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French firm takes home security cameras to new level

No time to keep checking the feed from your home security camera? French consumer electronics company Netatmo has an answer: what it calls the first smart home camera with face recognition technology.

"We take moving images from a HD camera in your home and have that recognize your individual family members and send an immediate notification [to your smartphone] telling you who's at home when you're not," Netatmo's chief operating officer Matthew Broadway told CNBC.

The 'Welcome' device connects to the user's smartphone through Wi-Fi, sending a stream of high-definition video feed. For evening, the smart home camera night vision capabilities. The unique feature of the home camera is the ability to detect and identify faces through moving images, whereas older face recognition technology was limited to still images.

Netatmo's smart home camera with face recognition technology.
Netatmo
Netatmo's smart home camera with face recognition technology.

When it detects an unknown face, Welcome sends a notification to the user's smartphone.

Broadway said Welcome was less onerous to use than older home security cameras where "the onus is on [the user] to troll through hours of footage, some of which may be relevant [and others] probably not very relevant."

However, not everyone might be comfortable with such connected devices.

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A June Ericsson Consumer Lab report found one of the key hurdles to the widespread adoption of connected home devices was the concern users had over security breaches, particularly for data stored online.

Broadway said it had addressed the cybersecurity vulnerabilities of the Welcome device by taking "all of the data off the cloud" and storing videos in a memory card at the back of the device. The accompanying app on the smartphone also has bank-level encryption security.