Picture credit: TiagÃ¸ Ribeiro
Happy New Year!
I am excited to launch iWatchLife.com into the marketplace after nearly two full years in development. We have been fortunate to receive support from our investors and advisors to allow us the time to build a truly exciting web service that will quite literally change the world: Cloud-based Video Monitoring.
This is the beginning of a movement that will eventually see every home on the planet have cameras inside; allowing home owners to see what is happening, no matter where they are.
Here's how it happened:
Two years ago, our team was involved in a company that sold cameras and DVR's (Digital Video Recorders) to large and small enterprises. We could see from the influx of cheap cameras and DVR's from Asia that this business was going to become a commodity business with ever-decreasing margins. So we asked ourselves: How can we take all the knowledge that we have built up over the years and turn it into something truly exciting that will make a difference on a world scale?
The answer to that question was to see if we could provide close to, or the same, level of service to consumers as we had provided to Fortune 500 companies.
In order to do so, we had to solve many tricky technological issues to provide a service that was easy to use and either free or very inexpensive.
The first thing we did was do away with the DVR and leverage the power of cloud computing to eliminate one of the most expensive elements to Video Monitoring. A team of very bright young engineers made it possible to do as much, if not more, in the cloud as was possible with a DVR, such as: Record, Live View, Easy Search, Record (only) what matters, motion detection, Intrusion zones, Privacy zones, multi-camera views and much more.
The second thing we did was minimize bandwidth requirements by streaming video to the user only when something is happening. By focusing only on what matters we can deliver more a cost effective home surveillance solution.
The third thing we did was use Video Analytics. This is the real secret sauce. Most DVR systems use motion detection. We use it too because it's useful in the dark. But if your camera is pointing toward a busy scene like the street in front of your house, motion detection will record every car that drives by. If what matters to you is recording only the cars that pull up your driveway; that's all you will get from iWatchLife.
The fourth thing we did was to ask ourselves how could we make iWatchLife fun and cool? A recent report from the Pew Research Center â€œThe State of Online Videoâ€ states that 7 in 10 adult internet users have used the internet to watch or download video â€“ that's a stunning 52% of all adults in the US! Internet users are also increasingly creating their own videos, 14% of adults have uploaded a video to the internet â€“ almost double the 2007 figure of 8%. iWatchLife gives users the ability to easily capture and share candid moments in their personal lives, call it a modern day Candid Camera.
I look forward to talking more in future blog posts about this aspect of our business, but more important, I'd love to see how you use this technology and hear what we can do to make it even better. In the meantime, I'd like to thank everyone for their support and toast to a successful 2011!
Charles Black, CEO, iWatchLife