Sensors

I have a very pedestrian question. Well I have ordered two of the sensor kits, I’m having second thoughts because I’m wondering how to use them.

The sensors are designed to trigger the camera to record. What’s the difference between the sensors and what’s already built into the camera?

Please note, I have no desire to put a sensor on my dryer or the cookie jar.

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There are two types of sensors: motion and contact. I think the function of the contact sensors is pretty straightforward. Using input from these, the camera would record when, for example, a door is opened. Not something it can really do on its own, especially if not pointed at that door.

Regarding motion sensing, the built-in camera motion sensing relies on detecting changes in pixels from one frame to the next. Therefore it detects as motion anything where enough pixels change. For example, a change in lighting such as a shadow moving across the image or the sun going behind a cloud can trigger a motion event. The Sense motion sensors, on the other hand, rely on Passive InfraRed (PIR), which sense essentially heat signatures. This is the same kind of tech that is usually used to trigger motion sensing floodlights. This is much less likely to give you a false motion detection based on lighting changes, for example.

Here is a FAQ on Wyze Sense which may answer other questions you may have:

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Thank you for the quick response.

I understand the difference between the camera sensors and the new motion sensor. But, I’m still baffled why I would use one. If the camera is already picking up any kind of motion whether it’s sunlight or a leaf Blowing by or the warm body of a burglar, why would I need the new motion sensor? What other applications can you recommend for thing?

If I were to place a sensor in a room where I didn’t have a camera what would be the point of the sensor going off? There’s no camera to catch any action. I think one of your promotional videos had a sensor any stairway. If the camera is not pointed at the stairway it’s not going to record anything. If I point the camera at the stairway I don’t need the sensor.

I hope you see my frustration and questions surrounding this product.

The more I think about it the more I’m second-guessing my purchase.

First, I need to clarify that I’m a fellow user like you, and a volunteer moderator, not a Wyze employee.

I see a lot of your point.

One value of the sensors is to reduce false alerts if you are really only interested in motion of warm bodies or of doors opening. There are many comments on the forum from people who are annoyed by having to review a motion alert only to find it was caused by a change in lighting. Using a motion/door sensor to trigger an alert and only look at the video in those cases will make a lot of those folks happy.

Another use case is when you want to know if someone has gone into an area that you don’t necessarily want a camera, such as a bedroom. Say you have a camera at the bottom of the stairs, but you really only want to review the video if someone had gone upstairs and entered a bedroom. The motion sensor or door sensor could accomplish this.

I’m sure there are hundreds of other applications that imaginative folks will come up with. For example, I’m going to try putting one in my mailbox to get an alert when my mail arrives.

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Thank you for the additional ideas. While your applications are valid I still don’t think they warrant the expense of the sensors.

I’m not trying to argue, but if I put a sensor in a bedroom where I didn’t want to have a camera and someone entered the room, wouldn’t it make sense that I’d want to see what they did in the room? That’s the whole point of having these cameras.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I sincerely appreciate it. I’ve got seven of the cameras set up right now and plan to buy about 7 or 8 outdoor cameras when they come out. I like the product. But I’m not too impressed with the whole sensor thing yet.

The sensors don’t necessarily have to trigger a camera. I have door/window and motion sensors tied to a different smart system that just let me know if someone has opened a door or window. I have a door sensor on a walk-in closet so that when it opens, it turns on a light as the switch is in a weird place halfway in (remember, Wyze bulb coming out later too!). I have one that does the same thing, at night, on my back door so when I come home in the dark and open a door, I’ve got a light on. I have a motion sensor in the laundry room that turns on/off a light, great when my hands are full of laundry. There’s a motion sensor in my shed that lets me know if anyone goes in there. There are lots of ways or reasons to use them, but you may not have the need. I’m sure you can still cancel your order if you changed your mind.

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Thank you for the additional information!

@John517 I have a camera inside that is trained on a door which leads to the outside. Frequent changes in sunlight patterns in the daytime, cars driving past at night and even moths flying past the camera all trigger false alerts (false positive). So, rather than get multiple notifications of all these false positive events, I turned notifications “Off” for that camera. When I install a contact sensor on that door, I will have a Push Notification sent that the door was opened. Of course, the camera will create a 12 second video at the same time. The Push Notification from the contact sensor will be a positive alert that the door was “breached” and that gives me a means of filtering alerts.

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I’m also planning on putting sensors on my two garage doors so that I can tell whether the doors are open or closed. I have no camera in the garage so it will be a way to expand my coverage.

I’m planning on putting a motion detector in our bedroom … since my wife won’t let me put a camera in there. I’m planning on using IFTTT to turn the motion detector on/off when we leave/return home. Don’t need the motion detector tracking a whole bunch of motion or action in bedroom when we’re home (hope springs eternal).

There’s no need to wait. You can do that now with a Tuya (SmartLife) compatible PIR sensor. I just did that myself recently.

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Yes it sounds like the sensors can be tied to the cameras to perform actions, but can also be used for stand-alone notifications. I have smart things sensors in the garage already, but have the Sense starter pack on order to get more contact sensors to use on other first floor entry doors.

Thank you everyone.

However, I’m still not convinced that the new sensors have any real value. The whole point of having the cameras is to see what is going on. All the sensors do is tell you that something happened. Without having a camera trained on the window or the door that you have a sensor on you have no idea who was coming or going.

If anyone from wyze cam is monitoring This Thread it would be great for you to chime in with your reasoning Behind These two new sensors. I pretty much convinced myself that I’m going to cancel my order unless I hear otherwise from you.

