The San Diego company’s Vue webcams could give the company an edge over other remote-security camera solutions because they use a low-power video mesh network. Each camera you add can connect to the network as long as it is within a 300-feet range of the wireless antenna, or gateway, which connects to a computer network. As many as 50 webcams can be added to a network, and as many as three cameras can be daisy-chained together to extend the range of the network to as far as 900 feet from the gateway.
The cameras have small batteries that can last as long as a year. They’re compact and you can place them just about anywhere by attaching them to a magnet, which you then attach to a peel-and-stick mount that can stick to any wall. Gioia Messinger, founder and chief executive, says the webcams can transmit at about eight to 10 frames a second with a VGA screen resolution.
Messinger founded the company in 2004 and used funds from the Office of Naval Research and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to get the mesh networking technology off the ground. Avaak is developing products for those agencies, but it is also now targeting the consumer market.
Avaak is taking orders for its $299 Vue product now and will begin shipping the product this summer. The product package includes a gateway and two cameras and their mounts. It includes a year of free service; after a year, you pay an annual fee of $19.95. You view what’s showing on the cameras via the web. From a VueZone online account, you can share the video streams live with others. You can also upload videos to YouTube or Flickr.
The company has 30 employees and has raised $7 million from Trinity Ventures and InterWest Partners. It recently won a $3 million contract from the Office of Naval Research.