Inside Angelcam

🇺🇦 Ukrainians: use your security camera to fight disinformation, expose the reality, and document the history (for free of charge)

I believe transparency is the best way to fight disinformation. Deeply concerned over the latest development in Ukraine my team prepared this special offer:

  1. Free secure cloud recording
  2. Free broadcasting
  3. Free concierge onboarding

Every camera connected increases the chance the reality will be spread and captured.

Do you have a security camera located in Ukraine capturing the public area?

❗️Since Friday 25th, we are not broadcasting cameras in Kyiv city, as The Kyiv City State Administration requested everyone to do so.

If you have any questions, concerns, or even ideas on how to increase the impact of this initiative, just say hello@angelcam.com. Thank you.

If you decided to flee, these are the best sources I’m aware of:

  1. Apply for accommodation in Slovakia. You can enter to Slovakia even without passport.
  2. The Czech Republic official help: website, +420974801802, ukrajina@mvcr.cz. You can enter Czechia for 90 days with biometric passport.

Stay safe, stay strong. Everyone I know stands behind you. 


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.

And that wasn’t the first time. Something similar happened during the military occupation of Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany in 1938. Media also found dangerous parallels to Adolf Hitler’s actions before the Second World War with Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognize two breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine.

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.

But what an ordinary man can do, besides sharing social media posts with #PrayForUkraine hashtag or sending some money to a charity?

That is why we (actually more team-mates at the same time independently, which makes me proud!) came with this initiative.

Besides this public offer, we had also sent some money to where we believe it may have a quick impact, and we had offered accommodation to our 1,300 Ukrainian users. 

Maybe all these activities will have small or even no impact. Yet I hope if every individual and company will do their best, it matters.

Peter
Co-founder and CEO

Angelcam is strengthening its team, as Simon McDermott takes the helm and looks to forge new, innovative business partnerships for the company

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.

team

Skilled mobile developers wanted

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.

(more…)

3 reasons why your construction business should time-lapse the next project

There are a number of ways keeping track of progress and investing in video production can benefit your business. Here are our top 3 use cases for timelapse video, an essential when it comes to the construction industry.

  1. Endless marketing opportunities

The work speaks for itself. In this case, indeed, a video speaks for itself. A time lapse video tells the story as construction unveils. There’s something catchy and addictive about time lapse and no matter the audience, it’s one of the most engaging formats.

A few ways how to utilize a time lapse video in your marketing mix:

– your website

– social media

– trade shows

– client presentation

– TV ads

Extra tip: Sell an edited copy of the construction video as an extra product to your client.

See this IKEA time lapse – 2 years in 2 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/

  1. Document

Your video material has a bunch of implications and uses internally:

    •  Keep track of your procedures and project management
    • Showcase the progress on the site with colleagues that are not involved in the project
  • Document your projects for archiving purposes
  1. Jobsite safety

On site monitoring coupled with time lapse can help document unpredicted events or errors. Going through footage in this scenario can save resources – and help prevent repeat incidents. 

Construction timelapse checklist:

View all of your camera feeds on one screen with the brand new Video Wall feature

Tired of flicking from one camera to another, trying to keep an active eye on all of your feeds at a given time? With our brand new Video Wall feature, you no longer have to.  

 

Easily create an overview that displays your camera feeds on one screen, customizing it according to your specific needs. Best of all, not only can you watch up to 10 cameras on one Video Wall, but you can create an unlimited amount of Video Walls and conveniently switch between them.

Use this great new feature to create your own video monitoring station or just quickly and easily check if all your cameras are online.

 

To get started creating your first video wall, follow these simple steps:

  1. Log into your My Angelcam zone.
  2. Click on the “Video Wall” button on the top menu bar
  3. Click on “Create View”
  4. Name your new Video Wall
  5. Add desired cameras to the wall

 

 

The New and Improved Timelapse App is Back

 

Not only have construction companies requested it as a means to record site progress for themselves or clients, but event agencies and conference organizers appreciate creating these time-lapse videos to show the various evolutions of their events.

 

A bit of inspiration, how you can use your timelapse video:

 

The new and improved Timelapse app is back and enables you to create a time-lapse video from your IP camera.

