Apple takes on Lighthouse team after acquiring security patents

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Lighthouse
Is Apple planning to make cameras of its own?
Photo: Lighthouse

Around 20 members of the Lighthouse team are now working at Apple, according to a new report.

The hires, which include two company co-founders, come after Apple acquired a bunch of Lighthouse’s home security patents earlier this month. An email sent to customers this week requested permission to transfer security camera data with Apple.

Lighthouse specialized in providing cutting-edge home security cameras that use artificial intelligence to recognize people and animals. This allowed users to ask questions like, “has the dog walker been today?” and “what time did the kids get home?”

Lighthouse closed its doors late last year, but thanks to Apple, its technology didn’t go down with it. Apple snapped up a bunch of the company’s patents in early March — as well as around 20 members of the Lighthouse team.

Lighthouse team turns to Cupertino

The startup’s co-founders, Alex Teichman and Hendrik Dahlkamp, have both made the move to Apple, according to The Information. Around 20 members of the Lighthouse software team have also landed new jobs in Cupertino. The design team did not follow.

Earlier this week, Lighthouse emailed customers to ask for permission to transfer video and sensor data collected from its devices to Apple. The data was being used to train its machine learning algorithms to better recognize people and animals.

Lighthouse cameras continue to work for those who own them. It’s likely that will continue to be the case for some time if Apple is interested in collecting their data.

What will Apple do with Lighthouse?

It seemed unlikely when Apple first acquired the Lighthouse patents that it would be interested in producing home security products of its own.. But after taking on members of its software team as well, it could be that the iPhone-maker does have plans for similar gadgets.

Those patents could be used for all manner of things, however. Cameras that recognize people and animals could also be incredibly useful inside a future iPhone. They could also help bring Face ID to the Mac. Or help Apple develop its own camera sensors in the same way it designs its own chips.