an app, which was a huge shortcoming upon the camera’s initial launch. Now, you need only visit cloudcam.amazon.com to pull up your live view(s). There’s also two-way audio available on both the Echo Show and the Echo Spot — simply press the microphone icon in the lower right-hand corner of your device’s screen to speak, and let it go when you’re done. Any Echo device will also now alert users to motion or person detection — on the Echo Show and Spot, alerts will pop up on the screen. On an Echo or Echo Dot, Alexa’s ring will turn green. Perhaps most importantly, the Cloud Cam can now be turned on using Alexa. You will simply say, “Alexa, turn on [Camera Name].”
Much like the Nest Cam, the Amazon Cloud Cam is designed to stream its video to the cloud for storage — there’s no on-board SD card or other storage — and there are several tiers of service, including a free level which includes 24 hours of recording, and the ability to connect (and get notifications from) up to three Cloud Cams. There is also basic ($7 per month), extended ($10 per month), and pro ($20 per month) options which gradually increase the length of the cloud recording time (up to 30 days), and the number of cameras supported (up to 10). All three paid price points include the ability to tell if an unrecognized — or unwanted — person appears in the footage, and to set up zones within the video frame to avoid unnecessary notifications.
Simply by offering a similar service to Nest Cam, at a fraction of the cost, Amazon will likely see strong demand for the Cloud Cam, but the company has greater ambitions for its streaming security cam: It’s the first device that’s designed to work with Amazon Key, an unattended home delivery service being offered exclusively to Amazon Prime members in select cities in the U.S. With Amazon Key, there are two main components: A smart lock, which gets installed on your front door, and the Cloud Cam. Amazon delivery personnel are able to drop off your packages inside your home via the smart lock, meanwhile, the Cloud Cam lets you verify that nothing bad happened during the process. Amazon is selling a Key In-Home Kit for $250, which includes a Cloud Cam and Kwikset smart lock.
The Amazon Cloud Cam is available for purchase now for $120.
Updated on March 13: The Amazon Cloud Cam finally gets web streaming and other updates.
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