The original giant killer in the smart home camera space, WyzeCam (v1), says sayonara is just shy of its fifth birthday. The company emailed its customers this week to say that it will not sell or support its original product, as the camera cannot support the necessary security update.
While WyzeCam will continue to operate, Wyze warned in the email that it will not actively monitor or patch new device vulnerabilities and that “your continued use of WyzeCam after February 1, 2022 carries an increased risk, and may be discouraged by Wyze, and is entirely at your own risk.”
Wyze has included a link to a $3 coupon to purchase a new Wyze Cam in the email. It currently offers five different models in its online store, with the flagship model, the Wyze Cam v3, costing $36.
While five years is a relatively short life for a security camera — considering the lower price tag of the original WyzeCam (it started at $20), along with high-end features like HD video and motion and sound detection, it’s not a bad run. Even if you bought one two years ago, $10 or so per year of coverage is still a good deal, especially since Wyze connected cameras don’t require a subscription to review recorded footage.
It can also be said that WyzeCam helped encourage other companies to produce low-priced cameras. But February 1 is less than a week away, so Wyze is leaving many of its users out of luck when it comes to securely monitoring their homes.
The move highlights the need for smart home companies to sell their products with support expiration dates attached, or at least the promise of how long they will provide security and feature updates.
Last year, Google announced that it would guarantee at least five years of support and updates for its smart home equipment, and although Wyze has an End of Life policy, it’s not very publicized. For example, when purchasing a Wyze Cam v3, there is no explicit policy link on the product page (you have to click to access the terms and conditions where they are at the bottom), and no specific mention of how long they will support their latest products.
While exact dates for when a new product might one day turn into a paperweight aren’t exactly selling points for a company, transparency and trust are critical to the future success of a smart home. And this is one place where all the companies that sell these devices can do much better.
Wyze did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the edge.