I was looking through the archives and realised that eyeontheplace.com was first launched pretty much eight years ago this week. What’s amazing is how much things have changed for the better since then. IP cameras are more sophisticated, and broadband speeds have really gone through the roof, making it more practical than ever to link cameras to a web application like ours, so that you can “keep an eye on the place for maximum peace of mind“, as we say in our leaflets.
For most of the eight years we have been in this business, we have used Axis IP cameras, because of their image quality and also because Axis publish technical information that helps us understand how to program the system to talk to the cameras. Nowadays, though, other manufacturers offer similar things, so there’s a real possibility of working with other makes of camera now, which is quite exciting.
Of course, our own unique web application has also changed a great deal in the past eight years. In recent weeks, I’ve been organising a major rewrite – more on this soon! To begin with, our system was very basic, but was one of the first to offer a way to log into multiple cameras over the web using a single login and web address. Then we added online storage of footage from motion detection (years before anyone was talking about “cloud” storage!) Soon afterwards, we pioneered text message alerts when cameras detected movement, but recently things have changed again – we have just retired the text message feature from our standard package because with the arrival of instant emailing through smartphones, it’s not usually needed, although some companies still make a big thing about offering it!) About five years ago, we added basic mobile phone viewing, well ahead of most other companies, and more recently we have completely rewritten mobile eyeontheplace so that you can see your property, live, on your smartphone – and also use the phone to view recorded footage and arm/disarm the cameras!
One of our major developments, about five years ago, was the launch of “Intelligent Image Analysis”. This helps to reduce those troublesome false alert emails – it’s unique to eyeontheplace and has gone from strength to strength. Watch this space for an article about IIA soon.
A big change for eyeontheplace recently has been more of an involvement in the physical installation side of things. Eyontheplace started as a pure internet company offering “self-install Camera Packs” that were fully configured and ready to plug in. On receiving the pack, the customer would fix the cameras in position and connect everything together. Nowadays, we still offer this, but we also offer to come along to the property these days too, perhaps working alongside an installer or instead of one. This makes everything much easier for our customers.
Talking of which, it’s our customers who have made the past eight years really special. We have worked with people who want to keep an eye on their holiday homes, their second homes, their main homes and their business premises. We find that people just can’t resist taking a look at the shop, the office, the garden, the view, the swimming pool, even family members and pets. We get real satisfaction from giving our customers a bit of peace of mind – it’s what we’re all about to be honest.
So that’s our first eight years done. What the next eight years will bring, who knows, but one thing that’s certain – the unstoppable move from analogue to digital means that IP cameras, and eyeontheplace, will be around for a long time to come…