Wyze offers some of the most affordable smart cameras on the market, but sometimes you get what you pay for. The company added person detection in July of last year, but it didn't last long. Apple purchased the firm providing Wyze with those AI capabilities, and it had to scramble to come up with a new solution. Wyze started beta testing its new person detection feature earlier this year, and now it's ready to roll out more widely — but there are still quite a few caveats.

Users who created an account with Wyze before November 26, 2019 are eligible to sign up for access, since at that time the company said person detection would be free. But even though it said "free" back then, Wyze is now asking people to name their own price for the feature, which enables person detection for 12-second motion events on Wyze Cam v2s and Wyze Cam Pans. This is different from the company's Cam Plus subscription, as that removes the 12-second recording limitation and the 5-minute cooldown period between recordings.

Why the move from free to paid? Wyze said recent events like the pandemic and new tariffs threw it for a loop. The company is trying to balance its affordable roots with staying afloat and becoming a sustainable business operation. After doing some math, Wyze calculates that if everyone using person detection paid $1.48 a month, everything would be hunky-dory. It's honestly kind of endearing to watch Wyze try to offer premium features for free to those who need it. What happens if the contributions aren't enough to cover costs? 🤷‍♂️

Suppose the name-your-price setup works for 12-second person detection with legacy users. If that's the case, the company may decide to let everyone into the program — and the long term vision is for every premium feature to be offered at whatever price users can afford to pay.

Users eligible for the name-your-price person detection should receive an email with additional details. More information can also be found on the Wyze services page for accounts registered before November 26, 2019.