A look at what’s next: Dropcam Tabs and people detection

How do you know what’s happening at home when you’re not there? That’s one of the questions that drives us each and everyday at Dropcam. We envision a future where you have perfect information about what goes on at home. And today, CEO Greg Duffy gave an exciting look at some of the game-changing technologies we’re launching this summer at TechCrunch Disrupt NY, bringing us even closer to that vision.

Dropcam Tabs
How do you know what’s open or closed, or what comes and goes? You’ll know with Dropcam Tabs, an all-new wireless movement sensor for Dropcam Pro. Enabled by Bluetooth low energy (BTLE), you can place Tabs on doors, windows and valuables — even things your camera can’t see. Dropcam Tabs are rugged and resistant to dust and rain, so you can also use Tabs outdoors.

Available for just $29, Dropcam Tabs is shipping later this summer and you can pre-order yours now.

People Detection
Motion alerts can be incredibly useful. But if you live in a house where there’s constant motion activity — caused by pets, for example — how do you know when there’s really something you should be paying attention to? Dropcam’s people detection capabilities will be able to determine and notify you when an actual person enters your camera’s view. You can imagine how powerful this can be, especially when it comes to making alerts more relevant and useful for your specific environment. This type of video analysis is all based on software, and we already see ways to extend this technology into identifying pets, certain types of objects and even specific people.

To hear more from Greg, watch a replay of his complete talk at TechCrunch Disrupt NY.


Let us know what you think in the comments!

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35 thoughts on “A look at what’s next: Dropcam Tabs and people detection

  1. Since the Tab uses BTLE and requires a Dropcam Pro, I’m assuming that it needs to be used in range of the camera? What’s the expected range for something like placing it on a gate?


    1. Hi Brandon!

      The expected range for Dropcam Tabs Sensors is about 100 feet from your Dropcam Pro, depending on how clear the “line-of-sight” is between the two (walls, furniture, etc…).

      Thanks for reaching out!

  2. Does the Dropcam Tab require an additional Cloud recording? A fee? or is it incorporated into the Dropcam Pro existing fee? And must it be near the Dropcam or just within the home’s wifi?

    1. Hey Jeff!

      Dropcam Tabs Sensor does not require a fee or an existing Cloud Recording subscription. Once you have purchased your Tabs Sensor, it is completely free to use!

      Dropcam Tabs does need to be near your Dropcam Pro to work but its range is about 100 feet depending on how many walls and objects are between the two.

      Hope this helps!

  3. Will Tabs be priced at $29 at retail too? Or is that a discounted, pre-order rate?
    Are the internal batteries rechargeable? Or will a new Tab be required after the battery dies?

    1. Hi Chaseme!

      Dropcam Tabs is currently offered at $29 on our website only and is not available in retail stores. This is not a pre-order price or special promotion price.


  4. These sound really cool.
    For some dropcams, I have them on schedule to save bandwidth usage.
    Will the Tab be able to piggyback alerts through a cam that is not broadcasting?

    BTW, love that you have an outdoor product…please keep putting the R&D into getting the Dropcam outdoors!!!!!

    1. Hey David!

      An outdoor Dropcam is one of our most popular request. If you would like to be among the first to know when we announce new features and products, please sign up for our mailing list here: http://bit.ly/1meKJsM

      Thanks for reaching out!

      1. How about a dropcam doorbell ? The current two available are not ready for prime time and I’m sure if you offered it it would be a great product like my Pro’s (upgraded from the base model to these). Power wouldn’t be a problem as the doorbell is already powered.

  5. Will Dropcam Tabs detect people coming up to my house or do they only sense when my door is kicked open? I have a standard alarm system that has scared away thieves twice without them taking anything, but I still had to replace two doors! They don’t believe the signs saying the house is alarmed (or can’t read?) I want something that will alert me that someone has pulled a car in my driveway or is walking up to my house and will audibly alert them that they are being video recorded and to get the heck away from my house. Getting a video of them in my house is not as useful to me as using the technology as a deterrent to stop the crime before it happens and to let them know the house isn’t an easy mark. What is the progress toward that “wish list?” thanks!

  6. I use the region monitoring feature of the Dropcam app to turn my camera on and off. Would it be possible in a future version of the app to use BLE proximity of my phone to my camera instead?

    1. Hi Chris,

      For now the Dropcam App only supports location scheduling via cellphone tower triangulation. We are currently researching the feasibility of providing the kind of location service you are referring to using Bluetooth LE.

      Hope this helps!

      1. Are the tabs powered or is it just an object that the camera can recognize? Can I detect if a sliding door or garage door is open/closed? How about mailbox open/closed? Can I put one on my cars to detect whether they have arrived or left?

        Ditto on the other customer comments regarding outdoor camera and audible alarms/warnings.

    1. Hi Neil,

      There is no limit to how many Dropcam Tabs Sensors you can have attached to one Dropcam Pro.


  7. First off, let me preface by stating that you have a great product here… I recently bought 4 cameras for use within my house but looking at different parts of my property. I would like to place two of them in windows with southern exposure so that I can monitor my front door and driveway. Can the cameras sit in direct sunlight on a window sill? I thought I remembered seeing something somewhere stating that they shouldn’t. Is this to keep the cameras from overheating? The temperture inside my house is kept at 66-68 degrees year round, so I don’t think that would be too much of an issue. Thanks.

    1. Yikes. Posted it in the wrong spot. My apologies… If people can answer me here, that would be greatly appreciated.

    2. Hi Manny!

      The recommended operating temperature for Dropcam and Dropcam Pro is between 32º and 95º Fahrenheit. You should be alright to leave your camera on a window sill if the temperature remains within that range.

      Thanks for reaching out!

  8. My experience with Z Wave accessories is that their real range is very short 20-30 ft even line of sight. Through the thickness of a wall, it is quite unreliable. How does the range compare to Z Wave?

  9. Will Dropcam Tabs be compatible with a standard Dropcam (as opposed to just with a Dropcam Pro) at some point in the future? This functionality would be great for me, but I have very recently purchased a standard Dropcam and don’t want to have to go back and buy a Pro camera just to use this. Thanks

  10. What happened to the Dropcam Tabs product page? https://www.dropcam.com/products/tabs is indexed by both Google and Bing and yet goes to the index on your site.

    I noticed in the past week (?) that you’ve made unavailable the main tabs page and also removed the ability to pre-order. What is the estimated release date on this product?

  11. Scott, I’ve looked around online and I’m now of the opinion that Tabs are, at the very least, delayed.

    Customer Service told me that Dropcam is “reassessing” their plans for Tabs in light of the Nest acquisition. I am not in the habit of promoting my site, but I am not seeing mention of this anywhere else, so I put up everything I know about it here.

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