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Apple wins a patent relating to an advanced Apple TV controlled Indoor-Outdoor Home Security Camera System

1 cover Apple TV home security camera system

Since late 2021 Patently Apple has posted at least three patent reports (01, 02 and 03) that have covered an Apple TV based Home Security Camera System and today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent that on this same subject matter, though diving much deeper.

According to Burglary statistics, every 15 seconds a home is broken in to. Homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be broken into and burglarized. External cameras were listed as the most important feature to have in a security system (32.3%). Motion sensors (28.6%) and floodlights (24.5%) were found to be in the top three most important features. And with defunding the Police policies in affect in many urban areas, Home Security Camera systems are all the more important.

Apple acquired Lighthouse AI patents (and the company) back in 2018. The company specialized in advanced in-home security cameras with night vision, 3D sensors and two-way communications.

So while Apple's HomeKit supports third party cameras, Apple's acquisition of Lighthouse AI would strongly suggest that Apple may be working on future HomePod devices with built-in cameras for the home, as this 2020 patent revealed.

Today's granted patent reveals techniques for managing camera views and visitors using electronic devices. Apple notes that current camera security systems are generally cumbersome and inefficient. For example, residents may want to be notified of events captured by cameras, visitors at entry points, or other notable events. For another example, some existing techniques for managing camera views or notifications use a complex and time-consuming user interfaces, which may include multiple key presses or keystrokes.

As another example, some existing techniques do not enable users to switch between different camera views while maintaining the ability to control other accessories.

Other existing techniques do not provide users with an ability to obtain information related to recent visitors in images captured by the camera, where the information is different for visitors known to the home and visitors unknown to the home.

Further, other existing techniques do not provide notifications of suggestions based on an event corresponding to a media stream that is available for display. Even further, other existing techniques do not provide notifications identifying a currently signed in user or user account and providing options or instructions for signing in a different user or user account. Existing techniques require more time than necessary, wasting user time and device energy. This latter consideration is particularly important in battery-operated devices.

Accordingly, the present techniques in this granted patent provides electronic devices with faster, more efficient methods and interfaces for managing camera views and visitors. Such methods and interfaces optionally complement or replace other methods for managing camera views and visitors. Such methods and interfaces reduce the cognitive burden on a user and produce a more efficient human-machine interface.

Apple's patent FIG. 10H below illustrates a "Multi-View" of cameras throughout the home shown on the TV screen running Apple TV and remote; FIG. 10R illustrates an Apple TV user interface allowing users to set the features they want per camera.   

2 Apple TV Security Camera system

The patent figures below illustrate cameras set up in a hallway of a large home; people at the home's front door where two-way conversations could take place; a camera in the baby's room. The image beside it comes from previous marketing imagery from Lighthouse AI; and FIG. 6F illustrating that a user will  be able to check out a noise in their back yard, respond to the Pizza delivery guy and so forth while not interrupting your live sporting event or Apple TV+ content.  

3 Apple home security camera system working through Apple TV

The patent also goes into detail about how the camera system will work with at least an iPhone while home owners are away.

Apple's granted patent US 11589010 B2 is very detailed and you could review it here. Christopher J. Sanders, Backstage Design Lead, tvOS Platform is listed as one of the inventors.

10.52FX - Granted Patent Bar


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