Person Detection Update: A New Experiment for Premium Features

I’m going to weigh on this with a highly controversial opinion you may not like, but hopefully, you listen.
Wyze cannot sustain the current company trajectory with a donation-supported model, Especially if you intend to launch several new products.
Donations do not work to sustain a company. What they will do is cause unreset against users and starve the company resources. It’s highly likely the finance guy is chirping the same mantra, and it’s time to listen.

I say this not as a general user of Wyze, but someone with deep connections in Silicon Valley. Donations look terrible to investors.
Wyze currently has several products that could, if managed correctly, become an ecosystem, especially in the smart home category.

On your current path, you are worried about giving a promised software update to users, One which will not make you any money.
Shelve it as you have before until the company has investors knocking at the door…, not vice versa. Then and only then can you afford to roll out the promised free version.

On your current path, you will be eating the cost of servers and not paying your developers. You are currently hiring a software engineer. What do you intend to pay them with donations? Right now you have costs to AWS, what do you plan to do, beg for AWS credits?
Right now, you have a COMPANY. It’s time to act like it and make some tough decisions that lead to the company’s sustainability before you have to make some even tougher decisions and fire people who work for donations. I’m a cynic, and I highly doubt you can keep a company running on the people who do donate… and even if you DO, the future of the company hangs on those people.

On your current path, you look terrible to only the worst investors, who would purchase everything for pennies on the dollar and then strip it for parts. As an example selling your biometrics to Intelius for a few bucks, and if you run on donations, you won’t be able to afford to say no.

The best thing you can do is get a desktop client working and make it subscription-based. Doing so will infuse cash into the business because many people want this feature, and it’s one you have never promised to release for free.

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I am well aware of the history of PD, I have been a customer since launch, so I know how hard Wyze has worked to add additional features (for free) and overall improve the cams.

Also, anyone who wants to complain, just read the OP again, chipping in for PD will be voluntary, so there is no subscription to complain about. though I will just subscribe to cam+ and get 2 great features.

Hopefully they will be able to bring back edge AI to the cam in the future and all this will be moot.


I don’t think they will be able to sustain that but I hope they can.
You’re correct, Person Detection wasn’t a feature in the beginning for us but the XNOR version was for some people.
I think the problem is WYZE adamantly saying that it would be free while not having any idea what the costs would be. People are just disappointed in WYZE.
There was speculation a few weeks ago that PD was going to be a paid service when it was added to the beta app under the Subscriptions menu so I wasn’t shocked. :slight_smile:

That only applies to people who have been here since launch. I didn’t buy cams until this spring, and at purchase time I was told it had no subscription costs, free person detection I could use immediately (just sign up for beta) and it would also be publicly available for free when the coding was done. All of this advertising and promises were guarantees made at the time of purchase for millions of orders. People purchased because it WAS included as a promised feature at time of purchase.

What you said only applies to people who purchased a camera at launch before the promises were made. So by that logic, the free offer should be reversed…anyone who made purchases BEFORE person detection existed should have to pay for it now, and anyone who purchased AFTER PD was promised free (Nov 2019 - July 2020) gets it free because they were promised it was free, and many have been using it for free for months because it was guaranteed, promised and a main reason for agreeing to purchase it in the first place.

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This is an awesome suggestion! Even if they cant fit the entire person detection into the cam firmware, they can do a smaller preliminary test that signals if further full testing is necessary after upload. Great idea, this could allow the cloud PD to skip testing most motion recordings. It’s not as good a solution as completely local, but it could make a huge difference in cost.


It’s my understanding that particular model of cam is basically all local, including the person or pet detection, so there aren’t cloud costs for any of that. They offer cloud subscriptions, and they have other devices that are heavily cloud dependent if you want them, but it’s my understanding that this particular device hardly uses the cloud if you want to keep everything local. I suppose there are still bandwidth costs when you stream from the SD card to your phone while away from home, or the minute ping for a push notification, but most of that isn’t using expensive cloud storage or anything, just borrowing from constantly running bandwidth (like how text messages from phones technically use bandwidth, but in reality are pure profit for carriers and don’t actually cost them any more money than normal operating costs since they just squeeze them in through normal gaps)…still, it could be a concern if nobody ever used any of their other services (nobody ever paid for cloud storage subscriptions, etc. meaning that all bandwidth would be incurring extra costs for every device). As it stands for now though, they do have the infrastructure from other devices and subscriptions to allow remote connecting to your SD card and push notifications that don’t cost them much if anything extra. At least that’s how it was explained to me. Basically all local, and the few bandwidth costs are insignificant because of other options.

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I agree, but to be fair Wyze has offered to continue to provide the service for free to any customer that was onboard when that promise was made. So in that sense they are keeping their word.

