The original giant killer in the smart home camera space, the WyzeCam (v1), says Sayonara is just short of its fifth birthday. The company emailed its customers this week to say it will no longer sell or support its original product as the camera is unable to support a necessary security update.
While the WyzeCam will continue to work, Wyze warns in the email that it will no longer actively monitor or patch new security vulnerabilities for the device and that “Your continued use of the WyzeCam after February 1, 2022 is at increased risk, is discouraged.” by Wyze, and is entirely at your own risk.”
Wyze included in the email a link to a $3 coupon for the purchase of a new Wyze Cam. It currently offers five different models on its online store, with the flagship model, the Wyze Cam v3, costing $36.
While five years is a relatively short life for a security camera — considering the rock bottom price of the original WyzeCam (it started at $20), coupled with advanced features like HD video and sound and motion detection, it’s not a bad run. Even if you bought one two years ago, about $10 for each year of coverage is still a good deal, especially since Wyze’s connected cameras don’t require a subscription to view recorded footage.
The WyzeCam has arguably encouraged other companies to produce cheaper cameras as well. But February 1 is less than a week away, so Wyze is leaving many of its users out of luck when it comes to securely monitoring their homes.
The move highlights the need for smart home companies to sell their products with support expiration dates attached, or at least a promise for how long they’ll provide security and feature updates.
Last year, Google announced that it would guarantee at least five years of support and updates for its smart home devices, and while Wyze has an End of Life policy, it doesn’t advertise it well. For example, when you buy a Wyze Cam v3, there is no clear link to the policy on the product page (you have to click through to the Terms and Conditions, at the very bottom) and there is no specific mention of how long it will be supporting newer products.
While the exact dates when a new product will one day become a paperweight aren’t exactly selling points for a company, transparency and trust are critical to the future success of the smart home. And this is a place where all the companies that sell these devices could do a lot better.
Wyze did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The edge.