Although Nest’s security camera has also introduced features where it can recognize specific faces, Farmer says that what differentiates Lighthouse is that artificial intelligence has been its primary focus from the beginning, versus something that’s gained significance as the product evolved.

To him, Lighthouse is ultimately the “connective tissue of the smart-home” because it’s so easy communicate with and has the brains and vision to contextualize whatever is going on within the camera’s range.

Teichman paints a similar picture. Lighthouse is in the process of developing an integration with the IFTTT (“if this then that”) web service, so that users can control all their other smart devices based around what the Lighthouse camera sees. For instance, users could create commands like “turn on the kitchen light when the kids get home” or “lock the door when the dog-walker leaves.”

Right now, Lighthouse’s primary use-case is in the home, but one of the company’s 34 employees spends all of their time thinking up new domains, like using the system for small business security or elderly care.

“When you can bring to bear really serious AI techniques, computer vision and deep learning with the cheat-codes of a 3D sensor, suddenly you can really do a lot of useful things that weren’t possible before,” Teichman says.

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