Flare is an AI powered home security system that recognizes friend from foe

flare home security
BuddyGuard
Mark Zuckerberg made it his new year’s goal to create Jarvis-like artificial intelligence for his home — at this point it lets him manage his house and toasts his bread. But a German startup called BuddyGuard may have beaten him to the punch. The company recently launched an artificially intelligent security system called Flare, and brought it to IFA to show it off.

Flare is part camera, part AI, part IoT accessory. BuddyGuard bills its product as “the first home security system powered by true artificial intelligence.”

The wall-mounted, 130-degree camera monitors your home while you’re away, while the machine vision algorithm inside of it helps detect and catalog faces. Geolocation tells the device if you’re coming or going, and audio recognition helps it register spoken commands and distinguish between normal noises and suspicious sounds around the house.

If any of Flare’s sensors detect foul play — such as the sound of a smashed window or the face of an unknown person — it can contact the police and request a dispatch, while recording audio and video of the intruder.

Put simply, Flare sees people as either friend or foe. “Anyone who Flare hasn’t met is a potential threat,” BuddyGuard founder and CEO Herbet Hellemann told Digital Trends at IFA in Berlin.

This might conjure nightmares of an all-seeing, overbearing AI but Hellemann insists Flare is unlike HAL9000.

For one, Flare is relatively agreeable — it’s easy to prove that a guest is trusted. If your housekeeper comes by while you’re at work, you can either “introduce” the system and the cleaner beforehand or give the cleaner a security word. “Just have them stand in front of the camera,” Hellemann says, “and look up, down, and side-to-side, so that Flare can register all angles of their faces.” Meanwhile, the security word may be as simple as uttering “chimney sweeper” when entering the home.

BuddyGuard also offers an app, which lets owners check in on their home, receive alerts, and add or remove people from the circle of trust.

And Flare’s can be told to close its lens and stop listening in when a trusted contact is in the house, minimizing concern that the system is constantly watching and eavesdropping.

But, like HAL, Flare isn’t perfect. During a demo at IFA, Flare’s algorithm recognized a face in the wrinkles of one man’s shirt and another one’s crotch. A BuddyGuard representative suggested this was due to the sheer number of people it had to identify. So, perhaps Flare is best suited for the quiet life.

BuddyGuard raised over $266,000 in an Indiegogo campaign in July, where interested parties can still pre-order Flare for $349 through Indiegogo’s InDemand .

Gaming

Square Enix has no clue how many episodes Final Fantasy VII Remake will take

The initial release of the Final Fantasy VII Remake on March 3, 2020 will feature the part of the adventure that takes place in Midgar. Square Enix has no idea on how many episodes it will take to tell the full story of the original RPG.
Deals

Arlo 4-Camera Wireless Home Security System gets a hefty price cut on Amazon

With its no-nonsense operation, amazing battery life, and quick installation, the Arlo 4-Camera Wireless Security System hits all the right marks in home security. Get yours now on Amazon for a discounted price of $279.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Gaming

From Nintendo to Capcom, here are the best booths we saw at E3 2019

Every year, publishers and developers gather in Los Angeles to show off their games at E3. Booths are a major part of the excitement and this year didn't let us down. From Nintendo to Capcom, here are the best booths of E3 2019.
Emerging Tech

The grainy texture of Saturn’s rings reveals clues to their origins

New analysis of data from Cassini shows that Saturn's rings are not smooth, but rather are grainy in texture. Scientists believe that tiny moons within the rings cause materials to cluster and form clumps and straw-like patterns.
Emerging Tech

The Very Large Telescope gets upgrade to aid its hunt for habitable exoplanets

The Very Large Telescope is growing even bigger. The latest addition to the telescope's suite of instruments is a tool called NEAR (Near Earths in the AlphaCen Region) which will hunt for exoplanets in the nearby Alpha Centauri star…
Emerging Tech

Your smartphone could be the key to predicting natural disasters

A challenge for atmospheric scientists is gathering enough data to understand the complex, planet-wide weather system. Now a scientist has come up with a clever idea to gather more data using smartphones and Internet of Things devices.
Emerging Tech

Tormented robot pulls a gun on its creators in latest Boston Dynamics spoof

Boston Dynamics' remarkable robots often receive a good few shoves in its videos, and the eager mistreatment recently inspired a team of L.A.-based video artists to give its rather amusing take on the matter.
Smart Home

A new survey by Adobe shows an evolving market for voice applications

A new consumer survey conducted by Adobe Analytics has uncovered a growing desire for more diversity in voice-controlled applications and devices as well as growing engagement with voice ads.
Emerging Tech

Live long and prosper? Experimental compound could slow down the aging process

Want to extend your natural lifespan beyond its current limits? A metabolite of biomolecules — found in pomegranates of all places — could help slow the aging process. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

Airbus’ new single-aisle jet has longest range in its class and a fancy cabin

Airbus has unveiled the design of its new A321XLR jet, an aircraft that it says will be capable of trips of around 5,400 miles, making it the world's longest range single-aisle airliner when it takes to the skies in 2023.
Computing

Google Calendar is back online. Here’s the latest on the outage

Google Calendar is down, and that means that instead of a day packed with back-to-back meetings and timely reminders, users are instead being treated to an error message. Here's the latest on the worldwide outage.
Emerging Tech

A tiny magnet accomplishes enormous feat, sets a new world record

A magnet housed in the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory has set a record for the strongest continuous DC magnetic field ever recorded. Here's why that matters to our future.
News

Brush up on your makeup skills with YouTube’s new augmented reality feature

YouTube will soon let users try on makeup while watching popular makeup tutorials through augmented reality. Viewers will be able to actually try on the makeup products the online tutorials are showcasing and promoting.