Without requiring you to buy or install any software or hardware other than simple web cameras, Ugolog lets you keep an eye on any place you want from the comfort of your own computer. The footage captured by the cameras (and any brand or make will work) is channeled directly to Ugolog’s servers, allowing you to watch the recordings from anywhere, anytime with any browser.
This type of easy, more casual surveillance clearly has many applications — many of them not as nefarious as one would think. You can check in on your pets while you’re on vacation, on your sleeping baby from another room. You can survey your home if you’re on vacation, or make sure your employees are hard at work when you’re out of the office.
If you choose to use traditional web cameras, the footage can be recorded within a Ugolog browser window via an incredibly simple interface. Each of your cameras is a assigned a number, and you can choose when to start and stop recording, switching between them with one or two clicks. You can even set your cameras to record at a specific time beforehand. When you want to review this video, you are presented with a gallery of snapshots taken at increments of time. You can click on them to watch the associated video.
If you choose to use IP cameras, you don’t even need a computer to record or view what you record. The cameras automatically send the footage they capture to Ugolog’s servers. When you are near a computer, you can log into the web site like usual to view the video stream.
The site also gives you the option of combining all motion-detected events from all of your cameras into one video stream. That way, you only have to watch the times when something is actually happening on camera. This is a good feature for security applications. Let’s say someone did break into your house — you wouldn’t have to wade through hours of recorded material to see what happened. You could get a look at the burglar immediately.
Ugolog’s incredibly simple dashboard gives you an overview of the footage that has been taken by each camera, allows you to manage each camera individually, provides you with a stored history of your videos and plots them along a timeline so you can see what happened when. In fact, the site is so simply and sparsely designed that it even looks a little bit amateurish. That said, the technology is very easy to use and accessible to people who don’t regularly use web applications or internet video capabilities.
Ugolog makes money by charging for different levels of subscriptions. It even offers a basic version for free — although those users can only record on one camera, store 50 megabytes of video and keep videos for 14 days. Plus members pay $9.95 a month for footage from two cameras, 1 gigabyte of storage and two months of history. And Pro members pay $29.95 a month for 10 cameras, 5 gigabytes of storage and two months of history.
Based in Seattle, Ugolog hasn’t disclosed its funding history. There are a couple other companies providing similar services, though they don’t allow for the same range of cameras, making it more difficult for layman users to adopt the service.
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