BuddyGuard launches IoT security AI system

Two new technology breakthroughs announced this week could improve the integrity of the IoT through power and security efficiencies.

Berlin-based start-up BuddyGuard has raised $1million (€911,000) for its Flare home security system, which uses a combination of artificial intelligence with minimalistic design to make domestic IoT safer.

The funds will support further additions to the ‘ever evolving’ artificial intelligence technology, according to BuddyGuard CEO Herbert Hellemann. The system is due to be launched in Q2 2016.

The Flare system is automatically activated when all system users leave home. It uses face and voice recognition in conjunction with geolocation to authenticate residents and trusted contacts when people enter their home. Once the user has been positively identified, the system automatically covers the camera lens in order to protect user privacy.

Flare uses a Wi-Fi connection to communicate with the cloud, where all data is analysed. The device is controlled through a mobile app compatible with iOS and Android. The app allows users to interact with Flare and inspect their homes via live stream, communicate with an intruder, activate the siren alarm or call emergency services. Additionally, upgrades are available if customers want extra cloud storage, 3G backup or alarm follow-ups. These services can be bought on a monthly basis.

Meanwhile, Wi-Fi for IoT could be a lot more power efficient if a breakthrough by researchers at the University of Washington (UW) comes to fruition. According to UW, its new version of Pure Wi-Fi will be far more suitable for use with smartphones and the IoT, because it drains the batteries of devices 10,000 times less than conventional wireless Lans.

It works by assigning analogue functions to a single device on a wall. For example, the production of a signal at a specific frequency could be assigned to a device and an array of sensors then produces Wi-Fi packets of data by reflecting and absorbing that signal using a digital switch. This means that all the ‘heavy lifting’ associated with networking, that consumes the power of a smartphone, will be outsourced to the plugged in device.

Currently, Pure Wi-Fi can only transmit at 11Mbps, which may make it a suitable low power alternative to Narrowband IoT (Nb-IoT), say researchers.

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