Amazon's latest creation is Cloud Cam, a security camera. As expected, they designed it to work with their existing products and services, namely, Echo Show, Echo Spot (Alexa-enabled devices with a screen), and Amazon Key (Amazon's new in-home delivery service). We'll discuss how the camera works with these products and services later on, but before we do, let's take a look at what the camera can do on its own.
- Works with Echo Show and Echo Spot
- Works with Amazon Key Service
- 24-hour Free Cloud Storage + Optional Smart Features
- No Sound Detection
- Intelligent Features Require A Paid Subscription
Cloud Cam Hardware & Installation
Cloud Cam is an indoor-only camera. It can sit on a flat surface like a table or shelf, you can mount it on a wall, or you can even hang it upside down from your ceiling. Wherever you place it, keep in mind that it needs to remain plugged into an outlet and it needs constant Wi-Fi. The camera ships with a microUSB power cord, 5W power adapter, a mounting kit, and a manual. You can either have the camera installed by a professional, maybe even for free if you're an Amazon Prime user, or you can install it on your own.
Image & Video Quality
As a camera, Cloud Cam is capable of competing with existing solutions. It offers a 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second, it's equipped with a 120° wide-angle lens, and it has eight IR LEDs for night vision. It also comes equipped with an omnidirectional microphone and a small speaker for two-way talk.
To put things into perspective, Cloud Cam's image and video quality are somewhat similar to what Nest Cam offers. Both offer a 1080p resolution, both have night vision, and both feature two-way talk. Nest Cam has a slight advantage because it has a wider viewing angle at 130°.
Cloud Cam To Enhance Home Security
Image and video quality isn't the only similarity between Cloud Cam and Nest Cam.
For starters, Cloud Cam and Nest Cam both offer limited security features out-of-the-box. If you want to access their advanced features, you'll need a subscription. With Nest Cam, the subscription service is called Nest Aware and it will cost you at least $10/month for the first camera and $5/month for each additional camera. With Cloud Cam, the lowest tier plan will set you back $6.99/month (or $69.99/year). One plan provides service for up to three cameras.
Without a paid subscription, Cloud Cam can only provide motion alerts and automatic cloud recording. Motion will automatically trigger a recording and send it directly to the cloud. Using the Cloud Cam app, you'll be able to review the recorded clips. Take note that the free plan is limited to three cameras and 24 hours of cloud storage. After 24 hours, your clips will be deleted. Unfortunately, you can't download clips to save them locally, downloading clips is a premium feature.
|Cloud Cam Without a Subscription||Nest Cam Without Nest Aware|
|No. Of Cameras||Up To 3||Unlimited|
|Person Detection||NO||Nest Cam IQ Only|
|Cloud Storage||24-hour (Video)||3-hour (Snapshots Only)|
If you want to take advantage of Cloud Cam's advanced features, a paid subscription is required. Amazon offers three subscription plans for Cloud Cam, but they unlock the same security features.
The first feature is the ability to define motion zones. Motion zones are areas within the camera's view that you deem important. Creating a zone means that you want Cloud Cam to pay close attention to that certain area while ignoring any movement outside of it. This feature helps to reduce false alarms.
The second feature is person detection. This feature is similar to motion detection, but instead of alerting you everytime it sees anything, Cloud Cam will only alert you if it sees a person. Person detection can help reduce false alarms, but you can also use it to get a notification when your kids arrive home from school.
Finally, with a paid subscription plan, you'll be able to save recorded event clips to a local storage device.
|Cloud Cam||Nest Cam|
|Price||$6.99/month or $69.99/year||$9.99/month or $99.99/year||$19.99/month or $199.99/year||$10.00/month or $100.00/year||$30.00/month or $300.00/year|
|No. Of Cameras||Up to 3 cameras||Up to 5 cameras||Up to 10 cameras||1 ($5/month/additional camera)||1 ($15/month/additional camera)|
|Person Recognition||NO||NO||NO||Nest Cam IQ Only||Nest Cam IQ Only|
|Cloud Storage||7 Days (Video)||14 Days (Video)||30 Days (Video)||10 Days (Video)||30 Days (Video)|
|Visit Site||Visit Site
Cloud Cam + Amazon Key
Cloud Cam is a security camera and it can enhance your home's security, but Amazon has greater plans for it. Amazon has been talking about an in-home delivery service for some time now, where instead of leaving a package at your doorstep, they will leave it just inside of your door. The service is officially here, it's called Amazon Key, and it's free for Prime members.
To enable the service, you must first buy the Amazon Key In-Home Kit starting at $249.99. It's not yet available, but you can pre-order one now if (1) you're a Prime member (2) living in one of the cities listed here.
The Amazon Key In-Home Kit includes a Cloud Cam Key Edition and a compatible smart lock from a third-party company. At least one Key Edition Cloud Cam is required to activate Amazon Key. Is a Key Edition different from the regular Cloud Cam? I think so. Also, there are several compatible Yale and Kwikset smart locks to choose from. You'll be able to choose whether you want a smart lock that will replace your entire deadbolt or if you want one that will let you keep your existing set of keys.
Once you have the service and hardware in place, a new "In-Home Delivery" option will be available whenever you place an order. If you select In-Home Delivery, your package will be delivered inside of your door. Upon arriving at your door, the Amazon delivery person will use his smartphone to request access to your door. Amazon will then verify if the delivery person is at the right address at the right time. If the answer is yes, the Cloud Cam will automatically start recording and the smart lock will unlock your door. At that moment, you'll receive a notification. From the app, you can watch the delivery person using your camera or even talk to them using two-way audio. After leaving your package, the delivery person will send a request to Amazon to lock your door and Amazon will take care of the rest. Once everything's complete, you'll receive a final notification that includes a recording of the delivery.
Amazon's ambitions for Amazon Key don't end at in-home delivery. Within the next few months, they plan to add other professional service providers such as Merry Maids and Rover.com. According to Amazon, Amazon Key will work with over 1,200 service providers from Amazon Home Services. But how do you feel about trusting Amazon with the keys to your home? I've heard a lot of opinions both supporting and expressing concern for Amazon's ambitions, and it appears that there is cause for concern. Security researchers have already found flaws in the system.
Cloud Cam + Alexa
Finally, Cloud Cam also works with Amazon's Alexa. Unfortunately, it only works with certain Alexa-enabled devices, namely, Echo Show, Echo Spot, Fire TV, and Fire Tablet. In short, it works with any Alexa-device with a screen. Thanks to its Alexa integration, you'll be able to ask your Cloud Cam to stream videos to your Alexa-enabled device. This integration offers a convenient way of monitoring your camera at home.
Pricing & Availability
Cloud Cam is now available for pre-order. It sells for $119.99, significantly less expensive than its rival Nest Cam. Cloud Cam will officially be available to the public on November 8.