Hudson Networks

Wyze Cam for business

We had an interesting request from a customer this past week. The customer owns and runs several hotels in New York City, so his business has been decimated by the pandemic and the restrictions on business activity imposed by the city. Occupancy is so low that it is worth it for him to rent out the entire hotel to a single customer, ordinarily not so desirable because of the huge discount. The hotel owner will take whatever he can get during these lean times.

The hotel owner’s prospective tenant needs security cameras installed, and wants to move in on very short notice. There may not be time to install wired cameras, and expense is another issue because the hotel owner plans to take out the cameras after the prospective tenant leaves, which is anticipated in a few months. He thought the cameras would cost around $500 a piece, and he needed 26. That would have been $13,000 plus installation costs, probably bringing total costs to around $15,000 or $20,000. His income at present is close to zero, and he is losing a lot of money each month, so he was certainly not looking to spend that kind of money, only to throw it away a few months later when the tenant moved out.

We proposed a solution using Wyze Cams, and the hotel owner was surprised and very pleased. The cost was $20 a camera, and because they were small and light and easy to mount, he was able to have one of his people install the cameras – labor cost $0, since he was paying that employee anyway. His total cost was well under $1,000.

The Wyze Cam enrollment process is clever and easy: connect a smartphone to the WiFi network and then point the camera at the QR code displayed by the Wyze app. The cameras are designed to record video and images, so this is a natural use of their capabilities. The cameras obtain the WiFi SSID and password from the smartphone, and then connect.

We ran into one issue with the customer’s deployment. The customer uses Meraki for their wireless network, and there was a captive portal that required new devices to click on a button to acknowledge and accept terms of service. The cameras do not click on any forms. They just expect that once they connect to the WiFi network, they will be able to send and receive network traffic. We figured this out by having the customer connect a camera to the mobile hotspot on his iPhone, which did not have a captive portal. The hotel owner had to go back to his Meraki vendor and ask them to create a new, hidden WiFi SSID that did not have a captive portal. That solved the problem, and the enrollment process worked fine after that.

The conclusion is that Wyze Cams deliver great value. The hotel owner was very happy because the cost was low, time to implement was very fast, and the quality was reasonably high.