Facial recognition for smart doorbells developed to protect abuse victims
Jim Ramsey, a former police officer in Shrewsbury, NJ, has developed a facial recognition monitoring system called Overwatch that works via a WiFi-connected doorbell camera to guard against known threats. Initially created as a tool for sexual assault and domestic violence victims, the system also offers protection for anyone wanting to ensure their safety.
Victims provide the system with up to 20 photos of a potential threat. If recognized, an immediate alert is sent to the user, police, and loved ones. The automated alert differentiates the service from many other doorbells equipped with facial recognition. Amazon has patented technology for its Ring doorbells that can alert police.
The images collected by Overwatch are processed using advanced recognition algorithms designed to accurately identify individuals even in challenging conditions, such as low light or when the person is wearing glasses or a hat.
Compatible with Wi-Fi on both the Ring and Blink apps, the software monitors 24/7. The system offers real-time alerts, enabling faster police response times. “They connect it to their Wi-Fi on their Ring app or their Blink app — whichever camera they’re using — and our software is looking for that face 24 hours a day,” says Ramsey.
Furthermore, the software can be an asset in the courtroom. “Overwatch aids in evidence collection, which can be pivotal in legal cases,” Ramsey highlighted.
In addition to protecting victims of domestic violence, the system can guard against stalkers and ensure workplace safety during sensitive operations like employee terminations.