The original giant killer in the smart home camera space, the WyzeCam (v1), is saying sayonara just shy 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 can’t 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 carries increased risk, is discouraged by Wyze, and is entirely at your own risk.”
Wyze included a link to a $3 coupon toward the purchase of a new Wyze Cam in the email. 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 lifespan for a security camera — considering the rock-bottom price of the original WyzeCam (it started out at $20), coupled with high-end features like HD video and sound and motion detection, it's not a bad run. Even if you purchased one two years ago, $10 or so for each year of coverage is still a good deal, especially as Wyze’s connected cameras don’t require a subscription to review recorded footage.
The WyzeCam also arguably helped encourage other companies to produce lower-priced cameras. But February 1st is less than one week away, so Wyze is leaving many of its users out of luck when it comes to securely monitoring their homes.
The move highlights a need for smart home companies to sell their products with support expiration dates attached, or at least a promise for how long they will provide security and feature updates.
Last year, Google announced it would guarantee at least five years of support and updates for its smart home gear, and while Wyze has an End of Life policy, it's not well-advertised. For example, when you buy a Wyze Cam v3, there’s no obvious link to the policy on the product page (you have to click through to the Terms & Conditions where it's right at the bottom), and there is no specific mention of how long it will support its newer products.
While exact dates for when a new product will one day become a paperweight aren’t exactly selling points for a company, transparency and trust are crucial for the future success of the smart home. And this is one place all companies selling these devices could do a lot better.
Wyze didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment from The Verge.