Bold Claims - but does Wyze Really deliver?

wyze-cam

#1

I have used other cameras. I have seen improvements and new cameras on the market. I can’t say whether Wyze is a contender or a pretender, but I do have my concerns, having bought into the hype … maybe a bit too soon.

What Wyze has:

  • Size - love the small camera
  • Price - love the reasonable price
  • Ease of installation - despite some detractors in the forums, all six of my cams connected like a charm (once I learned the sweet spot of QR code recognition)
  • Cute camera that may attract some consumers who otherwise wouldn't buy a DIY camera
What Wyze DOESN'T have: important to note that these are ALL functions on other cameras already on the market
  • Geofencing - really, you didn't include one of the most useful options for recording, security & privacy? Schedules would be a start but geofencing and scheduling combined is the set of tools that should be present on any DIY camera. Sure you can use the Wemo trick, but that more than doubles the cost of the setup.
  • Quality mounting options - sure the magnet is cute the VHB tape on the back of the metal disk is strong, but bump the cord once (or have you cat do it by accident) and you lose your viewing angle
  • Web or Desktop access to video - I have discussed this in other threads as a non-starter for phone app developers with little to know experience with other market spaces
  • Batch download, delete options
  • Separate album, gallery, folder for downloaded recordings - I hate that my album (android user) gets flooded with clips that I never wanted to save, just view
  • Intelligent detection algorithms - Zones, learning motion/sound detection, etc. Canary had this over two years ago
  • Coherent development plan - releasing a v2 so quickly after initial market release is insulting, infuriating and brings into question the ability of this company to plan long term.
  • Outdoor cameras - or at least not some 3D printed item from a guy on the internet you don't know and who has no affiliation with Wyze
  • Quality coding - I have found so many issues with my cameras in a brief month that can be attributed to bad coding and lack of understanding of real world use that I question the processes by which this company develops their tech.
Don't get me wrong, I want my WyzeCams to work and work well, but with a split focus on V1 and V2, it seems unlikely that we will ever see improvements to V1 that are anything more than fixing crashes and replacing outdated cams with outdated cams. Wyze Labs claims to strive to be consumer-centric, but so far it has all been about their products, their development and playing dumb about their problems. I have alot of tech in my house and these cams have caused more headaches and workarounds than anything else. Maybe it's time to ditch the V2 efforts and fix your V1 problems.

#2

OK, I’ll byte,

  1. R u a Russian troll farm…?

  2. (smileyfacehere)

  3. What do you want for $20…?

  4. If you can deliver all that you suggest for $20, wanna be our CEO…?

  5. I don’t speak for WYZE, I’m just their id…like Luther (for Obama)

  6. I may be a robot (that can read).

https://youtu.be/HkAK9QRe4ds

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#3

Why do people get so defensive when constructive criticism is raised. That is such a millennial entitled attitude. Just because a cohort of people love a product and will sell their souls to support it does not make it perfect and definitely does not make is quality.

There are some definite shortcomings here.

The one direct response to your otherwise nonsense response is to the cost question. Sure, it is more likely to get less when you pay less, but the company claims on their an approach to deliver high quality tech at reasonable prices. So far, my cameras have been less than reliable, tech support has been spotty and the cameras are subpar on features. That seems more like standard pay less/get less to me and not an innovative approach to deliver state of the art tech at consumer friendly pricing.

They are honest and upfront about the features of the cameras. They aren’t honest about the stage of development. These are Beta stage cameras being sold as market ready first releases. That is evident by the software glitches, app issues and the fact that the company released a V2 so quickly after V1. That type of quick iteration speed is indicative of early/pre-release product development. Something you would expect to see when vetting and testing.

All the features I mentioned were missing are common in other cameras on the market. What WyzeCam appears to be selling is a bare bones camera in a black box, use it the way we want you to use it format.


