EZViz is looking to ride the smart-home wave right into the United States, and it aims to make selling the category even easier for retailers.
The home security company, headquartered in City of Industry, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hikvision, a leading Chinese manufacturer of commercial security and surveillance systems. EZViz began shipping its first consumer product in October, a diminutive Wi-Fi security cam known as the Mini. The device has been received extremely favorably, Rod St. Michel, consumer sales senior director, told TWICE, and the company has intensive expansion plans on its horizon.
EZViz intends to focus on three burgeoning categories: Wi-Fi cameras, DIY security kits and action cams. Descending from Hikvision affords the company several key benefits in its growth efforts, St. Michel said, perhaps the most valuable being its manufacturing power. “We own the factories we build our products in,” he noted. “We’re able to look at what Hikvision has to offer and take advantage of its buying power with chip manufacturers.” Allowing it to avoid dealing with OEM partners also speeds up manufacturing time, he said.
St. Michel also touted EZViz’s distinctive ability to create custom SKUs from retailers, allowing sellers to experiment with their offerings. St. Michel said the company is able to sit down with retailers, examine its current product lines, and create product bundles that “fill in the blanks.” While home security kits have been primarily sold through warehouse clubs in the past seven years or so, they’re increasingly making their way into retail stores as consumers become more familiar and comfortable with the category.
“We can do things like put a kit together that is not only a security kit but also adds some of the Mini cameras to it. That’s something that’s largely untouched because no one else is playing in both those categories. The retailers are trying to figure out how a customer want to buy a product like this. … We can help the small [retailers] in particular because they’re more willing to experiment with things on the floor.”
This flexibility lends itself well to a category that is currently experiencing some growing pains. While consumers are intrigued by smart-home products, including remotely controlled security devices, there still exists much doubt about integrating the technology into everyday life.
“It’s not like you wake up and say, ‘I want to connect my home today.’ It doesn’t work like that,” said St. Michel. “The way it does work is someone is living their life and they have an issue they’d like to solve — the dog is ripping apart couch while I’m work, or I want to know when kids get home, and want to figure out how to solve that problem. The video part of the connected home, or the monitoring or security, is really one of the easiest access points into the connected home. … When they can actually see their home on their phone from their office, it’s a very impactful thing. If we do that right, that’s sort of the entry point for some of the other products.”
EZViz intends to launch about a dozen products this year, St. Michel said, including its first action cameras. The Five and Five+ cameras are slated to ship in June for respective suggested retails of $299 and $399. The Five will feature 4K capture at 15 fps, 2-inch touchscreen, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and a rechargeable 900 mAh battery. The Five+ steps up capture to 4K at 30 fps, and has an improved sensor, a higher-resolution touchscreen and a bigger battery.
In addition to the action cams, EZViz will also launch new Mini cameras: The Mini+ and the Mini IQ will ship in June for $89.99 and $179, respectively. The latter features a built-in Z-Wave controller, as well as motion detection, temperature sensor and humidity sensor. The company is also in talks with other IoT manufacturers to create alliances, said St. Michel, allowing for future interoperability.
EZViz products are currently sold through Amazon, Newegg, Walmart.com and SamsClub.com.