People Power gives its Presence app a 360-degree view

Startup People Power has a new hunk of hardware -- a camera stand designed to rotate your Presence-app-enabled Android or iPhone 360 degrees.

Megan Wollerton
Megan Wollerton Senior Writer/Editor

Megan Wollerton covers renewable energy, climate change and other environmental topics for CNET. Before starting at CNET in 2013, she wrote for NBC Universal's DVICE (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.

Expertise Science, Home Credentials Society of Professional Journalists 2022 Louisville Metro Journalism Award for Feature Writing, Society of Professional Journalists 2022 Ohio Journalism Award for Science Writing
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People Power's Presence 360 phone stand.

People Power

People Power, the folks behind the Android and iPhone Presence app and the Presence Security Pack, are introducing a new piece of hardware today via Indiegogo: Presence 360.

Available to pre-order worldwide now starting at $99/£75/AU$130, Presence 360 is a plug-in phone stand designed to rotate 360 degrees. Like the Zmodo Pivot camera, Presence 360 is supposed to be able to capture activity happening throughout a space -- not just within a fixed field of view.

Here's a quick rundown of Presence 360's features and capabilities:

  • 360-degree pan-and-tilt functionality
  • Set as many as 3 "vantage points," like entryway, kitchen and living room
  • Presence 360 can automatically scan those areas for activity
  • Available in Snowflake White and Charcoal Black finishes

Combine that with the Presence app's motion alerts and video clip storage and this seems like a fairly solid alternative to a traditional camera. I have just one question -- if you're spending $99 on this thing, why not go ahead and invest in a traditional security camera?

Watch this: How to turn your old iPod into a security camera for free

The whole appeal behind camera apps like Presence, Manything (featured in the video above) and Salient Eye is that you can turn a spare phone into a makeshift security device for free. $99 is less than most of the security cameras I've tested, but People Power plans to bump up the price of Presence 360 to $140 after the Indiegogo campaign ends.

All of the indoor home security cameras we've tested

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Given that the Zmodo Pivot costs just 10 bucks more at $150 (and is currently on sale on Amazon for $100), I'm not convinced that Presence 360 offers a good value. We'll just have to test it out to be sure. Presence 360's are expected to ship to backers in December 2016 whether or not its $20,000 funding goal is met on Indiegogo.

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