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Few more personal worlds
During recent weeks I was terrified reading the news coming from Ukraine.
Yesterday morning I had tears in my eyes. And today morning? I was nearly crying, yet I want to frighten my children.
While Angelcam is an American company and we consider ourselves as a global and distributed company (we don’t have any offices and we are working solely remotely, and are serving customers in 100+ countries), our heart belongs to Europe. Particularly in The Czech Republic where most of our team have been born.
I grew up just next to the Russian military base in the westernmost region of the Czech Republic. I was 11 years old when I had witnessing leaving the Russian army from my country – after 23 years of occupation. Many times since then I found myself wondering how it is possible that the whole world didn’t care and allowed Russia to invade.
One of my possible explanations was – “they just didn’t know”.
But there is one huge difference – now we know.
The US and other countries are sharing publicly some of the intel gathered. Even the general public has access to almost real-time commercial satellite images. Everyone has an internet-connected phone with a camera & social media. We can see, share, and like.
Ever wondered why there is such a fuss about the cloud these days? How someone can possibly trust in something that’s intangible and send a stream from their IP camera there? Well, you might be surprised, but there is actually “something” about it. Read our expert Mike’s comparison of cloud and DVR/NVRs that are commonly used, mainly because of habit.
The advantages of the cloud in a nutshell:
1. Opens up new features and functionality for your camera, which are easily customizable and scalable
2. Keeps your video footage safe and secure, thanks to services such as Amazon’s S3 cloud or B2 cloud storage
3. It will never become obsolete, as new features can be continually added over time
In addition, there is no need to pay for extra electricity, or additional maintenance and support. Put simply, it’s a cost-effective, highly efficient service that opens up a wealth of options for you and your surveillance needs.
1. Protection against hard drive failures
DVR/NVR‘s record video on hard drives that will eventually failand many times these failures are discovered right when you need the video. DVRs/NVRs can provide an extra level of protection by utilizing redundant storage space but this adds significant cost. In addition, these systems require more rack space, generate more noise, heat and consume more electricity.
2. Long retention time
DVRs and NVRs have limited storage capacity. Inevitably, as more cameras are added and higher resolution cameras employed, the overall retention time of the NVR is reduced. In other cases, you might simply want one, two or more years of storage from just a few cameras to protect yourself against fraudulent claims, product recalls or for any number of other reasons. With cloud recording, you have the most flexible and scalable storage solution. Simply select the retention time needed for each camera and know that it is safely stored in the cloud.
3. Protection against fire & theft
The most obvious reason for cloud recording is to ensure that video evidence won’t be lost or stolen. However DVRs/NVRs can easily be stolen, fires and floods can destroy them.
Some industries are regulating security. The cannabis industry is one example. Each state that has legalized marijuana has included specifications for security and ensures compliance with state inspections. Since the loss of video evidence is not tolerated in this industry, many states have direct or indirect requirements for off-site backup storage. With cloud recording, the video is stored in real-time at an offsite location. Therefore if there is a theft, fireorflood, the video is safe.
5. Easy access & sharing
People today are always on the move and for them to remain productive and responsive, they need easy and immediate access to their video– no matter where they are. Once an important piece of video is discovered, it will then need to be shared with others. Traditional NVR systems can do all of this, but they require a connection back to the NVR system.
To make sure these remote connections are secure, your IT department or security vendor needs time and diligence to do things properly. This may include firewall, router and NVR configurations along with software installations, PC configurations, and training. In addition, each connection back to the NVR will consume bandwidth and rob performance from the NVR, so if you have multiple remote connections you may experience a slow and unresponsive system.
In contrast, with cloud-based storage systems, the video resides in a cloud, so many users can simultaneously access the live or recorded video stream without any performance degradation.
For instance, if you have a camera with built-in Angelcam-ready firmware, it’s safely connected to the Angelcam cloud by using an encrypted channel. So it’s only you who can remotely view and store a video from it. The magic is in no port forwarding, no exposure a stream of your camera to the public internet. Angelcam stores videos in Amazon S3 and Backblaze B2 cloud storage, the industry’s most trusted services. Everything happens through HTTPS to protect your data and privacy.
In addition, sharing video clips couldn’t be easier. Once a video clip is saved, all one needs to do is enter the email addresses of the individuals that you want to share the video with. These users will get a link (no downloads necessary) and be able to play the video from any device with any internet connection.
And don’t forget to visit our website www.angelcam.com to see how we can help connect your camera to the cloud.
