My Blog: Product Review; EXCLUSIVE Update: Launch of the iPhone App Manything – Stream Video over the internet to Pc or iPhone

Manything-CamRight3-Cropped

Photo of iPhone on stand showing the ManythingApp

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.

The Competition

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!

 The Future

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.

 Pricing Plan

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.

 Business Plan

 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.

 Use Cases

Small Business

“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

http://www.kxly.com/news/spokane-news/looking-to-cut-down-on-crime-theres- an-app-for-that/25611044 

Pets

 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 :)”

http://clips.manything.com/z4kcy4x5y611yvi 

Childcare
 
 “I’m using Manything because I’m babysitting my friend’s daughter. I leave the iPad set on Manything as she is sleeping in another room so I can watch her and also give my log-in to my friend so she can check in on her too! 🙂
 
Educational for children/ wildlife
 
“I rarely take the time to respond either positive or negatively to a web site or service. But for Manything I will certainly make the exception. I think you have a fantastic product and a great educational tool. I recently discovered your site on a random search, installed on my IPhone and now recommend you to everyone I can.
My first experience was installing the IPhone next to a birds neat my children had been watching for days. I assumed the worst for the bird eggs, only to be surprised on Mothers day by 3 robin hatch lings first feeding.
I have shared the clip (http://clips.manything.com/l2duoqsv0d5f80k9 ) with the teachers at my children’s elementary school”
Time-lapse
Manything stills mode and can ale be used to make time-lapse, a great way for capturing events over a longer period of time
Busted
This is mine so not sure if it counts! I use Manything to check that my daughter gets home from school okay, it was also a great way to catch her red handed with the cake tin!

 

 

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