#4

Have u been sitting by your laptop/phone just waiting for someone to respond? Millenial? Nailed it!

p.s. I was born in 1943.

  1. Lighten up. You’ll live longer.

  2. How many smilefaces do you need…?

Cheers, WYZENed

 

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#5

No, I just happened to be at my computer with a little time on my hands. Once again, you respond with nonsense and insult rather than well formed responses.

Shill? That sounds more like it.

If companies aren’t willing to hear the bad and take true constructive criticism, they fail. That is the heart of consumer centric company is the consumer, both their love for a product and their feedback.

So, unless you have something to actually respond with or something constructive to say about the product, just go on with you day and leave this conversation alone. Right now, you are just being a troll.


#6

OK, my work here is done, but,

I just felt bad that no one else responded. I will leave you to your own devices. Besides, I have other places to troll.

p.s. At least this hasn’t devolved into ‘Nazi’ and/or ‘Hitler,’ at least not yet… Have a great day.

pss. do trolls send smileyfaces…?

Oh, and one last thing.

I have used other cameras, dash, security, as well, directly from China and most failed out of the box. I like the idea of WYZE taking licensed Chinese hardware and preparing the firmware/software for the US market w/o transforming the prices.

 


#7
xxx

#8

A simple breakdown of features that the camera has versus what it doesn’t is constructive. As a consumer, it is also a method to communicate what I feel should be a feature in the camera. As this company is selling betas as market ready products, perhaps it is MORE appropriate to give a laundry list of missing features.

Unfortunately there are tons of tech shills that think any criticism is unwarranted and should be put down or ignored.

On your "don’t put all the features in before launch is just silly. With appropriate market research and good R&D structure, any startup should know the feature list, specs and expected functionality BEFORE market launch. This doesn’t appear to have happened here. Market release appears to have occurred during the R&D/Beta process. That is a fair criticism and one that is supported by the glitchiness of the software/app and the fact that an UPGRADED version was released on the tail end of what would be, for any other company, an initial roll out.

I don’t think that Wyze Labs measures up to their aspirations which is what I am pointing out. Making something reasonably priced with less features means that it is cheaper because it has less features. I am sure that Amazon, Canary, Nest, Arlo, etc, etc, could all sell their cameras for this price if they stripped out all the features that consumers want.

That said, I was willing to sacrifice those features when I purchased in hopes that a bare bones style camera would function seamlessly. Well, it doesn’t. None of my 6 cameras do. So if the camera and app aren’t going to function seamlessly, I want all the features that I am missing. It’s just a matter of give and take. If I get all the features I want, I am willing to put up with growing pains and rough setup and “commissioning”, but if I am going to get less features (in order to save money) I would hope that the programming is spot on and the product works without tons of glitches. It doesn’t, hence the constructive commentary in hopes that Wyze will focus on an approach toward perfection of a product rather than continually focusing on the income stream by releasing new (likely still flawed) versions of the same product.


#9

xxx


#10

I was being constructive. Unfortunately, the shills that think any negative comment isn’t constructive will never understand this. They don’t even read the words. They just see negative and find a way to fight it.

Patches to software are great. If you are releasing a new version of hardware nearly immediately after the initial launch (original release on October 24, 2017 - that’s 5 months ago), you weren’t ready for launch in the first place. You can look at it one of two ways. Development was still churning at full speed with new ideas and new suppliers being vetted when launch occurred. The product would, by any reasonable definition, be seen to be in Beta.

The other perspective is that the original product was found to be so flawed that something needed to be done to fix the product. Rather than fixing the ones on the market, they have replaced the supply of cameras, leaving all early adopters stuck with obsolete cameras before they started collecting any dust.

And yes, those are HUGE companies, but guess what, they are doing things right and not cutting huge corners to rush to market. Sure they have issues. I have had multiple cameras from those companies, but that doesn’t mean that Wyze is doing any better, they aren’t. They have stripped the cameras to bare bones, have had to go with a new CMOS (reason unknown) and the software/app is glitchy at best.

