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Apple patents wink/nod smart home communications. Biometric startup enters doorbell market

Apple patents wink/nod smart home communications. Biometric startup enters doorbell market

The home biometric camera market could be getting new capabilities and another player.

Apple has been awarded a patent (US 11,619,991 B2) for software that would give its HomePod digital assistant the ability to understand a recognized person’s voiced instruction and facial signals as a single command.

At the same time, a startup named Aqara announced its newest video doorbell, which has facial recognition and can disguise a home occupant’s voice when conversing remotely with someone at the door.

Apple’s patent describes a how someone in a living room can look at a HomePod and begin a command with, for example, “Turn…,” look at an object and finish with “…the lamp on the table” to increase the light in a portion room.

Other visual sensors could be placed around a room for finer commands and results. A Watch could be used to dim and brighten the lamp as well.

The HomePod would carry voice and gaze recognition and “longer-range” Face ID. It also is possible that the homeowner could collect biometric and other data about visitors using the HomePod, an iPhone or accessory cameras.

The trade publication Patently Apple was first to publish news of the patent.

Meanwhile, Aqara‘s first doorbell, the G4, borrows capabilities, such as facial recognition, from the company’s camera hub G3. The 1080p device works with Apple’s Home, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home software.

Aqara is going against entrenched competitors and consumer acceptance that some feel is weak due to prices perceived as too high.

The competitors are, of course, Apple, Amazon, Google, Arlo and ADT. Aqara could take advantage of Eufy’s struggles to deal with accusations that its software is mishandling biometric data collected.

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