[feature request] Future Canary Devices Include Offline Storage


#1

Something that I have been thinking about recently is the ability to have some level of recording on Canary devices when they are “offline”.

With the original Canary, it was always a concern of mine that to thwart the device, all one needs to do is flick the breaker in a home and they are offline. With the setup of my apartment that is very easy. But, come Canary Flex and we now have a battery backup in case power is lost (or for those that may use only battery, it’s not even a consideration!)

However, we still have one issue: WiFi. My understanding of the Canary Devices is that they can only upload and store data when it has access to the cloud. I think the next natural item would be a way for it to record when it is not connected to the cloud, store the data locally, then upload it next time it connects to any network.

I suspect this can’t be done for current devices, but I think it’s a feature that should be considered for future devices. I cannot imagine this would be hard to implement. For added security I would argue that the storage should not be accessible from the user’s end (this way footage couldn’t be deleted by removing a memory card for example), but 16-32GB of internal storage wouldn’t add a huge burden of cost these days, and could handle recording for quite some time when in “Offline Mode”.

I hope to see this down the road!

Zev


NAS upload compatibility
NAS upload compatibility
Wifi outages
#2

I gave thought to the same “power outage” problem. What I did was purchase a battery backup. My Canary and my WIFI are both running on my battery backup system.
But, your idea is a good one. Maybe in the future Canary can install an SD card such as Game Cams have but not accessible. Or an internal memory of some type, maybe an EPROM.


#3

Yeah I thought of doing the same thing with my battery backup, though even that only lasts so long – and if internet gets knocked out for whatever reason, the same issue exists. (Also for me personally I would need multiple power solutions to get my router and devices, haha!)


#4

Has canary considered adding a feature to its products that allows them to save recordings even if wifi goes down, that could later be uploaded as soon as wifi is available again?


#5

This is something we’ve been thinking a lot about, but don’t have any news yet. This would need to be a hardware update as current devices don’t currently have onboard storage.


#6

Great to see others like this idea too! More thoughts here


#7

Just consolidating threads, thanks!


#8

Hi Sam, could you share which type of battery backup system are using for your Canary? It is really good idea and I can see space for next improvement of this device - incorporate some kind of battery (similar like for iPhone) into Canary.

/MAlex


#9

I’m using a “Description from Amazon”.
APC Back-UPS 600VA UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector with USB Charging Port (BE600M1)

I purchased it from Amazon. One important thing that I wanted was the surge protection along with backup.
The backup will only last a few hrs at best but is good for short power interruptions.

You can get a larger backup but this is all that I needed


#10

Sam, thank you. It looks good. Only question - did you test how long is UPS 600VA able to feed your Canary in practice or the “a few hrs” is some value from handbook or something like? Btw few hrs is enough for me but I am wondering if you have a practical experience.


#11

No, I didn’t test it but we had a storm come through after I installed the backup. The storm knocked power out for over a day. I can’t tell you how long it lasted as I was gone. I know it lasted for a couple hrs at best.
But your system may be or will be different from mine so I have no idea of your power consumption. I’m running my WIFI and Canary off of the backup.


#12

Ok, it is clear for me. Generally, it is a enough solution for me. Thanks for sharing yours experience Sam.


#13

Hi,

A great feature (instead of adding an SD card reader in a new model) is to be able to save each notification video to my personal NAS.

Technically uploading by FTP, WebDAV, SMB, or any other file transfert protocol compatible with most of the NAS.
Or by adding support to ONVIF or RTSP/RTP protocols.

This feature is very useful for those (like me) who has a poor connection bandwidth or to protect from power and internet disconnection by eventual intruder (in addition with a UPS of course).

Thanks.
Mathieu


#14

The ONVIF or FTP, WebDAV, SMB, etc solution will protect you from Canary theft by the intruder because the video is recorded on your local NAS and don’t require a new connection to upload the file.

Ok this seems to be a little more tricky compare to Canary simplicity (its a philosophy I share) and I agree an internal temporary memory in addition to a battery will cover most of the cases.


