Technology 3 min read

Apple Acquires Patents From Lighthouse AI

In business, one company's ashes is another company's opportunity. Or, at least, that's what Apple is probably planning to do with the Lighthouse AI patents it acquired. The patents include capturing video in low-light and visual authentication. What could Apple be planning?

Whether it's to boost their own devices or to create a new home security system, Apple has pounced on Lighthouse AI's patents.  ¦ Image via Lighthouse

Whether it's to boost their own devices or to create a new home security system, Apple has pounced on Lighthouse AI's patents. ¦ Image via Lighthouse

Lighthouse AI announced their shutdown in December of 2018, offering some customers refunds. Though they developed interesting products, the company failed to meet sales goals.  This inevitably led to its failure and liquidation of assets. You can find the CEO’s last letter on the website still.

The product lineup included an AI-powered home security camera to rival Amazon and Nest products. The camera had facial recognition that adapted over time to tailor alerts and recognize people. However, it cost $299 USD, as well as a $10 USD subscription fee for its AI features.

The startup had to compete with tech giants like Google, Amazon, Logitech, and Netgear. These companies also began bundling their AI features with already existing camera lines. But the remnants of the company will not go un-utilized.

Though we don’t know what Apple paid, we do know that it acquired the assets in late 2018.

Which Patents Did Apple Acquire?

This in-depth review really explains the benefits of the Lighthouse AI product over competitors. As such, this informs which patents Apple decided to pick up.

  • U.S. Patent No. 10,009,554 – “Method and system for using light emission by a depth-sensing camera to capture video images under low-light conditions.”
  • U.S. Patent No. 9,965,612 – “Method and system for visual authentication”
  • U.S. Patent No. 9,396,400 – “Computer-vision based security system using a depth camera” (along with two pending applications for similar tech)

Apple also picked up pending applications for several features including:

  • 20180246964 – “Speech interference for vision-based monitoring system”
  • 20180374325 – “Method and system for incident sharing in a monitoring system”
  • 20180367962 – “Two-way communication interface for vision-based monitoring system”

All of this data suggests that Apple will incorporate Lighthouse AI features into current products. But we could potentially see Apple try to break into the smart home device market, too.

A visualization of Patent 10,009,554 which allows for a depth-sensing camera to capture low-light video images. | Patently Apple

What Could Apple Do With These Patents?

One of the most unique things about the Lighthouse AI camera involved its time-of-flight sensor. This enabled the device to create a 3D map of its environment. It also filtered out non-human motion better than competitors.

As a result of acquiring these feature patents, Apple may develop its own security camera.

However, others have suggested that Apple may instead utilize the tech in devices such as HomePod. The company could even add presence authentication and detection to smart speakers.

Many fans miss the innovative ways of Apple including co-founder Steve Wozniak. If Apple decides to leverage these patents, they could reclaim their legacy.

Read More: CRISPR Patent Wars: How to Claim a Cure

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Juliet Childers

Content Specialist and EDGY OG with a (mostly) healthy obsession with video games. She covers Industry buzz including VR/AR, content marketing, cybersecurity, AI, and many more.

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    Michael K. Clifford March 10 at 9:42 pm GMT

    Nice work

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