Lighthouse home security camera uses AI to ID people and pets

Backed by Andy Rubin, this smart camera's 3D vision can see who was in your house and what they did.


Security cameras are getting more and more advanced these days, they might put a few security companies out of business. Take Lighthouse, for instance. The device, hailing from an accelerator created by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, can figure out who's at home or who entered the house, and whether it's a human or the family dog/cat. When The Verge took it for a spin, the Lighthouse team showed how it responds to your questions and voice commands. Say, you want to know if anybody took the dog for a walk. You can just ask its accompanying app, and it will show you the latest video it took of your dog.

The Lighthouse setup is composed of an RGB camera that captures 1080p videos and has night vision, a speaker, a microphone, a siren and a 3D sensor. It has facial recognition like Netatmo Welcome does and uses it in conjunction with geofencing to identify every person who lives in your house and confirm their identity. To distinguish between people, pets and objects, though, it uses 3D-sensing technology.

Lighthouse app

Now, here's where it gets useful -- or creepy, depending on how you see it. You can ask the system to ping you whenever something important does or doesn't happen. For example, you can ask it to let you know if it doesn't see the kids by 4PM on weekdays while you're away or to notify you if the dog walker doesn't arrive on Saturday between 10 to 11AM. If it detects an unknown presence at an unexpected time, it'll send you a notification, and you can watch what's going on through its app. It's unclear how accurately it can identify each family member, but the company said it trained its system to be good at recognizing shapes and patterns by feeding it over a million samples. Lighthouse plans to introduce facial recognition before it officially becomes available, though.

When it comes to your privacy, the company said its system can protect your data with bank-level encryption. You're the only one who can access your info, and the system deletes whatever your camera records within 30 days. The camera is now available for pre-order bundled with the company's "Intelligence AI Service," starting at $399 for one device and a year of access to the AI. Lighthouse expects to start shipping in September 2017.

Update (05/12/2017): A Lighthouse rep reached out and clarified that the camera does have facial recognition.