Select home security cameras have facial recognition that allows you to create a database of friends and family members who come to your home on a regular basis. Then, when the camera sees a face, it will determine whether or not it is someone in your familiar faces profile.
The software can be hit or missed due to a variety of factors, from lighting to changing hairstyles. She wears glasses one day, but not the next – and a lot more.
However, we know for a fact that this feature is becoming increasingly popular on our devices, not just home security cameras, but ours as welland help as efficiency tools . Law enforcement is invested more Technology is already raising and bringing serious questions about privacy and civil rights across the board .
But let’s go back a little into the consumer realm. Your home is your lock, and the option to have facial recognition devices in it is still a compelling option for those who want to be on the cutting edge of smart home innovation. Let’s take a look at the facial recognition cameras we recently tested to see which models are the best and to see if one is right for you.
Tyler Lizenby / Tips Clear
When it comes to pure facial recognition capabilities, the Nest Hello, Nest Cam IQ Indoor, and Nest Cam IQ Outdoor (all essentially the same camera) win by far. Of these models, the Nest Hello is my first choice for facial recognition as it is the most cost-effective of the three models and offers the greatest opportunity to give you vital information about who is on your doorstep.
Nest’s IQ Indoor can tell you who is already in your house, but the Hello and IQ Outdoor Cam tell you who it is outside your house. The hello doorbell’s eye-level position provides the best chance of monitoring and seeing most of the visitors as well (though you could install the IQ outdoor camera eye-to-eye for $ 349 if you’d like).
The catch with the Hello and other face-tracking Nest cameras is that you have to pay for the facial recognition feature. This means that you need to subscribe to the Nest Aware cloud subscription service for facial recognition. Learn more about Nest Aware.
That said, the Nest Hello is also a choice for the best video doorbell. So it’s a win / win situation whether you want to enable facial recognition or not. Read the Nest Hello review.
Chris Monroe / Tips Clear
The Tend Secure Lynx is only $ 60. Given that, I was skeptical that this camera would deliver, but it does. Not only does the camera itself perform well and has a number of useful features like free seven-day event-based video clip storage, but also free face recognition (as opposed to the optional Nest Aware service).
Create your database of familiar faces and the Lynx will take over. There’s a bit of a learning curve as it becomes familiar with every face, but it’s a very good option if you want an inexpensive indoor security camera with decent face detection. Read the Tend Secure Lynx Review.
Chris Monroe / Tips Clear
The $ 299 Nest Cam IQ Indoor is similar to the Nest Hello doorbell. It has facial recognition (if you sign up for a Nest Aware subscription) and lets you know who is in front of the camera’s field of view with consistent accuracy.
But it also has a number of additional advantages. Since it’s an indoor camera, Nest has provided it with a built-in Google Assistant speaker. This means that the camera essentially doubles as a Google Home speaker, answering basic questions like the current weather or traffic in your area, and controlling a variety of Google Home-enabled smart home devices. It also works with Amazon Alexa. Read the Nest Cam IQ Indoor review.
Facial Recognition Cameras: Any One We Tested
Here is a roundup of the facial recognition cameras that we recently installed and tested.
Worth considering, but not as good as the top picks above:
- : The IQ Outdoor Camera is similar to the Nest Hello for $ 229 and the IQ Indoor for $ 299 when it comes to specs and performance, but offers inferior value at a whopping $ 349 per camera.
- : Netatmo’s Welcome indoor camera did a good job of detecting faces, but ultimately it wasn’t quite as reliable as we would have liked.
- Wisenet SmartCam N1: The $ 150 SmartCam N1 smart security camera and app did a good job of detecting faces. It has a built-in microSD card slot for local storage, but the $ 60 Tend Secure Lynx performs equally well for a lot less.
- : Unreliable performance, including facial recognition technology, seriously detracts from the appeal of this all-in-one system.
- Tend Secure Lynx Pro: While the Lynx Pro for indoor and outdoor use is technically the high-end version of the Lynx for indoor use only, its improved technical data did not result in better facial recognition.
Note that the recommendations above were at the time of testing and are subject to change due to future software updates. We will update this list regularly as such changes warrant it.
How we tested
When you set up a camera with face detection, you create profiles of individuals either by capturing and adding their picture in real time, or by using an existing photo you have of them. From there the face recognition camera should You can distinguish human faces from any other type of motion activity and choose the ones recognized from your database of familiar faces. If it’s working optimally, you will get a warning that the camera has seen “Chris,” “Molly”, or anyone in your database.
There are many use cases for this type of functionality, but some common ones are getting an alert when your kids get home from school or when a dog walker or family caregiver shows up. It creates calm when you expect someone to show up, and you want an automatic notification to let you know they are showing up (especially when you are not home to greet them).
But it also helps in security scenarios, as the camera essentially differentiates between recognized and unrecognized faces. That way, in the event of an actual disruption, your camera will send you a warning that it saw someone on your porch or walked into your house but you don’t recognize them, faster sending the information to police officers. in or theft instead of searching through dozen of generic motion alerts to find the activity.
The best way to test these cameras is to create a database. This is the case when I test a camera with face recognition (see the screenshots above). I add people to my database and let the camera do the rest. It is best to give these cameras at least a couple of days as some even improve significantly over a short period of time as they see faces from different angles.
Then it has to be analyzed how well the camera actually recognized faces. How many times has it correctly identified my face compared to someone else’s face? How was it when you approached from different angles and changed your hairstyles and clothing accessories? Could the camera even recognize faces? Some occasionally have trouble recognizing faces, even those that claim to have face recognition, and instead mark the activity as a basic motion alert (ahem,).
The future of face recognition
Amazon’s doorbell and surveillance camera company, Ring,The patents suggest that future Ring products may be able to automatically recognize and identify faces from “most wanted” lists or a watchlist and automatically send notifications to law enforcement officers. Here is an excerpt from one of the patent applications:
A video can be analyzed by an A / V recording and communication device that recorded the video (and / or by one or more backend servers) to determine if the video contains a known criminal (e.g., a convicted offender, a sex offender, or a person on a “most wanted” list, etc.) or a suspect. Some of the present embodiments can automatically send such video streams to law enforcement agencies.
“Amazon dreams of a dangerous future,” said ACLU attorney Jacob Snow in a blog post.
“The history of discriminatory government surveillance makes it clear that face surveillance will disproportionately harm people who have already been attacked by the government and exposed to racist profiles and abuse – immigrants, people of color and former detainees,” added Snow.
Currently, ring cameras don’t offer face recognition at all. Models that do this, like the Nest Hello, are only used to identify a person that you add to your “familiar faces” list. They won’t pull off a law enforcement list to see if a convicted criminal is nearby – or turn to law enforcement if they discover a face that might match someone in a database.
While we are not currently aware of any ethical violations of these cameras on the market, in reality we cannot verify how the biometric data is used. Even if we give the companies involved the benefit of the doubt about their analytics and data usage policies, these policies can change at any time. And when you consider that Ring is owned by Amazon and Nest is owned by Google, the potential for a Big Brother scenario is immediately apparent.
We’ll continue to keep an eye on security cameras, doorbells, and other devices with built-in facial recognition technology to track changes in industry trends – and to see if new models get close to the smarts of Nest’s Hello Summer.
Originally published last year.