Every once in awhile we come across a product that is such a delighter in every way – design, function, packaging, UI, installation – that we have to give credit where credit is due. Introducing the Dropcam, a simple yet elegant device that that has some advanced technology chops behind the scenes. For our purposes the Dropcam keeps a close eye on a vacation property for its owners – a mission that has become particularly critical in this winter of all winters in the Northeast.
So here’s what we like. Clicks to purchase and feature description on the Nest website are succinct, with limited plan options to make selection easy. The intuitive elements of the entire design from package to product to setup make every step of “getting to go” with the product telegraphic. The neatly designed box with its sleeve is easy to open and the components are few: camera, base, USB cable, screws and even screw sleeves for wall mounting. A small printed card (no voluminous directions) directs us to the Dropcam website for installation and the camera literally sets itself up. And please take note - we’re already delighted before experiencing the product's features. These include amazing video and audio quality, seamless UI between computer and mobile, night vision, live streaming and even motion detection outside of the camera view. The lesson here is, that what surrounds a great product is just as important as the product itself, and every product needs to make the customer’s life less complicated, not more challenging.
Wearing our consulting hat we have to wonder what industry will be on the defense now that Dropcam is on the scene. Is it the surveillance equipment manufacturers that need to take a hard look at their business model? At any rate, software companies, or any company with a product or service that requires user setup, should take a page from Dropcam’s book. Complex technology behind the scenes, should in no way translate to complication for the user. Simple is as simple does.