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AI-based camera hailed home security breakthrough

Robin Knox: ‘massive potential’

A groundbreaking outdoor security camera which uses artificial intelligence to spot potential intruders has been developed in Edinburgh.

Home security tech specialist, Boundary, has teamed up with Edinburgh University to create an affordable camera that can determine whether a person has good or malicious intent as soon as they set foot on someone’s private property.

Working closely with Professor Robert Fisher, chairman of computer vision at the University, Boundary’s revolutionary camera is being part funded by a SMART grant – awarded by Scottish Enterprise for projects deemed to be highly experimental.

The cost-friendly camera detects behaviour that an algorithm is trained to recognise. The camera will ask the person to identify themselves. If they refuse, the camera’s video feeds will be passed over to a human operator for verification and intervention.

Robin Knox, co-founder and CEO of Boundary, said: “We are hugely excited to embark on this AI project with the University of Edinburgh. There is currently no technology like this available in the home security market in Europe, so we believe this has massive potential.

“Machine vision and deep learning is the future and we want to make it available to the masses. Since our inception, we have kept cost and accessibility at the forefront of our minds, and our aim is to make this AI camera affordable so that every home can have the equivalent of their own private security guard round the clock.”

We want this camera to detect break-ins before they occur

– Robin Knox, Boundary

Boundary will launch its first product, its innovative smart home security alarm, in 2020. It will be the only smart home security system in the UK to offer police response when installed professionally.

Meanwhile, the tech startup aims to reach Minimum Viable Product (MVP) status for its AI camera later this year, with the intention of achieving a commercial launch in 2021.

An AI camera ‘watchman’ has always been in the pipeline for Boundary. Mr Knox said: “We knew from the get-go that we wanted to develop a camera that harnesses AI because we spotted several missed opportunities with some of the current outdoor security camera systems available.

“At the moment, owners of outdoor security cameras can monitor activity via an app and push notifications. However, because these camera systems aren’t ‘smart’, they can be prone to alerting homeowners to false alarms by harmless things, such as cars driving past.

After a while, these false positives can cause owners to become desensitised to notifications and they could stop taking them seriously.”

He continued: “Our camera, which is for external use only, will be able to tell the difference between an innocent shadow in the garden, and a brazen thief determined to steal your personal belongings. 

“We want this camera to detect break-ins before they occur, by identifying and engaging trespassers before they become burglars. The homeowner will also be notified of any incidents.”

Dr Radim Tylecek, a research associate at the University, is set to join Boundary as a machine-vision specialist. Derek Liddle, an ex-Honeywell engineer who worked with Boundary on its first product, will be heading up electronic design and assisting with technology selection for the camera.

Once launched, the camera will be compatible with Boundary’s smart alarm and can be controlled via the Boundary app. 

The alarm will form the foundational connection for contacting the police and for integration with other smart home products, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home and Philips Hue.



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