Marco Herbst and Vinnie Quinn, the team that brought Nixers.com to the world before it was acquired by the Denis O’Brien-owned Saongroup.com, are back in the start-up game with Camba.tv, a new cloud video service that could disrupt the CCTV security business as we know it.
Camba.tv plans to make video surveillance available to everyone, from the private homeowner and small business owner to large businesses and governments.
All users need is a suitable wireless camera and a subscription to the service and they can have anywhere they choose monitored and the data is stored in the cloud, unlike hard drives and video tapes in standard CCTV systems.
If the cameras pick up an intruder the user is automatically sent email or SMS messages with a link to the clip, which can then be forwarded on to police authorities as most police officers today carry smartphones. Users can then access footage in the cloud at any time by logging in and retrieving the videos as evidence.
The camera equipment can start at €100 per unit and the price of subscription is €10 per month for 30 days video storage and €5 for month for seven days storage of video.
After selling Nixers.com to Saongroup both Vinnie Quinn and Marco Herbst went their separate ways. Quinn decided to travel the world, did a bit of teaching and some volunteer work. Herbst moved lock, stock and barrel to Berlin where he decided to learn German, learn the piano and enjoy a Bohemian lifestyle for a little while.
Bringing security and surveillance into the 21st century
A few years had passed and Herbst returned to Ireland to start Camba.tv.
“Marco got me involved because we always worked well together,” Quinn explains. “At the time when Marco and I got into recruitment with Nixers we had no experience except a drive to make our site more usable than the other sites in the market and that principle holds true when it comes to Camba.tv.
“In this case we want to bring security and surveillance into the 21st century and into the hands of ordinary people and professionals in a seamless way. Traditioanl CCTV systems are coaxial systems and its common for burglars to take DVRs from the houses they are targeting.
“Because this is cloud-based and can be accessed from anywhere it is impossible for thieves to tamper with the technology. If something happens users receive a text message and an email with links to the images of what’s happening.”
Kilpoole Hill , Wicklow-based Camba.tv is listed as an Enterprise Ireland high potential start-up (HPSU) and more than half of its business comes from overseas with resellers active in a variety of countries from Germany to Bolivia selling it as a white label service.
According to Quinn, many of the lessons the team learned from Nixers.com – especially in relation to software development – are being applied with Camba.tv. For example, Nixers outsourced much of its software development to Belarus. In Camba.tv’s case software development is handled by its own team of workers who specialise in video development in Pakistan.
Herbst explained that livestreaming is now possible on any device wherever you are and the fact of the matter is that most professionals now carry smartphones.
“Surveillance video has always been either a live view or a recorded view. But the opportunity is to do both and back it up live in the cloud is possible,” Herbst explained, adding that Camba.tv also integrates with US cloud giant NetSuite’s cloud systems.
“CCTV isn’t exactly user-friendly and in the event of something happening often it requires a specialist coming in to retrieve evidence from the hard drive or DVR. But we live now in a world where data can be retrieved, stored and shared online to any device at anytime.”
Live, via the cloud
An interesting new dimension to Camba.tv’s work is community-based surveillance whereby residents in a housing area who sign up for the service can work together to ensure public areas can be monitored as a deterrent and way of gathering evidence in the case of burglaries or anti-social behaviour.
“Every Garda today carries a smartphone and within minutes of something happening evidence can be retrieved from the cloud and forwarded by email or text from five different source,” Herbst explained.
Quinn says Camba.tv has been put to numerous uses by up to 100 businesses whether it is monitoring Wicklow’s historical gaol, security at Killruddery House, the Little Museum of Dublin which operates out of a listed building and is even used at weighing stations for trucks.
“Our plan is to go international with this and enable others to sell the platform and develop services around it. Video is exploding and there is the capacity to run analytics across live video and share important video across the platforms we are all using today,” Quinn concluded.