We are developing radar sensing for residential and commercial environments, the technology can accurately build a picture of 2D spaces in real time, whether that’s for monitoring activity in the office or home, or for providing information on movement in sensitive installations. See the video, below, for a demonstration of the technology.
So what’s behind the move?
The privacy problem
An obvious issue facing smart home pioneers and companies developing tracking and imaging capabilities is privacy. The human face is the ultimate piece of personally identifiable information (PID), which is why facial recognition systems are a growth area.
All of that data – much of which can be used to directly identify individuals – can and will be acted upon, stored, and analysed in one form or another.
But in some locations, eyes and ears – electronic or otherwise – simply aren’t appropriate. Bathrooms in an elderly care home or school, a doctor’s surgery, the changing rooms of a public swimming pool, or the fitting room of a clothes shop, are just some of the many possible examples. People may also wish to maintain their privacy in their own homes.
In these locations, being able to detect movement or life signs might be necessary for security or safety reasons, but being able to actually see people’s faces and bodies would be a gross intrusion of their privacy. Not every security system needs to identify who a person is or gather data about them.
So it’s clear that, for some applications, a better balance needs to be found between keeping people safe, providing peace of mind to carers, businesses, and homeowners, and respecting the privacy of those who may already be vulnerable, or feel insecure.
Most smart home solutions, such as video cameras, meet only half of those requirements. And since data security breaches are inevitable, personal data protection is another factor: it’s only a matter of time before biometrics or other personal information could slip into the wrong hands.
With that in mind, we are developing sensor technology that goes above and beyond the situational data gathered by conventional means, but without putting individuals’ privacy at risk.