@John517, I think you’ve pretty much heard all of the reasons Wyze would give you for developing the sensors in the discussion above. To summarize:

  1. To monitor where you don’t want a camera for privacy reasons,

  2. To reduce false alerts due to lighting changes, etc.

  3. To monitor an area where wifi doesn’t reach or you can’t easily get power to.

For #2 and #3, see my post here: Mailbox monitor. In this case, I wanted to receive notifications only when the mailbox is opened, not when any other action occurs outside. This way, I can have the camera recording event clips all the time, but only receive notifications specifically when the mailbox is opened.

There is a great deal of demand for this type of product not only from Wyze but from many other companies. Wyze’s version is being sold at a much better price point than most of the other companies, just $20 for the starter set. But if you don’t have a personal need for them, then spending even $20 doesn’t make sense. So if you decide to cancel your order, I’m sure others will be glad to grab them.

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Personal preference is what it is. For you, cameras covering everything is an option and works for you, which I think is a good option if you are able to work it out. For me, I wish I could have cameras covering everything, but contact sensors or motion sensors are more “boss approved” and work in my case. Which ever one chooses is not right or wrong, but I applaud the fact that the Wyze company, the company which has a great product in their cameras, are adding several more products to their lineup (creating their own ecosystem) as an option to the users. And again, I am glad the camera everywhere option works for you, I guess that there are more out there like me that are jealous of you. :slight_smile:

A couple of my personal use cases:

  1. Shed door - my shed door is on the side of my shed away from my back door, so I can’t easily see whether it’s open or closed, or see if someone were to try getting into my shed. I don’t have power to my shed, and I honestly couldn’t care less what happens behind my shed so a camera is a bit overkill. However, if someone leaves the shed door open I’d like to know, or if the shed door opens when I’m not home I’d also like to know.
  2. Bedroom windows - my kids are old enough to open windows but not old enough to exercise caution :slight_smile: . Cameras in their rooms would get alerts all the time, and I don’t care for cameras in the house, but an alert that one of the windows is open would be helpful.
  3. Mailbox - I have cameras pointing at my front yard and carport, but I have the detection zones set to the lower half of the frame to avoid false alerts every time a car drives past. Having a sensor (motion or contact) in my mailbox would allow me to know when the mail was delivered and/or picked up, as well as triggering a video recording on both cameras.
  4. Indoor monitoring - as previously mentioned I don’t care for cameras inside my house, but a PIR motion sensor only detects whether there’s motion or not. These are perfect for indoor spaces where I would like to know if someone is active, but without the invasion of privacy a camera would represent.
  5. Outdoor monitoring - There are parts of my property that face neighbors’ pools or other semi-private areas that as a courtesy I don’t want to point cameras at.However, those same areas are often used as shortcuts by pedestrians trying to save 30 seconds, and one is a blind approach to my house. Motion sensors would again be less privacy invasive for my neighbors while still providing me some notification of unexpected activity around my house.

I may come up with other uses for more sensors, but the above are the ones I already had in mind and was considering getting SmartThings for before Wyze announced their sensors. At the price point they’re much more affordable than SmartThings and I can stick to one system.

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This is working great for me: Mailbox monitor

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+1 on the bedroom windows … my wife and I enjoy sleeping with a window or two open a couple of inches in our ranch home. I’m planning on putting two magnetic contacts for one of my sensors … one magnet placed in the “window closed” position. Another magnet placed in the “window open 2 inches” position. With an alert and text to my phone.

Todwatts, your application for the partially opened window was the best one that I’ve heard.

However, I spent a little time and talk to wyzecam directly today about my concerns. They couldn’t give me any additional reasons why I should keep the product so I cancelled my pre-order.

Thanks everyone for your help. I’m holding out for the outdoor cameras.

It sounds like you’re convinced that they won’t work for you, and that’s fine if it doesn’t suit your needs. For me however, I already wish I had purchased more than I did. The uses are endless.

  1. A motion detector will be going in my mailbox. It’s pointless to rely on my camera inside to catch the people that have stolen from my box, because it would pick up a hundred cars driving by everyday day. Instead when the motion detection see the box is open, the camera in the window will start recording and alert me
  2. One sensor will be going on my driveway gate, (again because it will activate camera in the window only when someone tries to open the gate instead of cars driving by. )
  3. A motion detector will be going in a rarely used bedroom, because if someone tries to come through a window I want to be alerted to that immediately, not a minute or two later when they are already in a part of the house with a camera. (Even though rarely used, I wouldn’t put a camera in a bedroom)
  4. I have dogs. There are times I want notifications if doors/windows open, but don’t want constant movement notifications and videos of my dogs. You guessed it… sensors
  5. One will go on my garage door, because it will remind me after a set time that the door is forgotten open. Cameras can’t do that.

The list is limited only to your imagination.

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Just got my motion/switch kit and have played with it a bit. Here are my first impressions:

  • So small! The PIR motion sensor and contact switches are very petite I like it.
  • The range is pretty good. I put one on my mailbox (I know they’re indoor only) and the camera in my bedroom window can “see” it just fine.
  • I’m hoping for more integrations. They’re fine for activating Wyze cameras but I’d like better notifications and possibly integration with open source systems like Domoticz.
  • Notifications on my Galaxy phone take about 2 minutes from when the sensor is activated. Not exactly as real-time as I had hoped for.
  • I don’t see any IFTTT integrations for the sensors, just the cameras.
  • Because most cameras can detect motion already, the use-cases are limited without better notification or integrations with other systems.
  • I know this is a 1.0 release and it will only get better. Good job so far!