Mike Farnan Vice President of Sales at Angelcam
Mike is an experienced industry expert, who has spent years in the Security Camera division of Philips and Bosch, where he was responsible for Product Management, Sales, and Partner Relations. He also co-founded App-Tech Corporation, a security integration company, where he spent the past 10 years before joining Angelcam. Mike is always excited to “talk shop”, so if you ever wish to discuss industry challenges or your company’s cloud future, feel free to get in touch.
The current home and business security market is simply overcrowded. It’s jam-packed with cameras, alarm panels, sensors and other devices that go a long way to helping you better protect what matters most, but present a complex decision-making process.
When it comes to what feature or functionality to prioritize when it’s time to make that decision, we believe our newly-added service, Real-time Security, and which devices are compatible with it, may help give you that deciding push.
Why you may ask. Well, Angelcam’s Real-time Security was built to rectify one of the greatest drawbacks of current security products – the ability to monitor, verify, and take action in real-time. Since not many devices on the market are ready, in terms of speed of detection, verification, and response capabilities, to take advantage of Angelcam RTS your pool of options just got a lot more focused.
In reality, while there are plenty of options that could work with RTS, we set out to identify only a dozen or so devices that we feel do so above and beyond the others. Those that put users in an optimal position to do what Angelcam’s RTS sets out to do, which is to not just monitor activity but to empower you to effectively react in a timely manner, mitigating any issues that may arise.
Staying on top of your Security with Real-time Alerts
Angelcam’s RTS is built upon users getting real-time alerts when cameras or sensors detect something. With that, there are three ways of how a user receives an instant push notification in their Angelcam mobile app from any sensor or camera.
An email is sent to a specific email address that is automatically generated for every new sensor at My sensors page. Put simply, the sensor or video motion detection will generate and send an email to that designated sensor email address, triggering an event and a push notification. Take a look how to find your sensor’s email address.
2) An event is sent via IFTTT. Here is a short, 1-minute video guide that provides an example of how this works, using a D-Link Home Wi-Fi Motion Sensor.
With that said, we’ve compiled a shortlist of some vendors, and their associated products, that can be connected to the Angelcam Cloud platform and take advantage of Angelcam’s RTS and instant video verification capabilities.
D-Link Home Wi-Fi Motion Sensor
The D-Link Home Wi-Fi Motion Sensor is a very small and cost-effective motion sensor that doesn’t require a base station. It’s connected directly to your router via integrated WiFi and has a very easy installation process, which only requires the download and installation of the D-link app to properly onboard the sensor.
The D-Link Home Wi-Fi Motion Sensor supports IFTTT (see the 1-minute installation guide) and thus can be connected to the Angelcam platform to send push notifications to the Angelcam App.
Very affordable price – $24.99 (no additional costs)
Minialarm aims to change the rules of the game with its easy-to-use, multi-functional, stand-alone sensor that doesn’t require an internet connection to send you alarm notifications. As an NB-IoT, stand-alone device, it doesn’t need a base station, but only four AA batteries and the aforementioned NB-IoT connection.
Minialarm can trigger an alarm when movement from the PIR or internal shock and leverage detector is registered. In other words, you simply place the Minialarm anywhere you have NB-IoT coverage and you’re good to go!
No need for an internet connection or external power supply (powered by 4x AA batteries)
NB-IoT data subscription has to be purchased separately (first 12 months are included)
Reflecting the needs of most customers, Scout Alarm offers a full spectrum of security devices and sensors, which generally require the use of a base unit (the Scout Hub) and are not stand-alone devices. This hub joins all of the sensors together and connects them to the internet.
All sensors currently offered by Scout work with Nest, Amazon Alexa, Hue, IFTTT, Google Assistant and Lifx.
The Scout Alarm system is fully modular and consists of the following sensors:
Door panel – The Door Panel is dual-purpose, acting as both an access point to the system via an RFID reader, meaning it can be armed and disarmed without your phone, and also a means of monitoring activity at the main entry door. It also includes a built-in105 dB siren, ensuring the alarm will be heard throughout the home.
Motion Sensor – Detects motion up to 25 ft (7 m) away. With a 90 degree field of view, it’s great for monitoring critical paths throughout a house.
Access Sensor – Detects the opening and closing of windows, doors, cabinets, and safes.
Water Sensor – Prevents substantial water damage as you’re instantly alerted the moment water is detected.
Smart Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector – This detector constantly monitors your home for the presence of smoke and CO. If an event occurs, your system’s sirens will trigger and you’ll be notified.
