Canary – the home security company behind the likes of the Canary and Canary Flex – has stripped customers on its free monthly plan of a number of key features.
The New York-based security company revealed the changes as part of a recent revamp of its monthly subscription plans.
Following the reshuffle, Canary removed a number of features from its free subscription tier – moving them to the paid-for plan.
Users who choose not to pay for a monthly subscription with Canary will no longer be able to access Night Mode on their cameras.
Night Mode monitors for motion-activated activity while you sleep without sending any notifications to your smartphone.
Should anything happen during the night – users will still be able to access the footage, but without the annoyance of notifications pinging their smartphone when they are asleep.
Express.co.uk talked to Canary about the removal of this feature.
The US company told us that should a Canary user on the free monthly plan want to enable recording while they’re home, they can manually set the device into Away mode in their settings at specific times.
Canary will also now convert any footage recorded on the home security camera into a 10-second clip, which the company calls Video Previews.
Canary says it uses artificial intelligence to work out the most useful 10-second clip to display within your app.
However, if the worst should happen and your home is burgled, it’s possible that 10-seconds might not be enough to identify the suspect, or work-out exactly what has happened.
To be able to watch full-length videos – from the moment the motion is detected until the motion ends – users will now have to cough-up £7.99 a month.
Those with two or three Canary cameras will have to pay £12.99 per month or £129 a year for these features.
Four or more Canary cameras set you back an additional £4.99 a month on-top of the £12.99 monthly plan.
Unsurprisingly, Canary users aren’t happy about the changes to the features included in their membership plan.
Many have flooded social media to complain about the overhaul to the free monthly subscription.
Users without a paid monthly subscription will still be notified whenever motion is detected on their camera while they are outside the house.
Those who pay for a Canary membership will benefit from a complete timeline of any motion detected within the last 30 days, unlimited downloads from the Canary app to a smartphone, and the ability to stream footage from a desktop computer.
Paid subscribers can also have real-time conversations through the Canary app with anyone at home, configure recording and alerting in Home mode and set a Night Mode schedule to arm Canary while they sleep.
Canary co-founder Jon Troutman addressed the changes to the membership tiers in a statement to The Verge.
Troutman said: “Today we stream nearly 500 million video clips per day.
“Most Canary users rely on notifications, Watch Live, and their timeline images to determine what is happening in their homes or businesses, which means that hundreds of millions of recorded videos travel through our platform unwatched, making the system slower, and costing Canary a significant amount in cloud expenses. To address this, we have aligned all free users on a plan that provides Video Previews that are still maintained on a 24-hour timeline.
“We have also introduced a faster Watch Live experience that can now be enabled while Canary devices are set to Away or Home mode.
“Our goal with these changes was to maintain a highly-competitive free service option while enabling continuous innovation and new feature development for all users.”
Rival security cameras from Nest and Logitech have similar paid-for plans, which also withhold features – like the ability to identify known faces, and review footage from the last 48-hours.
However, what is particularly irksome about the change in policy from Canary is that users have lived for so long with the full feature-set.
Canary told Express.co.uk that it is committed to continue to offer a free option for its customers, which will benefit from new features and updates.
But while new customers might be wow-ed by the fact that Canary’s free monthly subscription still offers much more functionality than many of its rivals, those who have supported the company since the beginning will be painfully aware of the fact that they now get less functionality with their cameras than they did last month.
Published at Wed, 11 Oct 2017 09:22:00 +0000