This is all to say that I feel the folks at Wyze need to take a new tact. I am not saying burn it all down. Just that the current trend in their company isn’t sustainable. I say this not to complain and degrade the folks at Wyze but to hopefully provide an outside perspective that could lead to better decisions and approaches which will lead to a better product.


#11

xxx


#12

My post here was never about asking for help but about discussing the bold promises and aspirations of the Wyze Labs team when compared to the execution and management of the project. It wasn’t a request list but rather a direct have and have not list of the camera.

When such a commentary is met with insincere commentary, how should I respond? Take such BS as honest dialogue or as immature banter meant to downplay the serious nature of the mismatch between public face and actual product performance.

I knew when I wrote the original post that the “sell my soul” types would find it offensive. I could care less. Startups come and go. Most fail. I think that Wyze has something and that is why I bought the cameras. I have gone without cameras since I sold off my factory refurbed Canarys (replacing the original purchased cameras that had more issues then they were worth). What warrants the questioning of the motivations, practices and approach of Wyze Labs is the release of a second version of the product only 5 months after the original launch. It’s not a deluxe version, a pro version and … whatever version. It is an outright replacement version for the cameras everyone bought since October. That is insulting. Why no one is understanding that is beyond me.

If the camera wasn’t ready for market, which is evident by a replacement camera 5 months after initial release, then they shouldn’t have brought it to market. What has in essence happened here is that Wyze Labs has used the interest in their allegedly ready for market camera as a source of non-investment style venture capitol. The users are stuck with obsolete cameras that will likely not be fully supported and the company gets a big bag of money.


#13

@julianstan Some people just don’t understand humor. I laughed. Sometimes forums aren’t as light and fun as the could be. Sad.


#14

 

First off, I had never even heard of the Wyze cam until the end of January, when a coworker showed me his. I immediately bought 2. Have I had issues? Yes. Do I regret purchasing them? No. But I have also bought a camera module for a Raspberry Pi https://www.amazon.com/Raspberry-Pi-Camera-Module-Megapixel/dp/B01ER2SKFS that cost about the same amount as the Wyze camera, and that included nothing but a camera on a small circuit board and a short ribbon cable. Seriously, I don’t know how Wyze can sell the camera for $26 shipped.

I was one of the “suckers” that bought 3 of the original Amazon Echo Dots at $89 each. I even used up my free prime membership trial to be allowed to purchase them.

The original Echo Dot was released in Mar 2016 @ $89 as a prime member exclusive. Echo Dot v2 released Oct 20, 2016 for $49 with faster processor. So this isn’t the first time something like this has happened.

A lot of people complained, but I wasn’t one of them. Did I regret that I had bought 3 @ $89? Yes/no I gave two as gifts before the new version was released. And I have purchase more of the Dots when they were on sale.

Seriously, for a $26 camera (I consider the real price to be $26, in the same way a consider a $0.01 used CD on Amazon to cost $4 with shipping) the v1 and v2 were well worth it in my opinion. They are not without warts, and there are connection problems with the updated firmware.

I would also like to see most of the items on your list added as features. But I am afraid that if they try to do all the things you want, that will conflict with your last item. And some of them may not be possible on the current hardware. I also think they are too small of a company to try to be everything to everyone. In other words, I don’t think they should put too much effort into outdoor cameras at this time. If you want reliable outdoor cameras, invest in wired permanently mounted cameras with a DVR on a UPS. And expect to pay a lot more than $26/each.

And to give a list of things that “already exist on other cameras” and then expect them to all exist on a new $26 camera, seems to be an unrealistic expectation to me.

Was Wyze vetting and testing the market when they released their v1 camera? Almost certainly. Starting a new company is not without high risks.

