Lighthouse promises to be a smarter home security camera when it ships this September, thanks to 3D depth sensors and computer vision technology. Like other connected cameras before it, such as Google’s Nest Cam and Canary to name a couple, Lighthouse aims to keep you aware of what’s going on inside your home while you’re away by sending you notifications whenever it detects motion. However, Lighthouse CEO and co-founder Alex Teichman wants his company’s camera to be smarter, which means not flooding your phone with inane notifications every time your pet passes by or if a familiar face, like your children or roommates, come home. Lighthouse will only alert you of meaningful events, like if an unfamiliar face is detected or if it detects your kids aren’t home when they should be, and it does this by combining machine learning with depth sensing hardware.
Teichman is positioning Lighthouse as more than a home security camera. Because Lighthouse can understand context through its adoption of 3D sensing technology, a video camera, machine learning and computer vision, Teichman sees Lighthouse as an interactive assistant for your home. Similar to other digital assistants today, like Google Assistant, Siri and Cortana, you can use voice or text to search with the Lighthouse app. When you ask if your kids arrived home on time, Lighthouse can pull up a photo with your kids outlined in a colorful halo. If an unidentified intruder is identified, Lighthouse will send you a security alert and outline the person in a photo or video. Additionally, gestures are also recognized, and if your significant other waves to Lighthouse, you’ll get a hello notification on your phone. Using AI, Lighthouse won’t alert you if your dog is walking by, but if your favorite family pooch is jumping on the couch you’ll get a ping. From your phone, you can even choose to activate the microphone and talk your dog down from your sofa.
The ambitious project recently secured $17 million of funding and it’s backed by Andy Rubin. Lighthouse’s other co-creater is CTO Hendrik Dahlkamp, a former Google X engineer who collaborated with Teichman on a self-driving project while at Stanford University. Dahlkamp and Teichman leveraged their experience in computer vision when working on autonomous vehicles to give Lighthouse its smarts, and the smart home camera is able to identify people. By equipping Lighthouse with the same technology that’s in self-driving cars Lighthouse can identify people and objects in its video feeds to provide you with more relevant notifications about what is happening in your home. Pre-orders for Lighthouse start at $399 today, which includes the hardware and a year of service. After a year, subscription plans will cost $10 per month. There’s also a pre-paid three-year plan with the device for $499, and a five-year plan with the hardware for $599. The plans include 30-day cloud storage for recorded videos. To use Lighthouse, you’ll need a device with Android 4.4 or later, and the camera connects to your 802.11 a/b/h/n network at home.