The Timelapse app is available upon request right now, so feel free to contact us if interested and we’ll provide you with more information and price plans.

More details about how it works are here.

 

 

 

Hikvision’s latest security issue (affects Hikvision OEM brands as well)

We have noticed an increasing number of Hikvision cameras being hacked over the last few weeks. If you’re using a Hikvision camera, please pay attention to this post and check if your camera is safe.

The main reason why we are informing end users about this particular security issue is due to how easy it is to gain access into affected devices. It is called a “Hollywood hack”, one press of a button and they’re in. The ease of use combined with the fact that it is a widely known and discussed issue means that it poses a real threat to many users.

Was I hacked?

In most cases, your camera settings will get changed for no apparent reason or the camera will be reset to its factory defaults. A hacked camera might even appear to work completely fine, so we recommend securing your camera anyway.

Please note that this is a tech article, if you’re not familiar with some of the processes below, please try using our AngelBox for additional security or contact your local dealer/camera manufacturer.

Which devices are vulnerable and how are they being attacked?

Certain Hikvision firmware versions have a static password hard-coded into the firmware. This means that no matter how complex the password, every camera can be directly accessed. Most cameras will end up being reset to their factory defaults, in certain cases, the attacker might use the gained access to take over the camera for their own purposes or try to access your network.

For the camera to be vulnerable, its HTTP port (usually port 80, where you access the configuration page of your camera) has to be publicly available. This means that you either have to have it forwarded on your router for remote access or you need to have UPnP enabled in the camera and in the router, as well.

Cameras NOT affected: cameras which are used in closed local networks only, cameras which are only streaming to public through RTSP port or cameras connected to Angelcam through AngelBox.

Both official Hikvision devices and OEM brands selling Hikvision hardware are affected. The brands include, for example, some models from Annke, Digital Watchdog, Hunt, Lorex, Swann, TrendNet and so on.

What to do to secure your cameras?

First, please be warned that you’re performing all these actions at your own risk. We are not responsible for any damage or failures resulting from following the recommendations.

If you’re not familiar with the following, we recommend contacting your local distributor and asking them for an assistance.

To make this matter even more complicated, there are two version of Hikvision devices.

-Devices sold officially through authorized security dealers

-Grey imports usually sold on Amazon, Ebay or Alibaba

The grey imports tend to be translated Chinese versions. Upgrading firmware in such cameras results in “bricking” them (effectively destroying their software completely). These cameras have a “CH” in their serial number. If you have such cameras, you can try any following recommendations except for a firmware upgrade. To upgrade your firmware, please contact your dealer/seller or try following one of many online guides at your own risk.

  1. If you have a HTTP port remotely accessible and you don’t need it, close the port.
  2. In addition to point 1, disable UPnP in your camera network settings and disable UPnP in your router settings as well. It will prevent local devices from opening ports on the router automatically. This feature is usually disabled by default, so just make sure it stays that way.
  3. If you have an officially sold Hikvision device, upgrade the firmware. Most devices should have a firmware 5.5.0 available for download and this specific security issue should be fixed there. Depending on your location, feel free to use one of the following portals:
    http://www.hikvisioneurope.com/portal/?dir=portal%2FProduct%20Firmware%2FFront-ends
    http://www.hikvision.com/en/download_89.html
    http://tech.hikvisionusa.com/firmware/2-uncategorised/2-firmware
    In order to do this process properly, upgrade the firmware by following the recommended manufacturer’s procedure and then reset the camera to its factory defaults. By doing this, you will make sure that there are no configuration changes left after the attack.

    If the device is not Hikvision, but its OEM brand, please contact the manufacturer directly.
  4. If you either can’t change anything mentioned above or if you simply want to improve the general level of security when using Angelcam, try using our AngelBox – a device with end to end video encryption which makes it effectively impossible for the camera to be hacked.
  5. As an additional option, we recommend setting up a VLAN for your security system and disabling the devices from this VLAN to access the rest of your local network. Even if the cameras get hacked, the hacker won’t be able to gain access to the rest of your network.

