The Idea – What is Manything?
Think we can all sympathize with James West CEO of Manything. He’d had a break in and his pride and joy; bike had been stolen.
The answer seemed obvious, buy a WiFi camera, set it up and in the future no more break ins. He purchased a WiFi camera and after he spent a day trying to set up the camera, he gave in. He decided to research the subject and found the such cameras were either too technical to set up or required propriety hardware.
Then there was a “light bulb” moment. Surely he should be able to use a standard camera, iPhone, iPad for example (there are 700 Million of the worldwide and therefore approx 700 million video capable iOS devices) and be able to stream video over the internet. Even store the video in the Cloud.
This is how he came up with the idea for Manything – https://manything.com/
Version 1 of Manything and Use Cases
The first phase of the development created James’s vision enabling a standard iPhone iPod or iPad camera to stream video into the cloud.
It’s been used for home security, holiday homes, small business, watching pets. A school has used it so pupils can watch eggs hatching streamed over the internet. In another blog I go into the test I undertook with my parents, my father having Dementia.
I’ve put some use cases at the end of this article.
Launch of Manything 2.0
Talking with Jo Santander, Marketing Manager, the company has just launched an enhanced version that hit the Apple Store Thursday, 26th June. This new version has come about based on user and market feedback. The app having a number of advanced features added that allows it to leapfrog over Dropcam type products.
The first major feature is that you are no longer restricted to looking at your clips on the web from a PC. You can do this from device to device and even have multiple cameras onto one device. James showed me how he has multiple cameras outside his home all accessed from his iPhone.
Other enhanced features include:
- Sensitivity Threshold – This allows you to define how sensitive the camera is to movement and before switching on.
- Detection Zones – You can zone out certain areas on the camera to detect motion. For example, the bottom third of the screen if you were using the camera for security and wanted to zone out movement from a dog.
- Push Alerts – The system can be set up so that as soon as it detects movement it is able to send you an alert to an iPhone / iPad or an email. The email can have a thumbnail of the video should you want it, the email will have a thumbnail and link to the clip in it.
- If you are concerned about battery life, there is a graceful fail over as the software will move from video to stills if the battery starts to run down.
There has been a lot of talk about Dropcam recently, especially after it’s purchase by Google. Manything has a number of unique selling points over Dropcam, such as – stills only mode, can stream over cellular if WiFi fails, sensitivity thresholds, motion detection zones, adjustable video quality, fail over to stills if you lose all connection..and of course, no upfront cost!
After my post on the 27th June, I was embargoed to mentioned a new release (8th July 17:00 UK time). Manytime users can now set up simple “If This Then That” recipes to communicate with popular locations apps and home automation products. As a Tech blogger this is pretty exciting as it is “the start” of the Internet of Things (IOT), sometimes called the Internet of Everything (IOE). That is when “everything” is connected to the internet.
Great practical example would be, use Manything as a security camera on your holiday home, it detects movement and switches the Philips Hue lights on. Or if your Nest Protect detects smoke, IFTTT will get Manything to send you a video of what happened.
Reading from the press release, Manything also allows the user to set the system up via Siri before leaving home. I’ve not tested this so cannot say how well it works. Any user of Siri will know it can be temperamental.
Currently the service is free, but the plan will be to charge for “advanced” usage, the current view is that they will be half the price of Dropcam.
Currently Manything is self financing the company plans on approaching VCs later this year
Decided to put this out before the test because of the imminent launch of the new version. New week I will go through my test of the product or the test I ran with my 80ish old parents to see how easy Manything is to set up and use.
“Hi Joanna-we’ve been using this app for a month or two and love it! I tell everyone I know about it, too! I’ll post a link later today on The Scoop Facebook. Thanks to Manything, I can sleep at night!”
News article here
User from Milwaukee
“We always suspected one of the dogs were getting on the counter and stealing food. Thanks to your awesome app, we setup a sting operation and captured Sebastian “Bas” in the act (he had been doing this for nearly 10 years)
We love the fact that Manything records the video, allows us to see live feed from our other iDevice while we’re out. The online tools to create clips and share with our friends on facebook is awesome! We love manything, users for life :)”