A SCOTTISH home security tech specialist has teamed up with the University of Edinburgh to develop a groundbreaking outdoor security camera that will embrace AI to spot potential intruders.

Working closely with Professor Robert Fisher, chair of computer vision at the university, Boundary plans to create an affordable camera that uses machine vision to classify events captured within the parameters of the home, including being able to determine whether a person has good or malicious intent as soon as they set foot on someone’s private property.

The development of the camera is being part funded by a SMART grant via Scottish Enterprise.

The cost-friendly camera will use the latest AI chipsets in order to detect and classify an event as a potential threat. When a person displays certain behaviour that the algorithm is trained to recognise, the camera will ask the person to identify themselves. If they refuse, the camera’s video feeds will be passed over to a human operator for verification and intervention.

Robin Knox, who co-founded Boundary with Paul Walton, said: “We are hugely excited to embark on this AI project with The University of Edinburgh. There is currently no technology like this available in the home security market in Europe, so we believe this has massive potential.

“Machine vision and deep learning is the future and we want to make it available to the masses. Since our inception, we have kept cost and accessibility at the forefront of our minds, and our aim is to make this AI camera affordable so that every home can have the equivalent of their own private security guard round the clock.”

Dr Radim Tylecek, a research associate at the University of Edinburgh, is set to join Boundary as a machine-vision specialist. Derek Liddle, an ex-Honeywell engineer who worked with Boundary on its first product, will head up electronic design.

Once launched, the camera will be compatible with Boundary’s smart alarm and can be controlled via the firm’s app. The alarm, set to be launched later this year, will form the connection for contacting the police and for integration with other smart home products.

Knox added: “At the moment, owners of outdoor security cameras can monitor activity via an app and push notifications. However, because these camera systems aren’t ‘smart’, they can be prone to alerting homeowners to false alarms by harmless things, such as cars driving past. After a while, these false positives can cause owners to become desensitised to notifications and they could stop taking them seriously.”

“Our camera, which is for external use only, will be able to tell the difference between an innocent shadow in the garden, and a brazen thief determined to steal your personal belongings. We want this camera to detect break-ins before they occur, by identifying and engaging trespassers before they become burglars. The homeowner will also be notified of any incidents.”