Lighthouse AI, an artificial intelligence startup founded by self-driving car and computer-vision experts, today announced the general availability of its debut consumer product: the Lighthouse security camera. The device, which was unveiled in May 2017, is aimed at the crowd of gadget enthusiasts and home owners who may be interested in or already own a similar product from Amazon or Google-owned Nest.

The brains behind Lighthouse, however, think this product has more smarts, specifically around the implementation of AI and the kind of computer-vision prowess that helps software see and understand the world. The camera, which goes on sale from Lighthouse’s website and on Amazon today for $299, is effectively an all-in-one AI system for your home.

It records a 1080p, 24-hour feed and stores it for up to 30 days, but from the moment it’s plugged in, the camera also works on recognizing faces and adapting to the series of manual pings you set up in the Lighthouse mobile app. It uses 3D sensors and algorithms trained via machine learning to digest its surroundings, keep track of known faces, and, notably, to differentiate between pets and human beings.

The manual pings you can set up include prompts for activity, like “tell me if you see anyone you don’t recognize when the primary user is out of the house.” The pings can also be for the absence of activity, like one for “tell me if you don’t see someone enter the home between the hours of 3PM and 5PM.” These pings, which send notifications to a user’s phone, can be set up using natural language, involving just a spoken command to the Lighthouse app. The app can also create profiles for other family members and friends, as well as guests like dog walkers, babysitters, or house cleaners, who the camera can learn to recognize and omit from activity alerts.

Lighthouse is selling the AI companion service for $10 per month, or a one-time $200 fee for lifetime access. The Verge has a Lighthouse camera set up in its San Francisco office, and we’ll be spending some more time with it this week and next in a variety of different environments before publishing an official review of the product. Read more from…

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