Glass Break Sensor – Monitors your home for the sound and vibration of breaking glass.
Wide range of sensors
60-day return policy
4G cellular and battery backup
Integration possibilities – works with Angelcam (via IFTTT)
Sensors always require a Base unit (i.e. Scout Hub)
Only 1 indoor camera and 1 video doorbell are supported
While Netatmo is well known for it’s easy-to-use Smart Home Weather Stations, they also offer a variety of Security, Energy and Air Care devices. Netatmo products are also compliant with IFTTT, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant.
When talking only about its security sensors, Netatmo offers the following:
Smart Indoor Siren – Scare intruders away and better protect your home against burglaries.
Smart Door And Window Sensors – Get notified before a break-in even occurs. Smart Smoke Alarm – Alerts you in the event of a fire.
Does not require a hub, as every sensor is stand-alone (Every sensor has its own Wifi connection to your home router)
60-day return policy
1 additional year of warranty for free
Integration possibilities – works with Angelcam (IFTTT)
We are strengthening our team with the additions of both Michal Majsky and Simon McDermott. Their addition looks to further strengthen our commitment to providing a top-of-the-line, unified means of monitoring home and business security systems (incl. cameras, alarms, sensors, etc.), easily accessing and viewing footage, verifying alarms in rapid fashion, and more. As our new Business Development Director, Simon will harness his expertise to seek out new business opportunities and, most importantly, acquire new partners and secure collaborative partnerships for innovative initiatives. As our new Head of Development, Michal will be focused on managing the company‘s team of developers.
“We’ve been focusing on finding new people and strengthening our team since the beginning of the year. But it’s not just about the singular pursuit of new business opportunities or product improvement for us. First and foremost, we’re looking for individuals that share our mindset, not those who are ideal at first sight based on a polished-up resume. At Angelcam, we like to make mistakes. We don’t track employee attendance, but rather look to provide a relaxed, yet professional environment where employees can be themselves, with maximum freedom and responsibility. And even though we’re not short on candidates, not everyone can work like this. Michal and his commitment to hard work, respect, and encouraging the team every day, reflects that mindset. After a long courtship, we decided to bet on Simon as well – and we’re ecstatic that he bet on us too. Not only are both of them empowering the future and vision of our Real-Time security, but I’m learning a lot from them as well – and I love that!” says Petr Ocásek, the founder and CEO of Angelcam.
“I joined Angelcam because I believe in the company’s mission and I see a huge potential for growth in the sector in which it operates. Even though there’s likely to be a lot of competition in this industry in the future, Angelcam will always have a big head start in research and development as well as a strong position on the market,” says Simon McDermott, Angelcam’s Business Development Director.
Simon McDermott has worked for prominent high-tech companies all over Europe; first for Cisco and Intel, then for startups such as Brandwatch, Emolytics, SoPrism, Jam Publishing, and others. He is the co-founder and former CEO of Attentio, a pioneer startup in the area of analytics and online brand monitoring. He was also responsible for clients such as Johnson & Johnson, Intel, Microsoft, IBM, Carlsberg, Vodafone, and others. Simon was also involved with the Polish incubator STARTER, where he was one of the experts for the Starter Rocket program for the best technological startups in Poland. He received an entrepreneurial award for Attentio, and sales awards from Intel and Cisco. While he was at Brandwatch, he worked in the project team which received the 2014 European deal (SEAT) award.
Simon also acts as the host at many large events, including the well-known Future Port with 10,000 participants. At the Reflect Festival in Cyprus he interviewed biochemist, beauty queen turned entrepreneur Iman Oubou. He’ll also be at How To Web in Bucharest this month
“While working as a freelancer, I always valued the freedom and flexibility it gave me. But as time went by, the need to work on several projects at one time started to be a little tiring, and I also started realizing that often a larger team and internal product development are necessary. Angelcam, therefore, represents all the things which are important to me right now – freedom, the opportunity to focus on one project, and the ability to truly influence something,” Michal Majsky, Angelcam’s Head of Development, states.
Michal has worked in software development for over 10 years. In the past, he co-founded a software development company and as a supplier, he stood at the technological birth of many successful projects, such as the psychologie.cz and nevyhazujteto.cz portals; a social network for poets called, Poetizer; internet TV obbod; and Smybox, a smart photobooth.
The cat is officially out of the bag! Yes, we’re proud to announce that today the new Angelcam API officially goes live to the public and with it comes an exciting new venture for the Angelcam team and for all of you developers, integrators, and entrepreneurs out there who will benefit from the features and functionality that comes along with it. Not a developer? Don’t worry! With IFTTT, you too can set up your own Angelcam API solutions without having to know any programming.
