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Dropcam Pro Upgrades Quality, Adds Bluetooth LE, Sounds Awfully Like Dave Eggers's Dystopian Future

October 11, 2013 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Liz Gannes / All Things D

In Dave Eggers's new dystopian technology industry book, "The Circle,"�the pinnacle of progress is described�as a small, cheap, high-quality personal streaming-video camera.

He was holding a small device in his hand, the shape and size of a lollipop.

"This is a video camera, and this is the precise model that's getting this incredible image quality. Image quality that holds up to this kind of magnification. So that's the first great thing. We can now get high-def-quality resolution in a camera the size of a thumb. Well, a very big thumb. The second great thing is that, as you can see, this camera needs no wires. It's transmitting this image via satellite."

A round of applause shook the room.

"Wait. Did I say it runs on a lithium battery that lasts two years? No? Well it does. And we're a year away from an entirely solar-powered model, too. And it's waterproof, sandproof, windproof, animalproof, insectproof, everything-proof."

In "The Circle," Eggers calls the device SeeChange, and says it extends his fictional tech giant's mission: "All that happens must be known."

Eggers has�said he did not do much research�for the novel, so as to keep his perspective unblemished, but the device he described is really quite similar to something that already exists:�Dropcam, the slick and popular personal home video monitor.

Dropcam is not yet windproof, and it doesn't officially support battery charging, but the new version launching today, Dropcam Pro, has higher-quality video, with a 130-degree field of view that's zoomable and performs much better at night.

Users watching the live feed on a touchscreen device can pinch to zoom at eight times the resolution. They can also identify recurring activity patterns so they can get an alert when something happens on the feed.

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