Dahua partners with Angelcam to provide easy and secure connection of security cameras to the cloud

Happy belated Valentine’s Day!

We’re sorry, but our recently announced relationship with Dahua still has us in a very celebratory mood 😉 

The world-leading manufacturer of video surveillance products just officially announced the integration of Angelcam with select camera models. The first available are the Eco-savvy 2.0 Network and Wi-Fi models, with others soon to follow.

The Power of the Angelcam Added Value

With the inclusion of Angelcam into a camera’s firmware, the process of connecting to the cloud is made much simpler, more secure, and more impactful. This impact comes from the rich catalog of apps that allow for cloud storage, public broadcasting, the ability to view multiple cameras remotely on a variety of devices, camera health checks, and more. On top of that, cameras are enabled to integrate with other apps and devices using an API.

Many camera owners, dealers, and integrators want to take advantage of cloud-based apps but find connecting their cameras a difficult and insecure process,” explains Peter Ocasek, CEO of Angelcam. “That’s why this partnership, through the creation of ‘Angelcam-ready’ firmware, is so special as we have saved Dahua’s customers time and made their cameras more secure, robust, and easier to use.”

If you are considering purchasing a new camera, definitely have a look at the full range of “Angelcam Ready Cameras” advantages. If you already have a security camera from Dahua, Hikvision or AV TECH, check the firmware availability for your camera model. All other camera brands and models can be connected easily and securely using an AngelBox.

Lastly, we would just like to thank everyone who helped us with this partnership and look forward to what’s coming next!

Have a great day.

Ivana

PS: Full press release is also available

 

Check the snow conditions in ski resorts before you set off to the mountains

Whether you’re still waiting for the first snow of the year or it has already arrived, now’s the best time to plan your winter holiday. Before you put on your skis or pull out your snowboard from the garage, don’t forget to check the amount of snow on web camera in the ski resorts. A quick glance at their cameras can tell you whether new snow has fallen or if snow cannons are busy waiting for colder weather.

Get some inspiration from these public webcams connected by Angelcam.

 

Tamarck resort in Idaho, USA

1Tamarck
More info at http://tamarackidaho.com

 

Ski Gyimes in Romania, EU

2Rumunsko

More info at http://www.skigyimes.ro/en/ski-index.html

 

 

Mt. Ashland in Oregon, USA

3Regon

More info at http://mtashland.com

 

Nub’s Nob in Harbor Springs, Michigan, USA

4Michigan

More info at https://www.nubsnob.com/livecam/

 

 

 

Did you know you can use your smartphone as a wireless security camera?

SpyNet

UPDATE 7 Jun 2017 – the application has been renamed to  Cam’ON – Cloud IP Camera.

Yes, it’s true! And now you can even connect it to Angelcam without any network configuration. spyNet Camera works with WiFi or by using mobile data connectivity. It can stream any available camera and it’s free. And it’s not the only advantage. You can turn your Android device into a security camera that protects your house, hotel or AirBnB room. Or anything else that needs to be temporarily secured. You just use your phone that has a battery and wi-fi (no wires required) and there you go – your security system comes alive! Anytime you move your camera to a different network (new wi-fi or even cellular) and connect it to Angelcam, it’s connected securely to our cloud.

All you need is a smartphone with Android 5.0 (and up) and a wireless connection.

If you want to give it a try, please follow these steps:

  • Install it and make sure it has the required permissions.
  • Open the app.
  • Enable Angelcam ready.
  • Find a MAC address of your device. A simple guide is here
  • Follow this link and fill in the MAC address of your device.
  • Scan the QR code, name the camera and add it to your account.

GooglePlayBadge

Here’s a little help with screenshots for Android 6.0 how to configure the app.

  • After enabling the adapter, you’ll receive a notification asking to register and showing the MAC you use.

unnamed1

  • If you click on the notification, a message will be shown explaining what to do.

unnamed2

  • You’ll also get a notification on your mobile phone like this.

unnamed5

 

  • Also you can allow the streaming over mobile data connection by disabling the ‘WiFi only’ option from here.
    unnamed7unnamed8

 

Note: If you want to use the same device on a different account, please contact our support. The pairing record needs to be removed first.