Apple Acquires Home Security Patent

Mandee Thomas
Mar 11, 2019 10:54:44 AM

New smart security technologies seem to enter the market every day. Recently, patent-tracking magazine IAM reported that Apple acquired the patent portfolio of security camera start-up, Lighthouse.

Lighthouse AI

Lighthouse was an AI security camera company that shut down in December, 2018. Lighthouse technology utilized 3D sensing capabilities to identify faces and reduce false alarms.

Artificial intelligence was incorporated into the camera systems so that users would be able to filter through security footage quickly and find the clips they needed.

 

Facial Recognition Technology

The patents acquired by Apple in this deal include:

  • No. 9,965,612: “Method and system for visual authentication”
  • No. 10,009,554: “Method and system for using light emission by a depth-sensing camera to capture video images under low-light conditions”
  • No. 20180246964: “Speech interface for vision-based monitoring system”
  • No. 20180367962: “Two-way communication interface for vision-based monitoring system”
  • No. 20180374325: “Method and system for incident sharing in a monitoring system”
Some of these technologies sound strikingly similar to those found in Apple’s iPhone XS and XR devices. Because Lighthouse cameras were able to distinguish faces from further distances and recognize multiple people, it’s possible that these patents were purchased in order to advance Apple’s facial recognition technology in the next iteration of their phones.

Will Apple Join the Home Security Market?

If not to improve their current line of products, Apple could be looking to enter the home security market with the purchase of Lighthouse’s patents. With both Google and Amazon already a part of the smart security space, it’s not hard to imagine that Apple would want to get in on the action.

Even though Apple HomeKit and the Apple Watch currently integrate with some smart security products, Apple doesn’t have its own line dedicated to the security space at the moment.

If Apple does decide to join the smart security game, it will be interesting to see if their products integrate with other smart products already on the market, or if they will require users to only use Apple products.

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