Wyze’s new Cam Plus Lite plan raises questions about the future of free services
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Wyze has come a long way from creating “too good to be true” home security solutions – some times more unfortunate than others – but the path to sustainability means building great subscription services. at affordable prices. That being said, the company now offers a new subscription tier at your own price for Wyze Cam Plus.
Cam Plus Lite will bring 12 second video recordings as often as every 5 minutes with cloud storage up to 14 days and also bring person in the lap detection. As mentioned above, users decide how much they will pay. It might not mean anything, if they really wanted to, but Wyze will offer certain levels of donation to users.
The plan would apply to an entire family of supported products, including Wyze Cam v2 and v3, Pan v1 and v2, and Cam Outdoor – Video doorbell owners will be able to use Cam Plus Lite at a later date.
The new tier won’t replace the free basic plan, which includes snapshots up to every five minutes with motion, sound, smoke, and carbon monoxide alerts. Wyze Cam Plus, which offers a variety of other detection triggers, Wyze Web View, and product discounts, still costs $2 per month or $15 per year, per device.
What will change for Basic plan users, however, is the ability to save event recordings to the cloud. In order to reduce unnecessary notifications, Wyze will limit this capability to Cam Plus and Cam Plus Lite users only. However, there is no registration deadline for free users to access Cam Plus Lite nor are they required to register.
On the other hand, those who prefer local storage will be pleased to hear that Wyze has acquired an exFAT license which will allow users to install microSD cards larger than 32GB. Cam v3 owners already have this capability with latest firmware update; the other cameras will have to wait for the next one. Plus, event playback is much easier with one-click access to timestamps and buttons to skip and rewind 30 seconds – expect the latter in mid-February.
This isn’t the first time the company has opted for a name your price model. In 2020, it asked owners for contributions to use its fledgling person detection feature as it struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic.
Wyze says it will assess the cash flow generated by Cam Plus Lite before formally determining whether to offer the plan on future products. Of course, with the way things are going, we may also have to prepare for the possibility of non-zero prices for all users one day.
You can sign up for Cam Plus Lite here.
UPDATED: 01/14/2022 10:20 AM EST BY JULES WANG
A previous version of this article implied that Wyze would need the person detection feature available only to Cam Plus and Cam Plus Lite subscribers to trigger event recordings starting February 15. We have been informed that this is not the case and regret the error.
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