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I answered the questions right inside your email below.



Steve and Tessa Cook




-----Original Message-----

From:[parenting editor]

Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2004 4:19 PM


Subject: Parenting article/How safe is your daycare



Hi, Steve:


I just got off the phone with you. To give you some background on the

story I'm writing for PARENTING, it's about how parents can learn

more about the people who are watching their children, whether in a

daycare environment or at home.


I'm approaching the article from the parents' point of view versus

the daycare provider's pov.


So my questions to you are:




Question: How popular is streaming video becoming with daycare centers and

with private citizens who have childcare workers in their homes? (You

mentioned on the phone that the technology is getting cheaper, so I

assume that means it's becoming more popular.)


ANSWER:  It is becoming so popular by more and more people that it is now and expected feature.   Some people drive further to a daycare that is wired with video than one that isn’t.  Wouldn’t you drive 2-3 miles a day further to have that peace of mind of being able to check up on your child anytime you want.  Video is becoming more and more a requirement by some parents especially true when so many people are office workers with a readily available pc and internet connection at their work.   


Live video feeds are streaming across the World Wide Web from atop highway light poles and outside restaurants, from the cribs of babies to the high school, from uninhabited corners of the Earth and the most crowded urban subways.  As video camera and computer prices have dropped in the last few years, applications have burgeoned. 


Cameras in stealthy positions, for instance, have arguably made people safer by helping to nail criminals and catch child care abusers.  


No one seems to know how many Webcams are out there, but "Web rings" - Internet groupings of active live, worldwide feeds - now number in the thousands and each web ring can have a thousand themselves.   And the estimate of private webcams like the ones running in a home licensed daycare could be in the tens of thousands.  


About 60 percent of all such cameras are trained on people or things inside homes, but businesses are starting to catch on to what home users have known for a few years now.   An Internet based camera that can have its video recorded for later viewing and also viewed live from any internet connected PC or even viewed from a Cell Phone are gaining popularity at a staggering rate.


Companies are setting up surveillance cameras inside nurseries and day-care centers, beaming encrypted images privately to parents' desktops.  




Question: Would you be able to walk me through how a parent could check up

on their child during the day??



Child is at a Daycare provider:  

The daycare would give each parent that day’s unique password when the parent drops off their child. 


If the daycare has a website:  The parent could click a link on the daycares website and be prompted with that days password.  Each day there would be a brand new password.   That’s it.  No software to download or install.   Watching the video is quick and easy.  

If the daycare doesn’t have a website: the daycare and parent can use ours at  The parent would use our search function to find the daycare’s camera and click on that link.  Once they do, they will be prompted with that days password . That’s it.  No software to download or install.   Watching the video is quick and easy.  


Some people do not sit in an office with a computer so those parents can watch the same live webcam using their video enabled cell phones.



Child is at their own home:

They install the software only one time after they purchase the video system.  


Each day: All they have to do is start the webcam’s software, and click “start broadcasting”.   That’s it.  Nothing else needs to be done at home, its all set up for remote viewing when the parent(s) gets to work.    I know that Parents do not have any spare time in the morning to set up the system so we streamlined it, all settings are saved from the initial installation and the best news is that the webcam system can be up and running within about 10 seconds after they turn their computer on and get connected to the internet.  


Once they start the software in the morning it automatically creates a web link that is unique to the parents own computer.   No one else knows what this link is.   The parent will either write it down and take it with them to work (or) they send it to themselves via email.    When they get to work they can just click on that web link and they are watching the webcam video live.   Great for grandparents too.  Give the grandparents this web link, and they too can watch their grandchildren live and help monitor things at home.      SECURITY:  The parents have the ability to password protect the video and also they can create a different password anytime they want.


View From your Cell Phone: Some people do not sit in an office with a computer and those parents can still watch the same live webcam using their video enabled cell phones.   This feature is truly unique!!!.


All the basic and also all the advanced features come with each complete webcam system purchase and are installed at the same time without any extra charges (no monthly fees, nothing else to buy).   


LASTLY:  Parents can set up their webcam to record the video and those same parents can watch that recording while they are at work the same day or even after they get home later that night.   




Question: How much would it cost for a parent to set up streaming video in

the home so that she can check in on a babysitter during the day? Can

you set up more than one camera in multiple locations? Can the

cameras be hidden? Do you see any advantage to the cameras being

hidden versus out in the open?




The total cost for one video system is $229.99

No monthly fees, no website, no hidden charges.   All they need is a PC and internet connection.  


Parents can have up to 4 webcam video systems all connected to one pc and each of these webcams can be viewed on the internet just like individual webcam systems.   Each of these 1 to 4 webcams can be in different rooms of their house and they can even put one or more outside.   What is neat is that the webcam video systems can automatically move following movement (called auto-tracking movement).


Not Hidden Camera:   If you use the remote control base, then it is pretty difficult to hide them.  Remote control bases allow the parents and grandparents to move the camera up, down, left and right so they can see other parts of the room where the camera is located.   All the moving the of camera (called pan, tilt and rotate) are done using the parents internet connection at work.  They move the camera using their mouse or keyboard.


Hidden Camera:   The remote control base is big enough with the motor in it that it is difficult to hide it unless you get really creative. It can be hidden behind one way mirror.    If you try hiding it with between things such as two books on a bookshelf you will limit the view because the system is designed for being able to pan, tilt, rotate all around the room.  If you put it in between some books when its turned to look left or right the books will block the view.


Hidden Camera:  Do not buy the remote control base, only buy the webcam and you can hide the webcam much easier than trying to hide both the webcam and the base.     



Question: Are the cameras wireless i.e. so they can be set up around the house?



BRAND NEW THIS WEEK (May 24th, 2004): No PC needed with our Wireless Pan/Tilt Webcam system.  We are working on supporting the network camera with all the advanced features until then, none of the additional features like the website listing, tracking, zoom, motion detection, cell phone access, will work.   Viewing and moving the camera are the main applications of the network camera right now.    


I'll give you a call on Thursday a.m.


Thanks, Steve!


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