Welcome Home Camera Sports Facial Recognition, Privacy Controls

Biometric authentication horizontal banner set with privacy protection and recognition elements isolated vector illustration

A sleek new smart camera for the home is hitting stores in America and the UK. Called “Welcome”, the camera is by consumer electronics company Netatmo.

Welcome uses facial recognition technology to identify the individuals recorded on screen. It works in conjunction with a mobile app available for iOS 8 and Android 4.3 and up, and it can send automatic notifications about the individuals it identifies, so, for example, parents can be messaged when their children arrive home. It can also be programmed to record video – or to not record, when a designated individual appears on camera, allowing for greater privacy controls. And it’s priced at $199, or £199.

Netatmo is going to considerable lengths to give Welcome users control over their privacy, allowing control over notifications and recording for each family member, securing access to the user’s connected smartphone with “a bank-level encrypted connection” (according to a press release), and ensuring that image data is saved on the device only, and not in the cloud. All of which is prudent, given the legal troubles that are starting to arise from private companies’ collection of biometric data, both through photo-sharing apps and smart televisions.

It’s a home camera for the current age, in other words, featuring advanced biometric technology as well as the availability of robust controls over it.