Updated

Wyze's new people detection forces a price hike, but existing subscribers get a reprieve

The pricier Cam Plus plan, complete with Wyze’s revamped people detection feature, is replacing the old Complete Motion Capture plan, but current subscribers won’t see any price hikes for a year.

wyze outdoor cam 1
Wyze Labs

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The other shoe just dropped as far as Wyze’s relaunched people detection technology goes, with the smart camera manufacturer announcing a new—and pricier—subscription plan that includes the feature.

The Cam Plus plan, which enables people detection for Wyze’s security camera lineup, is replacing Wyze’s existing Complete Motion Capture plan, Wyze announced in a forum post on Wednesday. Cam Plus will also offer cloud storage of full-length video captures, which was the key feature of the old Complete Motion Capture plan.

Wyze also announced pricing for the new Cam Plus plan: $1.99 a month per camera, versus $1.49/month for each camera on the old Complete Motion Capture plan.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that current Complete Motion Capture subscribers, who have automatically been moved over to the Cam Plus plan, can continue to pay the cheaper $1.49 subscription rate until August 2021.

As part of the transition, Wyze issued a refund to Complete Motion Capture users for the last few days of July before charging them for the new Cam Plus plan, a move that led to some initial confusion.  

Meanwhile, Wyze users who created accounts prior to November 26, 2019—the date when Wyze promised that a revamped version of an earlier, free version of its people detection feature would continue to be free—will still be allowed to get the new people detection feature under a “pay-what-you-want” structure, a Wyze spokesperson confirmed to TechHive.

Wyze admitted earlier this month that it wouldn’t be able to offer its new, in-house people detection feature for free to all of its users, as the company initially promised last fall.

Wyze yanked its old, on-device people detection feature when the third-party company that developed the feature abruptly pulled out of its agreement with Wyze. That company, Xnor.ai, was subsequently acquired by Apple.

Wyze’s new, in-house people detection technology depends on cloud servers rather than running on the camera itself, and Wyze says that it “greatly under-forecasted the monthly cloud costs when we started working on this project last year…[t]he reality is we will not be able to absorb these costs and stay in business.”

Updated shortly after publication to clarify that the $1.99/month Cam Plus subscription rate is for each camera (the $1.49 monthly rate for the old Complete Motion Capture plan was also per camera).

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