U.S. Apple obtained a batch of US patents from a defunct home security camera company, called Lighthouse AI, possibly in an effort to expand its own user identification technology based on artificial intelligence.
Although some of the patents are standard safety, some involve depth sensing technology, IAM said Monday. These include the "Security system based on artificial vision that uses a depth camera" and "Method and system to use the emission of light by means of a depth detection camera to capture video images in low light conditions".
The portfolio was purchased before December from 2018, but the official news of the IP reassignment appeared at the end of February in the database of the US Patent and Trademark Office.
In total, Apple acquired eight properties, including US Patent. No. 9.396.400 for a "Security system based on artificial vision using a depth camera", No. 9.965.612 for "Method and system for visual authentication" and No. 10,009,554 for "Method and system for using light emission by a camera with depth sensor to capture video images in low light conditions ".
The company also purchased applications that are currently under review, including Method and system to use light emission by a camera with depth sensor to capture video images in low light conditions, two properties (1, 2) for a "System of security based on computer vision using a depth camera, "Voice interface for the vision-based monitoring system, Bidirectional communication interface for the vision-based monitoring system and Method and system for sharing incidents in a system of monitoring The former Lighthouse CEO, Alexander Teichman, is credited as inventor in every patent and application.
Lighthouse was closed towards the end of 2018 after its home security camera did not perform in a market dominated by companies such as Ring, Nest, Arlo and Wyze.
The Lighthouse camera cost US $ 299 and required a paid subscription to enable some AI features. However, it was able to detect in 3D and included a facial recognition subsystem to remind owners, family members and frequent visitors. The detection of depth and facial recognition were part of the Lighthouse draw, and the company offered push notification services that alerted users when certain people came home. The technology was also used to filter the "noise" of security cameras, such as shadows and the movement of pets, to greatly reduce the number of false positives.
It is believed that Apple is not making a game for the security camera market, although it could use patents to deter judgments and reinforce camera technology for iPhones, iPad and Mac. It has been rumored that Apple is working on a 3D rear-facing camera for 2020 iPhones, specifically using a laser sensor with a range of 15 feet. That could allow more possibilities in augmented reality.
It is also believed that the company is developing an AR headset, for which depth detection would be a vital component. That can be sent in 2020 or 2021.