@Jeff_CA, I’ve been thinking about something very much along these lines!
My unit would be another optional bolt-on product, similar to Bulb & Plug, albeit a premium offering. It could even be the initial product in a Wyze Premium series. Still relatively inexpensive and not diluting the Wyze mission of everyday affordable quality. Rather than traditional HDDs, I suggest variable capacity M.2 (NVMe or SATA bus) SSDs (128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096 GB or whichever flavors they deem marketable). These are pretty well commoditized by now at reasonable capacities. They would also reduce both dimensional & power requirements (keeping it Wyze lean), while increasing performance spectacularly vs mechanical drives.
Currently, a multitude of Wyze cams are essentially a federated constellation of independent units. The DVR I envision for them would involve a choice of (or dual) setup modes. For example, you could configure your cams to operate in the current cloud model, OR you could choose DVR/HUB mode. The latter would establish the DVR unit as a hub to which the cams attach. It would also become a proxy chokepoint whereby only the hub dials into the Wyze cloud to be addressable via the app, seamlessly brokering device access. Wyze Sensor Bridge could be built into it as well in order to accommodate Wyze Sense without the need for a cam piggyback bridge. Should the hub fail, devices could also fail back to cloud mode.
Additionally, I’d build plenty of processing power into the DVR hub, and offload things like person detection onto it. This might’ve been a better approach than shoehorning AI into the current generation of cams, which 1) didn’t have the capacity to handle it imo, and, 2) possibly frittered away development focus the past few months. Centrally processing the AI layers on a more powerful (and purpose-built) hub device also offers the advantage of LAN speed processing since it would be on the same local network (preferably wirebound) as the cams, and not subject to Internet best-effort latency. Can’t tell you how many Wyze Sense smart alert videos I’ve had without any germaine subject matter (ie. whomever opened a door) in the clip. The horse had already left the barn on many occasions due to upload latency. Buffering it to the hub first solves this problem. I think it would also undoubtedly enhance the person detection performance issues echoing thru other threads.
As you’ve mentioned, a product like this is the obvious foil to a perp simply walking up to destroy or steal the cam(s). Not sure there’s any way to even view your cloud footage if the cam goes off-grid. A device like this would certainly shore-up one of WyzeCam’s most glaring weaknesses in the security space.
Wonder what @rbruceporter, @WyzeGwendolyn, @HDRock, or others think about the concept?