Connected devices maker, Netatmo, introduced a connected smart camera that promises to make presence sensing for home automation a lot smarter. The new device is called Welcome. The camera works as a presence sensor by using facial recognition. Presumably one places the device near the front door. Whenever it recognizes a face in its 130° range of vision, it can send notifications to their companion smartphones apps. The apps aren’t quite available yet, but Netatmo has apps on iOS, Android and Windows Phone for its previous connected weather station and connected thermostat devices.
The camera in the Welcome can be configured to record video when seeing a face that it recognizes, or perhaps more importantly faces it doesn’t recognize. Netatmo realizes there are some privacy implications with a device like this and says that it has privacy settings that can be customized for each individual that it recognizes. It also can record video to its local storage, so that content is never stored up the in the cloud. The camera is a 5MP sensor that can record 1080p video at 30fps. Included in the box is a 4GB SD card, but the slot is expandable up to 32GB. It can also perform the same duties at night via an infrared sensor.
As if a one-off device with these capabilities is not enough, the camera can also be paired with Welcome Tags. These tags can be stuck to a window or door frame and allow the system to send open/close notifications. This makes the device more of a hub with some future possibilities of connecting more devices. The camera is connected via WiFi, but also has 915Mhz radio, which presumably is what connects to the tags.
Presence sensing has always been a hard problem for home automation systems. If this device can deliver, it could be a step up from all of the solutions we have today. As with many things CES, no word on a release date quite yet.
For some more information hit up the specs page.
Here are a couple shots from the show floor at CES 2015.