Now they did say that if not enough people contribute under the voluntary program they may have to make it a normal pay to play plan.

But as someone correctly pointed out the PD feature was not a launch feature and presumably you could still decide not to pay and just use the onboard motion detection?

So while not ideal I am guessing Wyze is doing their utmost best to play the hand they have been dealt. And it also sounds like they are quietly still pursuing on board AI based on their hiring?

I would say wait and see. They have been pretty darn upfront so far. I suspect they are genuine. But companies don’t survive without more revenue than expenses. So…


no, contributions will not be sustainable, so hopefully this is temporary. Seeing those open job positions makes it appear they want to change their strategy & develop a edge AI solution (hopefully).

Like i said in a earlier post, I think they should have never made that promise.

and there are still no required subscription costs…you can purchase a cam & use it for $20. I see nowhere on the product page indicating free person detection, so I’m not sure where u saw a promise at the time of purchase. Guaranteed? huh, show me the guarantee.


I have 3 of the new 2K indoor cameras and their battery doorbell. They all require an internet connection just to play back local SD card video. So while they are “cloud free” they are still IoT devices. And they still are only fully functional when connected to the internet.

There are some who have reported they were able to get varying degrees of functionality out of them and still keep them off the internet but so far in my own testing, if I leave my routers and access points up but disconnect the internet they pretty well stop working. Even when in HomeKit.



bailed from Yi when they did this. It takes up 1/3rd of the interface, no interaction of app can occur until the banner loaded ( if ever ) rendering their app and UI toast.

Horrible idea.


Wyze announced it here and I believe it was also in an email/news letter when XNOR pulled cut their relationship with Wyze.

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Follow along. Its no different than looking at the tiny WYZE name in the vid which people arent terrified looking at.


I just want you to know how much I appreciated the email, details and transparency.

If Wyze doesn’t work out for you, you have a career in marketing and issue management for companies!

This type of messaging is how it should be done. Nobody does. Too often, they look for the spin. Are you going to lose customers? Sure. But hopefully you retain and gain more. The reality is, those who are leaving are always looking for a reason to leave and jump on hiccups. I remember when my TV streaming service “jumped” the price $5/month for the people who’d been beta testers. People went nuts. Nevermind it was still way cheaper than cable and other providers on a value and pure dollar basis.

Even with this added cost, Wyze is way cheaper than Blink and so many others, and with a fantastic product.

Back to the email. Owning it and telling people why is so important. It isn’t that hard and the truth may suck but it is what it is. My investment with Wyze has been very worthwhile and I’ll be expanding it. One thing that hasn’t changed is your overall price model value.

Thank you and keep up the good work.


Hear, hear! As an international marketing professional and crisis communication adviser, I completely agree.

Too bad no target audience is 100% made up of emotionally healthy and well-intentioned, mature adults. That said, Wyze should see the power of transparent communication of benign intent, and the financial return created by well-deserved trust.

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I understand Wyze is in an extremely tough position! I know they will do their best to not have a fee for PD and I support them no matter what happens. They are trying to run a business while trying to keep their word and it must be hard for them. I am not one one of the people who is mad about this.

I was just trying to help people understand why other may be upset about this. I hope the user donation program works and Wyze will continue to be a great company!


I too am hopeful for the future. Sure would like to see them firmly find their feet and prosper! And please don’t take anything I said as pointed at you, or anyone in particular. My observations are in general.


That and the time stamp can both be freely turned off so; yes there is a difference.
The only people that think ads are a good idea are the people benefiting from the revenue.


I did not purchase a Wize camera until they released it with the original free PD (not beta, production). I would not have considered Wize at the start if it was fee based. Then after testing PD with the first camera I purchase more, many more. I don’t use it as a toy, I count on it for security.


Big Difference!! As said, you can turn off the WYZE name and timestamp. And both can be useful to the user.

I have actually started leaving the WYZE turned on so that I can more easily tell the source of a clip months/years later when it has been backed up and mixed in with with clips from everywhere.

Also it doesn’t really kill much screen space, nor does it eat up what’s left of my life waiting for it to go away.

I have no problem with a company using this as a revenue model - enough apps sure do it - but…

a) I want to know it up front so I have the option of never dealing with that product, and

b) once I spend money (the hardware purchase with certain implied expectations in this case) my tolerance for ad intrusions is about nil these days, and

c) ads look like cr*p when showing, or worse, recommending a camera system to anyone.

Reasonable people may certainly disagree, but suddenly inserting ads into the Wyze app would really be stepping on a final nerve for me personally.


To pick at a possible scab, doesn’t this defeat your personal master plan of focusing on HomeKit in part to allow offline functionality?