I've been looking at wireless delivery of pics taken by trailcams for the past couple of years and have also had discussions with several trailcam companies re: this product/service. I have also consulted with some of the best wireless engineers in the U.S. and asked them to give me their thoughts on the products currently on the market and any ways they see to improve them - make things better, cheaper, etc.
To the best of my knowledge, the companies that are in this market at the current time are BuckEye Cam, Smart Scouter and Moultrie. I haven't purchased any of these and also don't know anyone who has done so (which is amazing given all the serious deer hunters I know - including many who have more than enough money to do so). So I don't have any idea how well their products work, how expensive the cell plans they require you to use are, etc. Until a few more major trailcam companies enter the mix and drive costs down substantially I don't think the market is going to be big enough for anyone to make any money in it. I also think cell phone coverage needs to improve a ton in a lot of areas in order for a lot of hunters to take a risk and invest their hard earned money.
There are a couple of things that I'd really like to see take place in this market - and I think the market could explode if someone were to bring these changes to the average deer hunter in the near future:
1. Why don't all the trailcam companies put their heads together and create any industry standard so that every single trailcam is able to "export" its pictures to an independent wireless transmitter that can then deliver them to any independent website the hunter chooses? Right now if you buy BuckEye's product you can only have your pictures delivered to their website. Same holds true with Smart Scouter and Moultrie. Instead of holding one's trailcam customers hostage, why don't they allow them to port the pictures taken by the trailcams they own to any site they want. If there were an industry standard that allowed this to happen, websites that offer all kind of features that serious deer hunters would love to use regularly would pop up all over the place and many of them could be used for FREE. If you are thinking about buying one of the wireless products on the market currently I would advise you to think really hard about whether any of the plans that are currently being offered by the 3 companies listed above are actually looking out for your best interests or the best interests of these companies. Seems to me like the hunter/trailcam purchaser/owner is likely to get used by these companies at the current time...
2. Why does the average hunter who might have an interest in buying a wireless trailcam need another cell phone plan to make it work? Doesn't almost every single deer hunter in the U.S. have at least one cell plan already? Wouldn't it make a lot more sense to simply let you use your existing cell phone plan to deliver your trailcam pics to you? And if you need more minutes to do so, wouldn't it make a lot more sense to just buy them from your existing carrier vs. buying a whole new plan and then being held hostage by the one carrier that your wireless trailcam company uses? Don't you think that expensive new cell plan you need to make your new wireless trailcam has a nice profit priced into it for the trailcam company and their wireless company? Does this make sense if you already have a wireless company that is supposed to be committed to giving you the best possible prices and coverage at all times and a trailcam company that is also supposed to be committed to keeping you happy once you've decided to buy their trailcam?
Things smell a little fishy to me.... If I were a wireless trailcam company or a wireless company I know I could do a lot better for my valued customers. Not to mention the risk that one takes by assuming that ones trailcam company and/or wireless company will be around for the long haul.
Instead, demand that things change - especially when it comes to where your wireless trailcam pictures can be sent and what wireless plan you can use to get them there - and I can assure you that everyone will be much better off. Anyone who thinks BuckEye Cam, Smart Scouter and/or Moultrie are going to keep you on the cutting edge when it comes to developing their websites in a way that gives hunters access to state-of-the-art technologies that are commonly used in a lot of other industries for FREE needs to pull their head out of the clouds! These companies should be focusing solely on making better trailcams and making them more affordable by taking advantage of economies of scale and technological advances. Leave the cell phone plans to the cellular companies as this is what they are supposed to do better than anyone else. And leave all the work that needs to take place in order to deliver awesome website features up to media companies that specialize in this area.
I won't be taking a serious look at these products until some of these things change and don't expect the market to produce any meaningful returns for those who have decided to invest in it until this is the case. It is pretty clear that this is just one more situation where a handful of companies want to make the market captive when everyone in the market wants and deserves independence. Give the people what they want and they will come. This has always been the case and will once again be the case with wireless trailcams!