When do people use security cameras to check up on their pets?

Source: Comcast

Source: Comcast

  • Comcast finds they’re apt to do so several times a day
  • There’s got to be a revenue opportunity there
  • One more for the 5G innovative services pile?

Any user of the Internet, and most of us are, can’t have helped noticing that it’s now dominated by our furry friends. Make a random foray into Facebook, Youtube, or Twitter and it won’t be long before a pet doing something amusing will hove into view... or even just a pet doing something boring. They’ll be there.

Certainly it hasn’t escaped the notice of Comcast in the US that there’s a full blooded pet fetish under way online.

“There’s millions of these pet photos, videos, camera uploads and webcam sessions using up ‘x’ per cent of our bandwidth and we’re getting no benefit from it,” you can imagine a Comcast person saying at a meeting. “What are we going to do about pet porn... I mean, canine/feline monetisation?”

Well a survey might be a good place to start. Find out what’s actually going on.

Which is what Comcast did. And it found that many US pet owners use their home security cameras to check on their pets more often than they check on their front doors.  “Nearly half (44%) of those surveyed check in on their pets four times a day or more, nearly 2 in 5 (38%) take a peek at their pet(s) during work, and 94% say checking in on their pet is one of the best parts of their day.” “Sad” as one American is apt to say.

My guess is that much of Europe and Asia is pet obsessed too, and I KNOW that the UK is. Clearly there’s an opportunity here. But first, a few more amusing survey facts from Comcast:

  • Pet owners love furry distractions. Nearly 3 in 4 (73%) pet owners who check their cameras do so while on vacation to sneak a peek of their pet(s) whenever possible. Nearly 3 in 5 (59%) have checked while at a party or social event; more than 2 in 5 (44%) have checked during a workout; during a meeting (38%); while talking on the phone (38%); and while out on a date (32%).

  • Pet(s) more entertaining than family and friends. More than two-thirds (68%) of respondents reported checking in on their pet(s) more than social media to see what their family and friends are up to. More than 4 in 5 surveyed (84%) also reported they have shared video clips of their pet(s) on social media platforms.

  • Pet(s) lives not so secret. Eighty-eight percent of respondents have checked in on their pets and caught them doing something naughty such as sitting in a forbidden place (39%); making excessive noise (36%); eating human food that has been left out (33%); damaging furniture or accessories (30%); hiding or moving objects around the home (30%); relieving him/herself on the floor or on the furniture (26%); vomiting (19%); or getting stuck somewhere (17%).

  • Pet owners want ways to find videos of their pet(s) quickly. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of respondents reported it is a bigger hassle to search hours of video clips of their pet(s) with no way to filter them, than to not have any clips of pets because their camera only has live feed, and they would like a filter feature to help them find clips faster.

Comcast would like to help with that. It’s just launched a new AI assisted ‘pet filter’ feature on its Xfinity Camera which can quickly sort through hours of footage to identify just those with pets in them out of the more than one hundred motion-triggered video clips a typical camera can generate each day.  

“We developed this feature to help our customers quickly filter motion-triggered events by people, vehicles, or pets because we wanted to bring them the video clips that matter most even faster,” said Dennis Mathew, Vice President and General Manager of Comcast’s Xfinity Home. “It’s an intelligent home security solution that enables our customers to easily check in on their loved ones from anywhere, anytime.”

Comcast is selling Xfinity Internet or Xfinity Home customers the high-definition Xfinity Camera and opt-in for continuous video recording, which provides access to up to seven to 10 days (depending on market) of video history.

It uses AI to zoom in on the activity “and create a smart thumbnail image of the pet, vehicle, or person, which makes it easier to review later on. As a result, users can spend less time searching through raw footage and more time watching relevant clips,” Comcast claims.

Email Newsletters

Sign up to receive TelecomTV's top news and videos, plus exclusive subscriber-only content direct to your inbox.