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Dropcam adds motion sensors and people detection to the mix

Dropcam unveils new people detection software and Tabs motion sensor hardware.

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Megan Wollerton
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Megan Wollerton

Senior Writer/Editor

Megan Wollerton has covered technology for CNET since 2013. Before that, she wrote for NBC's Dvice.com (now SyFy). Megan has a master's degree from the University of Louisville and a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College, both in international relations. She is a board member of the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. When Megan isn't writing, she's planning far-flung adventures.

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The Dropcam Pro paired with new $29 Dropcam Tabs Dropcam

Dropcam announced a couple of new things at New York's TechCrunch Disrupt event today. First, people detection software will be available to Dropcam's cloud video recording (CVR) subscribers in early August. The startup also unveiled Dropcam Tabs, an optional motion sensor accessory designed to work with your $199 Dropcam Pro camera and expected to ship this summer.

Currently, there's no way for your Dropcam camera to distinguish among you, your pets, and a house plant. But, a people detection software update due out in late summer for CVR users is supposed to change all that. That means that your Dropcam should be able to ID people in its video feed and send you related alerts.

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A Dropcam app alert Dropcam

Dropcam Tabs are $29 movement sensors available for pre-order now. They are compatible with the $199 Dropcam Pro and are designed for both indoor and outdoor use. And since they are supposed to track movement and motion (thanks to a three-axis accelerometer and a three-axis magnetometer), you can stick them to doors, windows, gates, and even personal items like laptops.

Tabs operate via Bluetooth low energy and will send you alerts based on motion or movement. Dropcam claims that Tabs have a 60-second setup (provided you already have a functioning Dropcam Pro), a 100-foot range, and a 2-year battery life. Tabs are available in black or white, weigh 0.4 ounces, and measure 2.61 inches tall by 0.93 inches wide by 0.26 inches deep. Check back for updates -- I asked Dropcam to send Tabs review units as soon as it's available.