Summary - Click to expand
TL;DR: We’re introducing Cam Plus Lite, giving Wyze Person Detection and 12-second cloud recordings to all users at whatever price you want to pay for it, including $0. We’re also adding several requested features for local recording on microSD cards, including removing the 32GB card size limit and adding skip forward and rewind buttons. Because Cam Plus Lite will replace the default 12-second cloud video recordings, please make sure you opt in to Cam Plus Lite before February 15th if you need cloud video storage on your Wyze Cams.
If you’re familiar with the smart home space, you know that monthly subscriptions are becoming an absolute business necessity to build a sustainable IoT business in 2022. If you’re familiar with Wyze though, you know our founding principle is to be friends with users.
Over the last few years we have been desperately trying to navigate this dichotomy. After nearly going bankrupt during the outset of the pandemic, we launched Cam Plus, our premium service that maxes out your Wyze Cams with tons of extra AI and cloud storage features. This is by far the best experience for Wyze users, and the recurring revenue saved Wyze, but it means many of our users don’t have access to our most innovative product features.
Last year, after much soul searching, we had somewhat of a lightbulb moment and started experimenting with a “Name Your Price” concept. The experiment was with just a small subset of users, but what we saw was incredible. When we gave a premium feature to users with no obligation to pay for it, many users voluntarily paid for it anyway to support fellow Wyze community members!
We started dreaming of a new business model where we make all our advanced AI and cloud storage features accessible to everyone and only ask for voluntary contributions in return. This would put our business squarely into the hands of users, on their terms, as part of a community that uplifts and supports each other.
Today we’re taking another step towards that goal by expanding our name-your-price experiment to all current users and giving it a new name. Meet Cam Plus Lite, a service that brings you 12-second Event recordings and Wyze Person Detection at whatever price you choose, including $0.
Cam Plus Lite gives you Wyze Person Detection and 12-second Event videos as often as every 5 minutes, saved in the cloud for 14 days. It will allow you to receive and filter motion Event videos with people in them to make sure the notifications you get are meaningful. This will apply to our current lineup of Wyze Cam models, no matter how many of these devices you have on your account - now or in the future.
Person Detection is crucial to reduce unwanted notifications and create the best Wyze experience possible, but it adds significant cloud costs for us. That’s why we’re asking all users who opt into Cam Plus Lite to contribute whatever possible to help cover the cost of making Person Detection accessible to everyone.
Many users have requested a way to get Event notifications without having to have their videos stored on the cloud, and those who do like our cloud storage don’t find it useful enough in its current form. The average Wyze Cam gets 250+ notifications with new video recordings each week. That’s a ton. But 70% of our users haven’t viewed recorded videos at all for 30 days or more. Either these folks get the info they need in notifications/thumbnails, they’re only using their cameras for Live Streaming, or they’re just getting too many recordings of insignificant Events like insects and waving tree branches. From now on, we want cloud recordings to be coupled with Person Detection to make them more useful.
Starting February 15th, only cameras opted into Cam Plus or Cam Plus Lite will have Event video recordings saved to the cloud. Remember, opting into Cam Plus Lite can be at any price, including $0. If you don’t opt in, then we’ll transition your cameras to store thumbnails of what was detected instead of 12 seconds of recorded video. There’s no hard deadline here, you can opt in whenever you’d like, but just remember that Event videos will stop being recorded on February 15th for those who don’t opt in. We will send you lots of reminders.
We’ve also been making a few upgrades to local storage:
- We just acquired a license to an exFAT patent and will officially support microSDXC cards bigger than 32GB! This is already included on the latest Wyze Cam v3 firmware and will be coming to the rest of our cameras in their next firmware updates.
- If you’re using local storage, the Event has a button that will take you directly to the appropriate timestamp on the microSD card so you can see the full Event using local storage.
- We’re adding 30-second rewind and skip forward buttons to help you jump through microSD card footage faster. This will be live by mid-February.
To all Wyze users, thank you. You’ve upheld and supported us since our first camera. With no marketing budgets, no partnerships, and a lot to learn in this industry, we’ve impossibly survived 4 years and counting while competing directly with the biggest companies in the history of the world. We haven’t come this far by doing anything in the traditional way.
We believe a Name Your Price model can work as well as any subscription model. With the added benefit that we become much more accountable to you and to building more of the things you want us to make in the right way.
That sounds a whole lot more like being friends with users to us.
Cam Plus members already make monthly contributions to Wyze. We love you and thank you for your support! You don’t need to do anything, we’re automatically putting Cam Plus Lite on all your cameras that don’t already have the full Cam Plus experience. It’ll take a few days for us to push out to all Cam Plus members, and then all you need to do is toggle on Person Detection in Services within the Account tab.
As mentioned above, we’re running a script to automatically add Cam Plus Lite to all of our existing Cam Plus subscribers’ accounts. This means that Cam Plus Lite hasn’t been added to your account yet. Don’t wanna wait? You can sign up manually here: https://services.wyze.com/purchase/type/person-detection
Once that’s done, head back into that menu and you should be good to go.
Wyze Cams v1, v2, v3, Pan v1, Pan v2, and Wyze Cam Outdoor. We need a little more time to make Cam Plus Lite compatible with our video doorbells. If you only have a Wyze Video Doorbell, we will send you another communication later on when it’s ready. The cloud recording experience on doorbells will not change on February 15th, it will stay the same for now. Wyze Cam v1 doesn’t have the hardware to run Cam Plus Lite and won’t be supported.
If you already went through the Name Your Price process last year all your cameras will be automatically upgraded to Cam Plus Lite at your current contribution, including those who paid $0. Note that Cam Plus Lite makes newer camera models eligible, so if you want Person Detection on those cameras as well, you just need to flip the Person Detection toggle under Services in your Account tab. This is rolling out slowly, so it make take a few days for you to see the option.
No, Cam Plus Lite is at the account level. When you opt in, all your cameras will be eligible for Cam Plus Lite, and you’ll need to assign them in the Account tab of your Wyze app. The suggested contribution price will change depending on the number of cameras you have.
We’re going to evaluate the results of this experiment before making that decision, but right now we plan to make it available on future devices assuming we can cover enough cost with user contributions.
Wyze Cam v1 support has been added to Cam Plus Lite and this post has been updated to reflect this.
Added instructions for those with Cam Plus Lite toggles in the app that do not work. Adjusted the formatting for readability.