The Blockchain Home Surveillance Camera #CES2020

At CES2020, IoTex built on its CES2019 debut with a home surveillance camera produced in partnership with Tenvis. IoTex’s open-source blockchain technology secures the privacy of the end-user so that Tenvis or IoTex can’t see their customers’ personal information and video streams.

The camera specifications are especially impressive for a $49 device. According to this blog post, some of its features include:

  • 1080p live stream video and two-way audio
  • Auto-activated, ultraviolet LED night vision that works to distances of 36 feet
  • 360º coverage, including pan, tilt, and zoom
  • Both Ethernet and WiFi (2.4 GHz) network interfaces
  • Storage via an onboard, customer supplied SD card (up to 128 GB) or via the cloud.

The device includes a cloud storage plan featuring a rolling 3 hours of event video history along with 10-second event video recording. Premium tiers of their cloud storage plan feature additional event video history and longer event recording. Events are triggered by the camera’s motion detection.

Both the cloud and local SD storage are accessible via the Ucam mobile app.  This app provides access to Ucam’s many features. It allows a user to access multiple cameras, receive alerts, and view live videos. It also allows one to securely share camera views with another person through the generation of a unique stream associated with a specific QR code. Access to third-parties may be revoked at any time.

Privacy and User Control Is the Difference

Privacy is assured by the combination of a blockchain and 256-bit private key encryption. As Larry Pang, Business Development and Marketing for IoTex, points out in the above video, what makes this approach unique is that the encryption keys are stored on the mobile device.

This local storage of keys is much more secure than traditional home surveillance cameras, as neither Tenvis, the manufacturer of Ucam, nor IoTex has access to these keys. The creation of the keys is via a one-click process and may be managed in IoPay, IoTex’s wallet that is available on Android, iOS, and Windows platforms.

It is IoTex’s decoupling of the camera identity from the user identity through blockchain that provides the extra layer of security not found in traditional web-based authentication approaches. Simply, all the processing is done at the edge,

“all critical computation is performed directly on the Ucam device or user’s mobile phone. As a result, falling victim to mass data breaches as a result of corporate negligence is simply not possible.”

This approach of distributing processing and security via blockchain is core to IoTex’s vision to create an Internet of Trusted Things. IoTex’s open-source approach hopes to allow all physical and virtual things to exchange information and value on a global scale.

Pang talks about their approach in this 2019 CES interview