Dropcam leaped into existence by making it really simple to see what’s happening at home when you’re not there. Nest swooped them up with the cash it had received when Google acquired it.
Nest was uniquely positioned to add more data around Dropcam. Not only could the camera see what was going on, Nest could feel temperature, humidity, and proximity. With Nest Protect, it could sense smoke or carbon monoxide — as well as movement.
While there are now many other devices or combinations of devices that could do this, there still an opportunity to make it simple to understand what’s happening at home without being as invasive as an inward facing webcam.
The Point device is one of those that provides sensor data without being as invasive as a camera. This reminded me of the Twine device by Super Mechanical — one of the first consumer IOT sensors on the market (and one that inspired us a lot in building the Ubi).
When thinking about home when we’re away, the questions we want answered are:
Is anybody home?
Who’s at home?
Is there a lot of noise?
Is my home burning down?
Are the lights on?
How warm or cold is it?
Sometimes we need supporting evidence of the answers to these questions but most of the time, these can be be answered without a camera. Best is if the device is “Set it and forget it” reliable where you plug it in and never think about charging it, changing batteries, or resetting it when loses connectivity.