New online video monitoring entrant
I was contacted recently by the proprietor of www.ugolog.com, a site that offers live peek-in, as well as cloud storage, to end users who'd like to hook up an IP camera and watch pets, nannies, office spaces, etc. Mostly, cameras are set up to record on motion, and there's plans in the works for email alerts, etc. If anything, its newness is in its set-up. It's very bare bones and appears much like a lot of the online offerings out there, like Snapfish, etc., that charge a monthly fee for some kind of cloud-based operation. It's billed as a security offering, and the owner of the small shop in Seattle is wondering why no one in the industry seems interested in becoming an affiliate partner and offering the services on a commission basis. I took a quick swing through the site and I think the resistance they'll find in the industry is that the traditional guys are skeptical of self-monitored systems that can't at least be tied in to professionally monitored central stations as well. It sort of eliminates their raison d'etre. It looks like they've got a good opportunity for recurring monthly revenue, which the residential guys, especially, do like, but they're going to want to bring the video back into their central station, not give up control of the customer to the ether, so they're probably not going to be interested in taking a piece of the monthly fee they've got set up (which is pretty small in the first place, thus the security companies will get a small piece, indeed). Plus, motion-based recording/alerts aren't very reliable or trusted in the industry. Pets will set off the cameras all the time and use up all the storage they're offering (probably) and create alerts that will eventually be ignored, so that when there is eventually a break-in, they probably won't pay attention . I think if they pitch this more as a life-style service, and less as "security," they might have more luck. As a nanny-cam, baby-cam, pet-watcher, it makes perfect sense. As a security system, it's going to be hard to compete with the professional systems, because consumers are less likely to take risks or go the DIY route when it's about life safety or protection. They want the pro more for their conscience than for the difference in service. Further, security is very much an old, closely-knit community, and they take a while to warm to new companies and business partners. But if you ugolog.com can figure out a good way to generate lots of recurring revenue, they'll take notice in a hurry.