An update regarding Person Detection

Hello,

We have an important update for you regarding one of our most recent Wyze Cam features, Person Detection.

In a nutshell: Person Detection will be temporarily removed from Wyze Cam beginning with a new firmware release planned for mid-January 2020, due to the unexpected termination of our agreement with our AI provider. We are preparing to roll out our own in-house version of Person Detection next year, which will remain free for our users.

If you would like to get in touch with us about this announcement, please contact our support.

In detail: For those new to our community, a large portion of this year and last was spent by our team tirelessly working on finding a solution to improving the accuracy and frequency of Wyze Cam motion notifications. Meaning we were, and still are, very aware of the limitations our standard motion detection provides.

Then during July of this year, we found and implemented a promising new solution based on artificial intelligence (AI) — computer vision that is able to distinguish people from things and notify you appropriately. This was a significant breakthrough for the team because it enabled Wyze Cam to only send a notification when a person is detected versus sending multiple notifications like when a tree is blowing in the wind.

This AI implementation was made possible by partnering with Seattle-based Xnor.ai — an AI company comprised of talented people specializing in edge-AI. Note the important word here “edge,” which means the AI runs directly on your Wyze Cam for free instead of traveling up to the cloud and running on a server that charges recurring fees.

For a company like ours that believes in providing products and services to our users at the lowest prices possible, this was an incredible accomplishment for us. This partnership meant Wyze could spend limited resources upfront to lease the AI algorithm from Xnor.ai while letting our community enjoy the benefits indefinitely at no additional cost.

But the lease included a few clauses which we did not imagine coming into effect so quickly. One of those clauses allowed Xnor.ai to terminate our lease at any moment without reason, forcing our next firmware release to omit the Person Detection feature. Unfortunately for us and our community, this is exactly what happened.

So that’s the bad news . Scheduled for our next firmware release in mid-January 2020, Person Detection will be temporarily removed from Wyze Cam while our team prepares to roll out our own in-house solution next year.

The good news is that when we do re-roll out this feature it will still be free for you - even if we end up using the cloud instead of edge-AI.

Why? Because we’re not in the business of bait-and-switching our users and we’ve made a promise to you that Person Detection would be a free feature. To support our commitment to this feature and the importance of AI going forward for our cameras, we’ve already formed a team of internal AI engineers exclusively focused on the Person Detection project.

While the timing of this news is less than ideal, coming right after the launch of our first subscription service built in-house (Complete Motion Capture), we hope you can understand the situation we’re in and that the timing is nothing more than coincidence.

We received this news from our partners and knew it would negatively impact your experience with our products. That fact was very difficult for us, but we must accept where we are now and learn from the mistakes we’ve made. While this is a setback for our team and user community, it is temporary and we are eager to make it up to you in the future.

From everyone at Wyze, thank you for your continued support and attention.

–Your friends at Wyze

43 Likes

Seems like a solid response to the issue, I’m in for another camera (and prob more on friday)…

11 Likes

Great transparency, bad news. I really like this feature.

17 Likes

We hear you. And we look forward to having a new version for everyone! :slight_smile:

10 Likes

So if we don’t update formate does it continue to work since it runs in firmware?

18 Likes

Thank you for this update. I have had nothing but a great experience with my Wyze products, and I appreciate this level of transparency from the company. The Wyze team is fantastic and you all deserve a raise!

Happy Holidays!

9 Likes

Will try the new version when it is released. I am hoping it is an improvement. The current version has been very hit and miss for me. One camera, a Pan, has never detected a person. My other three, all V2, only detect a person about 30% of the time.

7 Likes

Can we just not do the firmware upgrade in January and continue to use the person detection?

11 Likes

Thanks for letting us know about this guys! Look forward to the new firmware update with the new in-house person detection feature :slight_smile:

1 Like

Will Xnor.ai retain all those videos I submitted of people walking around my home?

9 Likes

The way you are handling this crappy news is an example, a very good example. I do tech marketing for a living, and y’all nailed it. Thank you for continuing to be transparent and cool – for valuing the promises you make and keeping them.

Transparency breeds trust, and you have mine.

The number of false alarms being recorded via CMC will likely make a non-trivial footprint on your system. Best of luck quickly implementing an even better set of ML models for detection (perhaps even beyond just “person” :wink: ).

Happy Thanksgiving-
Sean

19 Likes

How much downtime are you expecting users to experience as you work on your person detection? With 6 cameras, person detection really cut down on the amount of false positives I received. A nice gesture would be to give everyone a free trial to the new Complete Cloud Capture feature while the person detection feature is on hiatus. Just a thought.

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I believe Xnor.ai doesn’t have access to the camera’s videos as the detection is done locally on the camera and not on the cloud, unless you’ve enabled “help improve Xnor.ai” for person detection" ?

2 Likes

I’m not worried about losing this feature temporarily. I like this company and if they keep working hard like they have been, I’ll be supporting them as much as I can. I dont get the cold corporate feel from Wyze as I do some of the other companies.

5 Likes

That’s really unfortunate news, but I’m hopeful that the in-house implementation will be even better. Thanks for the transparency.

It would probably be a good idea to update all the pages on the main site and support pages which currently tout this feature to address this as well.

3 Likes

What about the video samples we submitted “to help improve the algorithm”?

4 Likes

When will Person Detection be removed from beta firmware releases? Immediately?

And I did have that enabled, and I would review the video clips and submit just about every single clip figuring I could make the AI stronger, better, faster…

2 Likes

Another reason that full RTSP support would great, Then I can allow local ai processing without the need of relying on vendor contracts. Maybe there will be additional space for the firmware for RTSP to go mainstream now…

Crappy news, but my cat triggered as a person numerous times a day anyhow. Better to find out now and not continue to rely on that agreement.

Keep up the hard work!

2 Likes