Action camera maker GoPro got into some trouble earlier this month after allegations that its camera had been the cause of a serious head injury. But that’s not exactly putting a stop to its remarkable success with a 158.2 percent stock rise and a market cap of more than $10 billion since going public in late June.
Now its competitor, iON Cameras, is looking for growth some place else: in the growing home security camera market. iON is coming out with “iON the Home,” a Wifi video monitoring camera for $130. The camera features the usual with monitoring from your smartphone or tablet, night vision, two-way audio, and cloud storage, which costs nothing to view the past 24 hours of video feed and $10 a month for access to 7 days and $30 a month for 30 days.
Walmart is iON’s retail partner.
iON for a while has been seeking growth in increasingly specialized market niches for its cameras. For example, it’s come out with products such as iON Camo Cam for hunting markets and iON the Game for playing back sports games with an attached display.
Will iON find opportunity in home security?
The look of the camera and its features are remarkably similar to Dropcam, which was acquired by Nest for $555 million in June this year. The one area iON CEO Giovanni Tomaselli thinks his company can compete is the slightly lower price of $130 versus Dropcam’s $150, and iON’s free playback of video feed of the past 24 hours in the cloud.
The US market for security products is estimated to reach $19.9 billion by 2016 from $14.6 billion, according to market researcher Freedonia.
“There’s clearly an opportunity,” said Tomaselli in a call. “We already have all the key ingredients for the home security camera. We have the cloud, the app, the sensors are similar to our other cameras, the processor is the same as the action camera. It became very simple when we start thinking about iON the brand. It’s a natural extension of what we’re doing. We don’t want to be an action sports camera junky. What’s the difference between me and GoPro? They want to be a media company, we are an imaging company.”
Even though iON is looking for growth outside of the action camera category, Tomaselli is clearly not happy to leave the action camera market to GoPro. GoPro is estimated to maintain a 47.5 percent market share in action cameras, according to research firm IDC. Meanwhile, iON has a market share of about 10 percent in the action camera business, claims Tomaselli.
“When is the last time you showed up to a one-horse race?” asked Tomaselli. “Hopefully we can be number two.”
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