One of the downsides of picking up a device from a startup: The company behind the product could up and disappear one day. That is, unfortunately, the fate suffered by Lighthouse, the maker of an artificial intelligence-infused security camera that promised all sorts of smart features. The company failed to meet its financial goals and went belly up this week, which will leave many of its customers without a functioning camera.
In a note posted on the company’s website, CEO Alex Teichman confirmed that operations for the company would soon cease. “I am incredibly proud of the groundbreaking work the Lighthouse team accomplished — delivering useful and accessible intelligence for our homes via advanced A.I. and 3D sensing,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, we did not achieve the commercial success we were looking for and will be shutting down operations in the near future.”
Lighthouse began with a lot of promise, offering a security camera with built-in facial-recognition tools that could learn faces of familiar people and tailor alert systems to your home. The idea was to make a smarter security system that doesn’t suffer from false alarms and other drawbacks that some cameras can be plagued by. The problem was the camera was pretty pricey. It debuted with a price tag of $299 and required a $10 monthly subscription fee to benefit from all of the A.I.-powered features.
With the company behind the camera shutting down, Lighthouse cameras in the wild will lose most of their functionality. Customer service will shut down on January 25, 2019. After that date, service for the security cameras will go offline, and the devices will become very expensive paperweights. Luckily for those who got a Lighthouse device, there are plenty of alternatives for internet-connected security cameras out there.
For customers who already invested in a Lighthouse camera, the company is offering refunds up until January 25. That applies to cameras purchased directly from Lighthouse, as well as those bought through Amazon and the Home Shopping Network. You will have to send the camera and any accessories back in order to get the refund. The company said it will also offer refunds for any service plan upgrades purchased by customers.
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