Gadgets

Would you crowdfund (or use) this Skype-based security system?

Picture this: You’re at work, and you want to check on your kid or pet. You pull up your Skype account on your smartphone and dial in to activate your video camera. There you are: You can now watch what is going on in real time.

Skycam, a crowdfunded prototype project, is a standalone wireless video surveillance camera that uses Skype to monitor your home, or office while you are away. Its makers plan to sell the hardware at a flat fee of $99 per unit; because it runs on Skype, there are no additional software costs. You’ll be able to monitor the feed from a smartphone, tablet, or a PC.

Powered by a DC power adapter, the camera is easy to install, Skycam says, and delivers up to 30 frames per second. Other features include a two-way voice communication via the built-in microphone and audio output, night vision, and instant video recording. It can record up to 144 hours of video with an 8 GB memory card.

Roger Yiu, the creator of the product says, “I wanted to bring the next generation of video monitoring to everyone.” Yiu also started a campaign to crowdfund his project on Indiegogo.

“I knew my wireless video camera needed to be affordable, easy to use, yet still high quality. That’s why I hope to crowdfund the money necessary for SKYCAM,” he said in a statement.

Yiu, a UC San Diego graduate, needs to raise $50,000 to mass produce his camera and figure out other manufacturing logistics. The campaign will run on Indiegogo until Tuesday, May 28.

Dropcam, another video surveillance startup, has raised about $18 million in venture capital to bring live and recorded videos to users with a connected device of its own.

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