Original Dropcam and Dropcam Echo users can expect a change in their Dropcam experience when their devices go dark on April 15th, 2015. Dropcam announced a Legacy Camera Replacement Program on Monday that allows owners of these older cameras (released between 2009 and 2011) to exchange them for the newer Dropcam HD. Without the exchange, the cameras will stop connecting to Dropcam servers or even recording at all, turning them into decoration.
Here's the statement from the support page about the program:
We’re always trying to improve Dropcam and the software behind it. But that means some features won’t work with our older Dropcam models. As we improve Dropcam, we’ll no longer be able to give Original Dropcam and Dropcam Echo owners an experience that meets our standards. So we decided to stop supporting these products and offer owners a free replacement Dropcam HD camera.
GigaOm reported that Dropcam was always more interested in services and software anyway, since the real moneymaker for the company is the cloud recording service Dropcams use for storage.
Dropcam was purchased by Nest in June of 2014, and Nest was purchased by Google in January of 2014, so it's easy to see how the replacement cameras are being paid for.
If it is time to look at a different solution anyway, the non-Google owned Arcsoft announced earlier this month that facial recognition was added to its Simplicam products. This will include separate privacy settings and mobile notifications for each of the faces it recognizes.