Home Monitors Are Getting Smarter (and Creepier)

Rachel Metz for MIT Technology Review:  A new smart-home assistant and security monitor can tell the difference between specific adults and spot kids and pets, and send you smartphone alerts about what they’re up to.

Lighthouse went on sale on Thursday, though it won’t ship to customers until September. A single Lighthouse device plus a year of service runs $399, and it will cost $10 per month after that. (By comparison, a Nest camera and its service, which together have some similar features, would cost $299 for a camera and a year of service, and $10 per month thereafter.)

The device was created by Alex Teichman and Hendrik Dahlkamp, who have backgrounds in computer vision and self-driving cars. So far, the company has raised $17 million from investors, including Android cofounder Andy Rubin.

Lighthouse uses several cameras, including a 3-D time-of-flight one that can see how far away an object is and determine objects in the foreground versus those in the background, Teichman says. If the device finds something that may be interesting—say, your kids walking into the living room at 11 p.m.—it will send that to a remote server, which analyzes the data and works with a Lighthouse app running on your smartphone to figure out what to do with it (perhaps send you a notification if you’d told the app to let you know about the kids being in there after 8).  Full article:

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