I bought a case of V2’s back when Person Detection was still a selling point, and before Wyze decided they could suck some subscription fees out of their customers for that feature. Later, as you may be aware, that “feature” later became a “service” and then they politely asked you to pay for what was originally a selling point and included in the price. So… to be clear: Wyze sold V2’s with a promise of performance which they later bait-and-switched to a fee-based service. Fine. I reluctantly sign up for Person Detection (Pilot) for my 8 existing V2’s.
Then V3’s come out. Much better night vision. I buy 2 of them to replace 2 existing V2’s. the V3’s come with a CamPlus trial period, and at that moment, I knew I was in trouble, and fully anticipated what has now happened: V#'s have been forced out of the Person Detection (Pilot) service.
So this means you can NEVER upgrade a V2 with your existing Person Detection (Pilot) service.
The answer I got from Renfred at Wyze was little more than a thorough demonstration that Renfred had no idea wtf I was talking about. Then today I chatted with Julie, who valiantly confirmed the same thing, until she asked someone and came back with “V3 isn’t compatible.”.
Lol… NOT COMPATIBLE?! Compatible with WHAT? With PERSON DETECTION? Omigod, that’s fantastic. That’s the best explanation you can come up with for, “Oh crap, we totally didn’t think V2 founding customers would ever upgrade to V3’s and now they are locked out of Person Detection we cleverly started billing them for, and now they’re PISSED!”
This is absurd and a wildly unethical failure of Expectation of Performance.
At the very least, allow users to UPGRADE existing V2’s… so: If you have 8 cameras on your original Person Detection (Pilot) service, then allow then to deactivate a V2 and add a V3, never having more than you were originally paying for. At least that much, however petty, would seem reasonable.
Forcing me to buy CamPlus for an upgrade is absolute underhanded horse puckey.
Let’s get back to your root indication that V2s are no longer compatible with Person Detection (pilot). What is it?
I still have 16 V2 cameras on that list, running firmware anywhere from 18.104.22.168 (the last stable FW that included the previous ‘on-board’ Person Detection), up to the newest released version of 22.214.171.124.
Both FW extremes still work. I just tested both the highest and lowest versions of FW above using the current iOS production app, and they both reported a person was detected.
As far as V3s go, only cams born before Cam Plus (V2s and Pans) can use the Person Detection Pilot (name your price, I paid $0).
The V3 has always needed Cam Plus to get person detection because they never promised free person detection on that model & up.
Person Detection (Pilot): First, we bought V2’s and the “ability to detect persons” was included as a feature of the camera. Wyze was however using third party components/servers to perform the person detection process. When they realized third party was no longer a viable business model (through protest) they rebuilt it form scratch in-house. At this point, presumably due to costs involved with server-side processing for detecting persons, they ASKED existing users, if they wouldn’t mind, to please voluntarily pay for a feature which was previously free. Reluctantly, ethically, we complied, and now pay for a new “service” they invented called “Person Detection (Pilot)”. Within the Account > Services page of my app, I now have Person Detection (Pilot) as a Service, and all of my V2’s are listed with on/off switches to be included in Person Detection. The V3’s do not appear on this list, making CamPlus the only option for V3’s.
My argument lies in the process of UPGRADING an EXISTING camera with an EXISTING service. I am already paying for a service which was originally marketed as included. Now I can never upgrade my V2’s under that umbrella and would need to pay an extra fee for what I already paid for. That’s what has me torqued.
They only ever included free person detection with the V2s and below. They never included it with the V3s.
When they were forced by loss of contract to move from V2 on-board person detection (the original was not in the cloud) to the pilot they had to develop (which is in the cloud), they asked how much you would be willing to pay to help them defray costs. They accepted $0 for an answer, but if you wanted to pay to help Wyze, you could. So it is still available to me as it always has been, for free. That’s how much I offered.
If I want a V3 to have person detection I have to subscribe to Cam Plus, which is the way that model has always been.
So nothing has changed on any product from my viewpoint.
Wyze has always been very vocally upfront about how the Legacy Person Detection would never work with anything other than V2’s and Pan Cam (V1). They told us over and over again as far back as last summer this would be the case. Even When we were finally allowed to sign up for the legacy Person detection, they told us this multiple times. I even still have a screenshot from when I signed up for it from when I was helping others be able to get it:
That was taken in September 2020, but there are earlier notices, and they mentioned it again when we signed up to make sure we all understood that all future devices would not qualify. Notice that the image clearly shows it only works with the Pan Cam and the V2, and was not supposed to even work with the WCO.
Here’s a copy from the FAQ back in September too:
Keep in mind, the WCO was already launched, and as I recall, the V3 was already announced and in pre-order during the time it was still possible to sign up for the Legacy PD, and they still repeatedly told us lots of places, including in the sign up, that it was only for the V2 and Pan cam.
I know that none of that changes the frustration felt due to a misunderstanding, but we also need to be fair that Wyze wasn’t being malicious or trying to hide or sneak something past people in some way. I thought it was pretty clear when they launched it that it was only ever going to work with V2’s and Pan Cams and that future devices would all be excluded from this. It wasn’t even fine print or just in some disclaimer, they made a fairly clear graphic for visual people and TL;DR people, way more than most companies do for such things.
Don’t get me wrong, I really wish all my V3’s had PD too…When purchasing new cams I had to decide between what was more important to me, PD or the new features without PD. So I have some of both depending on the location. For a while, in some locations I even had a V2 and a V3 watching the same area just so I could have the benefits of both (Person Detection notifications AND color night vision, etc).
Regardless of any of the above, I am sorry to hear about the oversight and misunderstanding. If you’re still within the return policy time frame you can probably return the V3’s and keep having person detection on the V2’s. Also, they are still selling V2’s some places and any new V2’s you get will also have person detection. I recently saw some V2’s for sale at Walmart.
They just consider V3’s and any other products an entirely different product line, and only even offered Free/pay what you want PD on V2’s because they’d previously promised and advertised that it would be available for that specific product line.
Having said all that (please don’t shoot the messenger), I will leave you with hope…On October 29 Wyze’s Lin Chen spoke during the AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) and told us that they are looking to start offering Person Detection locally on devices again, what they call “Edge” based person detection as they originally had on the V2. they couldn’t do this on the V2 because of the limited resources (memory, processor, etc), but Wyze said it might be possible to do with the V3, and they are looking into for future devices too. Last summer Wyze even posted dedicated job positions to figuring out how to add Edge (ie: local person detection, etc) back into their camera products:
There are also several confirmation statements from Wyze Gwendolyn about them still looking into Edge solutions for future products in the original announcement thread:
and several other employees have commented about working on this, including the possibility of a local solution for the V3 if they can get it to fit within the V3 resources, but most likely an upcoming future product. It’s possible V3’s will eventually some day receive an update allowing Edge PD, but I personally doubt it. I think they will wait and include it in some future slightly more beefed up camera product. Building an Edge AI can take a long time though, the coding and training for that will be insane. Definitely not this year IMO.
I can’t give the response wanted, but I can provide some insight that can hopefully help decide what to do from here. Of course if the situation will continue to cause angry feelings, I would suggest that life is too short and if my cams were going to continually remind me about how angry I was over the situation, I’d sell them all and replace them with a competitor just so it wasn’t continually bringing up angry feelings and affecting my relationships and my life by me feeling frustrated or angry about it often.
Regardless, your intent to make sure others know (who may also have a misunderstanding) to be careful of this situation is a good one. Hopefully your post helps someone else be careful and make a well informed decision on whether they want more V2’s, V3’s or another option.