When we set out to create Angelcam’s cloud-based services, we decided then and there that we would create an overall framework that could eventually be adapted and applied into an API format. Over time, we gradually put that intention into action, culminating into what is now the only API currently available on the market that provides a unified interface between applications and camera-enabled devices, sensors, alarms, and other related third-party devices and also just happens to fuel our recently-released Angelcam mobile app which is available for both Android and iOS devices.
Going a step further, the combination of the Angelcam API with our recently-introduced Angelcam Connector provides an end-to-end solution for building a vast array of custom applications, features, and functionality. In addition, the API can manage any and all notifications triggered by cameras and/or sensors, opening up a wealth of functionality options.
As part of our pilot program, we collaborated with some developers who helped us work out the kinks, build out features and functionality, and truly explore the possibilities our API presented. For example, the company Looplay created a mobile application that allows users to tap into live camera streams at sports facilities to capture and share their own game footage.
“We’re very lucky to have stumbled upon Angelcam’s API solution to connect cameras to our web app and give users easy access,” stated Edmond Yazbeck, co-founder at Looplay. “We think it’s the easiest and fastest way to get your cam feed to the world.”.
We’re proud to say that the utilization of our API has helped them create not only an engaging product but also a viable business.
To give you a glimpse of how you could possibly use the Angelcam API, here’s a smattering of some other use case examples:
You can integrate the live stream or cloud recording into your own mobile app or other kinds of software. Just like we have done with our Angelcam mobile app which is available for both Android and iOS devices or Looplay or Tboxtour.
Surveillance companies or companies with their own monitoring center can pair the feed from Angelcam with their alarms and integrate it into their own interface
Make your own cloud-recording interface
Stream live and recorded footage from cameras on mobile devices
Capture and download snapshots to, for example, create customized timelapse videos
Utilize triggered events from cameras, sensors, or IFTTT devices
Beyond that, extended features or functionality, not available by default, can be explored upon request. This includes the ability to use other apps and or services in conjunction with the Angelcam API. Take a look at how the biggest security provider in the Czech Republic took advantage of this.
When you get to the heart of the matter, providing a tool for people to use to help them achieve their own goals is what has us so excited. To that end, we’re not only offering the Angelcam API for free for personal usage, but also look forward to working with all interested parties to not only help them build their products but, like our cooperation with Looplay, help them monetize and market their solutions.
Essentially, if you build something useful for our community of home and business customers found across 140+ countries, we’ll be happy to spread the word or even promote it directly within Angelcam products and services.
To learn more about the Angelcam API and how you can get started, have a look at our API documentation and create your own API key from your Angelcam dashboard, by creating a token and setting its respective scope. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our support team and we’ll be happy to assist.
Pre-vacation blues got you down? You know the feeling. Your plans are all set, tickets are all booked, and sunscreen is all secured, but what about that sinking feeling you have about your home? How can you ensure its safety while you’re away and rest easier knowing that while your vacation will eventually come to an end, that your home will be just as you left it when you return?Believe it or not, it’s much easier than you think and to show you we’ve put together five savvy tips on how you can better secure your home while you’re gone.
#1: Share your camera feeds with family, friends, or trusted neighbors
Angelcam offers the ability to share your camera’s livestream or cloud recording capabilities with other Angelcam accounts. By doing so, you can rest easier knowing you have a second, third, or even more pairs of eyes on your property or belongings. This is especially useful if you plan to be without internet access at any point while you’re away.
We’ve got some news to share that AXIS camera owners are going to simply love!
Starting today, you can now connect your AXIS cameras to the Angelcam Cloud in less than 3 mins! That means absolutely no port forwarding, static and public IP addresses, firewalls, or any other technical prerequisites are required. It’s plug-and-play cloud connection.
With it, you’ll not only save time, but you’ll also ensure your stream remains secure with our top of the line encryption.
At Angelcam, except for other projects, we are building a mobile app that can be used “just” for viewing live or recorded video from cameras but we would like to learn this app much more. The word “just” is not quoted by accident. There are tonnes of apps for viewing camera streams but there’s only one that can be used to connect almost any camera or alarm from any manufacturer – our app.
Looplay is a mobile app that provides amateur & professional athletes the ability to view and download clips/highlights from their sporting events. Cameras mounted at these sporting facilities would record matches/games which can be later accessed by users to search, edit and share footage.