4 Comments

Summary:

Remote webcams are super for checking in on your home, pets or office. So why aren’t more people using them? They’re too complicated and costly. That’s where Skycam comes in: It leverages Skype to make for an inexpensive, simple solution.

Skycams

Looking for a remote webcam solution for monitoring the home or office? There’s no lack of such products, but they often require a monthly fee and have either confusing software or a setup process that’s too complicated for many. A new Indiegogo project kicked off on Monday for Skycam, which solves all of these challenges thanks to Skype.

SkycamsFor $99, project backers get a Skycam webcam that can record video on a micro SD card. Of course, you can access the camera remotely in real-time from practically any connected PC or Mac, tablet or mobile phone running iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8 or BlackBerry. The secret sauce here is the use of Skype.

To set up the Skycam, you simply add it to your Skype account where it becomes one of your favorite contacts. Want to pop in and check on the pets? Just call your Skycam through the standard Skype application:

I’ve actually set up several different remote access webcams in my home over the past few years and I have to say: I think more simplicity is needed for these products. Each camera I’ve used has its own software, which typically isn’t the greatest quality. I often rely on third-party apps to access the cameras, but even these have their quirks. And gaining true remote access to a home-based camera typically requires firewall configuration, static IP addresses and — in some cases — a third-party DNS solution.

Skype petsThat’s why I think this project is on to something. It alleviates all of the challenges I just outlined and makes a remote webcam more of an easy to use appliance. And it does so with software that’s commonly used already. I also like how this isn’t a standard webcam you’d typically use for video chatting: Skycam can be used to monitor a dark or lowly lit room; a feature I like on my existing webcams.

With a built-in microphone and speaker, you can even use Skycam to chat with someone nearby the camera. Of course, you’ll see them, but they won’t see you. I do wish the Skycam had tilt and pan capabilities, but that would be tricky to implement with Skype as the underlying transport solution. And it would complicate what looks to be an economical and simple way to monitor a remote area.

  1. Bjorn Stromsness Monday, April 29, 2013

    “No DNS fee or whatsoever.” Um… OK. Beyond some grammatical things, this actually looks pretty cool. I haven’t kickstarted anything in the past, but this… this I might just do.

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  2. Francisco Carreño Tuesday, April 30, 2013

    One feature that needs is that it turns on when detects movement and maybe can call you when that happens.

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  3. TechVilli.com Tuesday, April 30, 2013

    Skycam is an awesome advantage for Webcam users with mobile feature for $99 sounds cool

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  4. So what happens when someone breaks in and just takes the Skycam loaded with all the video?

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