Cameras for Older People: I’ll have what Millennials are having

The new generation loves security cameras on their giant estates.  Young wealthy individuals are taking power over their environment with technology instead of delegating their safety to someone else.

We often think about cameras allowing someone to watch us, like a granny cam or nanny cam.  Do we feel they would be more useful if they were for us to watch our own environment?

Here’s the information you need to decide if security cameras could improve your comfort and your quality of life as a senior citizen or aging human.

1. WHO is using security cameras ?

Rich Millennials, for security in their giant homes.

Bloomberg wrote “What Rich Millennials Want in a Luxury Home: 20,000 Square Feet” on January 30, 2018, illustrating some of the modern opulence on which our next generation of wealthy is focused. Millennials were born between 2004 and 1982 in case you aren’t sure who they are.  Generation Xers were born between 1984 and 1965, and Boomers were born between 1964 to 1946.  Boomers are the only generation actually categorized by the census bureau.

Tom Brokaw says people born before 1946 are the greatest generation.  I do too.

Also hot in 1946: the first Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer. More simply, this was the first general purpose electronic digital computer, invented for military calculations.  It weighed more than 60,000 lbs, and could do 5,000 additions and 300 multiplications per second.    Now I can argue that the digital revolution actually started with our greatest generation!

Can senior citizens, or people born sometime between 1946 and 1967, find the same value in cameras that millennials do ? When researching cameras for seniors, the internet is focused on security systems with medical alert, or granny cams (cameras placed by other people to observe our loved ones and their caregivers).  The millenial use is different and can help change the paradigm for us.

So who do we want to have visibility to in our houses?  Are they inside or outside?  Are we worried about intruders, or people stealing from inside our house?  Do we like to watch who walks up to the corner of our street every day?

2. WHAT are Millennials doing with their cameras?

Protecting their assets.

There are lots of juicy details about inheritance rates, and size of property desired.  For us, the best bullets are:

  • 54% of respondents want multiple view security cameras,
  • which is more than the 45% who want hot tubs, or
  • 52% who want commercial grade kitchen appliances.

The new kids today want cameras more than hot tubs, or party kitchens.

This is interesting.  My GenX self would pick a party kitchen, then a camera, then hot tub.  I dread hot tub maintenance.

This camera from Lighthouse was released in February 2018.  It is a 3D camera with AI technology – which is why it is different than Nest cameras or other products on the market already.  Lighthouse suggests that their camera is more discerning in what video it shoots, and what kind of responses are possible.  They suggest that Facial Recognition can uniquely identify family members! Great for our trends for lots of people in one house, since we are increasing on multi-generational living accommodations.  PEW research says 1 in 3 adults in 2017 is living in a shared household.  Probably again another reason I am less interested in that hot tub.

What do I want to monitor?  If its people, than facial recognition is more interesting.  if it is my car in the garage, or my doorstep then probably not.

3. WHERE are the cameras?

In, on, and around their estates / giant houses.  

In this survey group, Bloomberg states that 23% of these wealthy Millennials have a house that is 20,000 SF or more.  I’m getting a total hangar vibe.  Can you imagine how big that is, like for reals?  A FIFA soccer field is 64,000 SF.

But cameras are in many devices, like nanny cams.  Here’s the kind of products that are out there, including a birdhouse with a security camera, which I’m feeling is SO us.  I think the most important question is do you want to be able to see inside your house, or outside?

4. WHEN are people using cameras?

Q12018:  Nest, Google and Amazon have created a lot of excitement with their camera products, as part of their Voice enabled AI systems.  

In early March, Amazon announced that they will not be restocking any Nest products because of the CUBS / SOX war that AMAZON / GOOGLE have for proprietary camera domination.  Really its AI domination but let’s pretend this is a hardware war.   You care because the cooperation between GOOGLE and AMAZON products might be harder to coordinate as time moves on.

You need your camera integrated with Alexa or Google when you want to control it with your voice on your alexa speaker or your phone.  If that isn’t so important to you, its easier to buy a stand alone camera and just use that.

5. WHY do you care that rich Millennials are using security cameras?

We look to others to teach us how to find value in cameras, and other technology.  

According to this article, our youngest wealthy like having surveillance.  This gives them visible to their assets on these giant estates.

So what does Millennial behavior teach us?

  • What does it mean to enable you to have more visibility into and around your house?
  • Could I use cameras to have better visibility in my home when I am home and away?
  • What is happening at my parents’ house, or in the yard, or for someone who is bedridden?
  • “What if I must go out and leave my husband at home, can I know he is still sitting in his chair comfortably?

I’m putting aside any discussion of the ethics of surveillance, and assuming this is for your personal purpose.  You are deciding about what security and cameras mean to you, based on your own ethics.  That’s how I think about technology anyway – it can be an equalizer that allows all of us to make choices aligned with our own ethics.

If you try to find information about cameras and seniors, you will find an article from 2016, in the HuffPost post recommending camera products available then to keep tabs on a family member. It doesn’t seem like many of these companies have driven products to market, or even survived.

Here’s PC Mag’s 2018 best home security cameras, published in February of 2018.  The lowest priced item from Wyze looks awesome and is less than $30.   I wonder how good that camera is; I admit its so cheap I’m weary.  I tend to be a ‘middle of the price band’ shopper for technology products – not the most expensive, not the cheapest, but somewhere in the middle.  this is my preferred browsing range to start, then I like to ping back and forth to get a lay of the land for all products across the range.

If buying a camera seems like overkill, and you like the ideas of using a camera to secure your environment, you can use a phone as a security camera.  If you have an old phone you can hook up to wifi, this is the best plan because then you don’t have to worry about data.  You can download one of these 2018 home security apps to that old phone on your wifi.

You can also use Haven to monitor visual, motion and sound disruptions from your phone.

At the end of the day, what do I want to keep an eye on?  Millennials show me that cameras help senior citizens.

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