I see Wyze as an integrator, not a manufacturer. They did rewrite the application code, but I think they are using the SDK from the manufacturer of the hardware. How much input they have in the specs of the V2 camera, I have no idea. I am glad they did statistical sampling of the products they received before shipping them out. My guess is that they were given cherry picked samples for the first batch they received and sent out to the alpha test group.

In the computer field there is a saying “Good, Fast, Cheap; Choose two.” Same principle applies to many things.


#15

First off, what I wrote may have seemed like a wishlist, but it really wasn’t. My wishlist would include some items not on the list (black enclosure) and many of the items on the list wouldn’t be on my wishlist (outdoor camera).

What I was doing was painting a picture to compare the aspirational commentary on the “Our Story” page to what is actually occurring with the product and its multiple releases.

I get your comparison to the Echo Dot. I too was an early adopter and then slowly upgraded to the V2. I guess since these folks come out of the Amazon world, it is no surprise that they have approached their business this way. I didn’t like it when Amazon did it and I certainly don’t like it now. I guess the difference is, the Echo Dot is a miniscule income stream for Amazon while the WyzeCam is the first and ONLY income stream for this company. It is the first impression, the indicator of things to come.

Your statement that Wyze is an integrator not a manufacturer, at leat to me, paints them in a worse light. They are taking other people’s work, dressing up the code and selling it as innovation. I get that there are economic advantages to that, but why not shift the money that isn’t necessary for hardware R&D and spend it on some serious, beat the app to death, testing?


#16

Consider that Automobile manufacturers release new cars every year and they do cost many times the cost of a camera. And then there are phones and houses and every imaginable manufactured good. A couple of thousand years or so ago, you could buy a good oil lamp and be assured that you had the latest technology that wouldn’t change for a hundred years or so. Every time we personally do something in our lives we try to a better job of it than the last time. Today everything changes every day.


#17

I am not questioning technological improvements and releasing new versions. The example you give of the automobile isn’t exactly on the same bar. Car companies release cars on a fixed schedule, typically in September of the year prior to the model year. It is meant to coincide with major auto shows and helps to keep stocks fresh. That is planned roll-out. Also important to note is that only minor improvements are made year to year on most cars, some with little to no change from model year to model year. There are those instances of redesign but those are typically 5-10 years apart.

What I have a problem with is a company that on their VERY FIRST product release, turn around and create a version 2 with new internals and likely new firmware within a fiscal quarter. That shows poor planning, rush to market with V1 and a callous attitude toward the consumer. It is likely that they inherited this approach and attitude from Amazon, but perhaps they have not recognized that it isn’t as acceptable in the small startup space.

Now admittedly certain tech companies are getting into this quick release mentality, most notably the release of iPhone 8 quickly followed by iPhone X. There is a bit of difference still in that Apple is an extremely well established company with multiple product lines and a history of relatively quality hardware, software and support. Wyze has nothing but the reputation of V1 and from reading through the forums, there is plenty of question about the stability and sustainability of the product.


#18

And another company can release a more advanced product after you have purchased something from their competitor. Give it a rest. Stop torturing yourself. If you really want something newer, sell your V1 cameras and buy V2s.


#19

A competitor releasing a more advanced product is something completely different and I am guessing that you are smart enough to know that. Why are people so adamant about defending bad practices in the business environment? You can both love the product and want it to be better. You can both use the product and rail against the practices of the company selling it. Certainly, speaking with your dollars and buying products from only those companies that have their act together speaks louder, but true market driven capitalism is watered down in this modern era. When a company like Wyze has such a small market share, a few consumers not buying their product really doesn’t hurt them.

What will hurt them is perpetuating the practice of unplanned product development & product release.


#20

For a $20 dollar camera, I hadn’t expected to get ANY updates. There has been quite a number of updates. I have had many hundred dollar purchases from some prominent companies go unpatched or updated ever, even though there were well known and reported issues. Wyze is to be commended. I am sorry you have your doubts but let us see how this plays out. It isn’t a bad investment at $20.