Firstly I want to say how brilliant monocle is. I love using it on my spot and show 5. I have had a read of the forums and I love the idea of the fire TV app (which I guess might end up being a full android app).
I have been thinking about when the service comes out of beta and there is a charge to cover costs etc.
I am a personal user at home with unifi cameras and so far monocle has been faultless. I would happily pay a small fee to cover the costs etc (with community based support).
However, I also work for a local IT business who do professional unifi CCTV installs and I would see a firestick app / alexa skill as a real bonus for the small business I work with who want a CCTV NoC. I think they would be prepared to pay more on an annual fee (perhaps with a bit of support).
I guess in short what I am suggesting is that when you do decide to introduce a fee it might be worth splitting it into a home user and SME user pricing.
I hope these thoughts help…
Thanks for a great skill!
Thanks for the kind words and your input/ideas/suggestions.
Apart from support, what would the SME customer require in terms of features? I would think some dedicated display device might be required? (i.e. always on, boot to security view.) Would this type of customer use a FireTV for their NoC? I wonder if some other display device might be more appropriate? The new Raspberry Pi 4B that just came out now includes dual HDMI outputs … I’ll have to test to see if the RTSP playback is improved in the latest hardware/software, the 3B was less than stellar for a business application where you could get much closer to real-time views using a more robust piece of hardware.
I would say you’re right about some kind of dedicated display, however, I’m not then sure what the USP of that product would be. There is a fair bit of software than can show multiple rtsp streams so I’m not sure what it would achieve.
For me as an installer an app on a fire stick would be easy to support and would open up options for that business too, for example, they could install a news ticker on the firestick and use it for presentations etc. It’s cheap and easy to support for us.
I’m a big raspberry pi fan and have a number of them doing “stuff” including our current CCTV (we use unifi kit and the protect / unifi video software has a live view option).
To me the SME option with a little bit of support at a low cost would be worth more to me than anything else.
Obviously I’m a very small sample and others will have different views. I just wanted to start the conversation now and help in any way I can, to give something back while you carry on building :)
If you’d like me to test or help in any way feel free.
Alexa also has some business level integration APIs for voice driven application that differ from home consumer. Not sure if there is any benefit or usefulness there, I’ll have to dig into it a bit further to what potential exists for business and streaming cameras.
Just wanted to say that I think a one time pricing for lifetime would be most attractive to me. I prefer to just get it out of the way and am not of fan of subscriptions.
Thanks for your input/suggestion!
I understand your position and used to feel the same way until I got burned a few times as a customer. (Most recently https://automatic.com/) .
I don’t think the one-time fee model is sustainable over the long term. When new user growth stalls you are left with a large user base to support but no new revenue to maintain operations. So I think the better model for both the company and customers are to provide simple annual billing at an extremely low price ($10-20/yr) so that its not a monthly nuisance and low enough so it’s not a huge expense. Furthermore, I think this also forces the company to continue providing value year over year and keep things up to date.
All this being said, currently Monocle is provided at no cost and we don’t have any near term plans to add fees.
@Monocle I agree that if the fee is low and infrequent its not a big deal. I also get that by having a recurring fee it keeps the community engaged and keeps Monacle’s interest in responding to the community and improving the product.