Smart Home News Quick Hits: Netatmo, Halo Smart Labs, Fitly Smart Plate

It was a fairly slow week in smart home, but outside of June, a quiet WWDC and news of a Nest camera, there were some interesting smaller stories. Check them out:

Netatmo's New Camera With Facial Recognition

Netatmo began shipping it's new wireless camera product with facial recognition. The device has a $199 price point and soon consumers will be able to buy Tags, which are waterproof motion detection sensors that can be put anywhere someone wants to detect motion.

The company is the second to include facial recognition technology; the Closeli Simplicam has facial recognition capabilities as well now, after upgrading from basic facial detection at launch.  

I think the combo of a consumer wireless camera with motion sensing tags is a good one - I expect we'll see a similar upgrade with the new Nest Camera next week. 

Halo Smart Labs Smoke Alarm

I heard this week about an interesting smart smoke alarm on Indiegogo called the Halo. The Halo claims to be the world's best smoke alarm - I couldn't tell you whether that's the case, but I like their approach in incorporating intelligence for not only smoke detected by the typical ionization sensor but also the ability to flash fires immediately, which could detect a fire minutes before a typical ionization-sensor-only smoke alarm would. 

The device is also Internet enabled - naturally - and can receive alerts about tornados and other severe weather in the area. The video on the Indiegogo page presents a compelling reason for how this type of capability in smoke alarms could prevent deaths in high-risk parts of the country for weather like hurricanes. 

Check it out.

Fitly Smart Plate

Fitly's been around for a little while as a wellness centric meal planning service, but their newest creation is a new piece of hardware called the smart plate. I had a chance to talk to founder Anthony Ortiz and he indicated the interest in the device is such they are shifting the focus of the company to their new product.

The device has three on-board cameras and a weight sensor. It can use image recognition technologies and match it against a database of food images and then use the algorithms to identify the food, calorie count and nutrients of what's on the plate. Ortiz told me they've evolved the technology to achieve a fairly high degree of accuracy and it continues to improve.

It's an interesting idea, even if I think many folks will be skeptical about using a plate with a built in camera and sensors. Questions about durability and simple things like "how do I wash it or can I use it in the microwave" will be deal breakers for many. That said, there will likely be enough early believers to try the product out. 

The device is currently on Kickstarter.

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