You asked and we listened. In addition to exciting announcements from TechCrunch Disrupt NY around Dropcam Tabs and people detection, we’re also looking forward to launching a popularly requested feature: customizable activity regions. With activity regions, you’ll be able to select and label specific areas in your camera’s view, and set alerts and other preferences based on activity within those regions.
Traditional approaches to motion detection work by detecting differences between video frames. This can lead to false events, where shadows, light reflections or other unimportant changes can trigger a detection. While it may seem simple enough to reduce unwanted alerts by setting a region of interest, many of these unwanted lighting changes can still enter into those regions.
In order to make activity regions work like you’d expect, we had to refine our motion system further. When you look at a video, your brain is doing something much more complex. It is tracking moving objects and ignoring things like shadows or reflections. You can probably do this without even thinking about it — but for computers it’s an incredibly difficult task. To enable something like activity regions, we had to figure out a way to teach Dropcam how to track objects.
What this all means for you is that you’ll be able to receive alerts only when someone or something actually enters the areas you’ve set up. We think it’s going to be popular and can’t wait to get it into your hands later this summer.