#15

While we’re on the topic of Offline Storage, one thing that I’d love to get some feedback on in a case of internet outage is how you’d expect the Canary to handle “Privacy” mode settings.

For example, if you have your Canary set to “private” in Home mode and there’s an internet outage that affects its ability to communicate to our servers while you’re away from home (Away mode), and the internet is still out when you come home (so the Canary doesn’t automatically switch to Home mode), what would be your expectation about offline storage video from the period after you came home until connectivity was restored?

Also, how would you prioritize offline storage video if it filled up? That is, would you expect the newest videos to replace older ones? Or might you stop recording entirely?


#16

@andy, on my end at least here are my thoughts:[quote=“andy, post:15, topic:550”]
While we’re on the topic of Offline Storage, one thing that I’d love to get some feedback on in a case of internet outage is how you’d expect the Canary to handle “Privacy” mode settings.
[/quote]

For me, what I would like to see is that Canary automatically attempts to reconnect every few minutes and once it does, it pings the user’s location and establishes what mode it should be in. The previously stored data should be kept even if the user arrives home, but a notification should be sent to the user to let them know this may have occurred. At first the reconnect should be after 60 seconds (in case of just a hiccup in the connection) but after that it should be extended to every 5 minutes the Canary device tries to reconnect and ping the device until it is able to do so successfully.

In other words:

5:00pm - Canary device connected and in away mode (user is not home)
5:01pm - Canary device loses connection due to internet outage
5:01pm - Canary device attempts reconnection - Fails
5:06pm - Canary device attempts reconnection - Fails
5:07pm - User arrives home (privacy mode should automatically switch on at this time)
5:11pm - Canary device attempts reconnection - Fails
5:12pm - Internet connection returns
5:16pm - Canary device attempts reconnection - Succeeds
5:16pm - Canary device pings user phone, finds user inside of "home radius", activates "Privacy" mode
5:17pm - Canary device sends notification to user of outage and that some videos may need to be reviewed`

I would expect that the videos should be deleted in the order they were saved. As Canary gets smarter and is able to detect additional aspects (for example the difference between your pet and a human) I would allow an option for the user to decide if they just want them deleted in order or to delete certain types of ‘tags’ first.

That said, either of these options should be available to the user in my opinion, this way if user A wants to make sure nothing is deleted, they can have that option while user B may want to delete them as it fills up.


#17

Thanks for sharing your thoughts @Zev!


#18

iceman_60 beat me to it, but I strongly second the desire to save recordings to my local NAS. It could be done without a hardware modification. Once again, I find myself willing to pay for a Canary “black box” that would record the videos in the event of an internet outage and also comply with the state of the art security algorithms currently in use. I live in a rural area where our internet options are limited (an unreliable cable internet provider or go without) and our signal drops at least a few times a day. These connection breaks are usually minimal and the network restores before I can finish browsing whatever page I’m currently reading, but the problem is outside of my property and it affects the whole town at the same time. With the problem not being within my control, I need to plan for the worst and using a NAS or “black box” data recorder as a temporary location until the video can upload to the cloud is a feature that I would love to see implemented.


#19

I understand part of the membership fee is to charge for video storage. By having the video stream to your servers. It also allows you to maintain some control.

The problem I am now facing is with a 1000/100 fiber connection, I have unbelievable delay (15 seconds or more at times) as the video is sent from the device, to your servers, then from your servers to my phone or pc. I wouldn’t have if I could stream local. Especially viewing a flex cam that shows my front door. The delay when trying to use TWO way is annoying and frustrating. “Can you hear me now?” ring a bell?

Storing video local should be free and I doubt would detract wholly from the subscription base. I would of still bought a subscription to use if you have a “back up local video” service where I could use my available storage to back my videos up for secure, private, remotely viewble, and safe keeping.

The two biggest reason are faster streaming and the ability for stream if the wifi is out if using ethernet. This along with batter backup for wifi and DVR would be as best fool proof a consumer could ask for.