Startup: Face Recognition Intercom Chui / Now Trueface AI Software Analytics

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Mar 13, 2014

This is one of the most ambitious security / surveillance startups we have seen in years.

Face surveillance startups, targeted at the professional or government markets, have struggled, again and again.

Now, a new company, Chui, is combining facial recognition, a video intercom and a doorbell in a single device, acting as a virtual bouncer - lets those you approve in, but dismisses those not on the list with a custom audio message.

Is there a market for these advanced features, and at what price? We answer those questions in this note.

2019 Update - Pivot to Software-Only Analytics / $3.7Million Funding

Chui rebranded as Trueface AI in 2017, and pivoted away from smart doorbell solutions to an AI software video analytics company. Trueface says they can run at the edge or in the cloud, utilizing NVIDIA GPUs for supporting existing camera installations:

image

They received $3.7 million in Series A funding in July 2019, bringing their total fundraising to ~$5 million since 2017.

This is a move from one crowded space (Directory of Video Doorbells) to another (Directory Of 109 Video Analytics Suppliers), and while $5 million is good fundraising for video surveillance, it is considerably lower than other AI analytics startups (AI Startup Anyvision Raises $28 Million (Now $43 Million) Led By Bosch).

We have not tested Trueface, so we cannot comment on how well their analytics perform.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Product Overview

Chui makes some fantastic claims. The promo video below give a three minute intro of the device:

Key Features

Real Time Notifications: Central to the device is the claim it communicates with the owner's mobile device with no lag or latency. The idea is when someone rings the bell, the device is able to serve video and audio remotely quickly and smoothly enough to carry at two-way audio conversation between parties, and send video from Chui's integrated HD camera

Identity Based Messages: As soon as Chui identifies (or doesn't identify) the person standing in front of it, it will play a custom audio message to that individual. The can range from a welcoming greeting to friends or family to "get lost" for enemies or unrecognized solicitors. The unit keeps a running log of who tries or gained access and is displayed in the app/portal page:

Automatic Unlock: Chui claims it will integrate out of the box with Lockitron, so that if a 'approved' face is registered it will automatically unlock the door.

Cost: The magic pricepoint for 'smart doorbells' appears to be $199. This is Chui's pre-production price, and also the cost of similar units like Doorbot and Skybell. However, if Chui delivers on it's promised features, it will offer more power for the same price.

Doorbot Comparison

Chui closely parallels the features of Doorbot (our coverage here), a unit that won heaps of hype, but has fallen flat in the field. Both units claim to offer real-time remote interaction between the unit and mobile device and integration between the video unit and door locks.

However, Chui claims to add more than just face recognition to their unit. The also claim the ability to tap into a live camera feed, an "HD camera", and a commercial feature set including 'Time & Attendance' and multi-factor authentication including QR Code support.

Sketchy Implementation

Chui is not a viable product yet. Still in the fundraising stage, the product is long on claims that lack field verification. While the project is on track to meet it's campaign goal, early fundraising success is no guarantee of product performance. Additionally, they are only targeting a raise of $30,000 which is not much, even compared to other crowdsourcing campaigns.

Potential Pitfalls

Like with Doorbot's example, even the most promising product can fall victim to poor execution.

With any 'face rec' technology, execution is everything. Not only does the underlying tech need to be on point, but a handful of other variables like sun position, subjects wearing common accessories like sunglasses or hats, and low-light performance can kill a product dead. Especially considering Chui is a DIY product, we do not expect actual performance to match the company's expected "99.6 accuracy" claim.

It's certainly worth a shot though especially as it is trying a novel approach for the residential market.

2 reports cite this report:

The New Generation of Crowdfunded Security Startups on Sep 02, 2014
New entrants to the security market are few and far between. However, there is one area that is clearly driving new security startups -...
Manufacturers, 12 Tips for Getting Covered on May 28, 2014
Here are our 12 top tips for manufacturers to get covered on IPVM and other publications, a recap of our live webinars held on May 22nd and May...
Comments (16) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

'Bunker Busting' Wireless Access Startup: Sure-Fi Profile on Oct 03, 2019
An access startup is claiming its 'bunker busting' wireless Wiegand radios can punch through 'any obstruction'. We examine their offering,...
RealNetworks SAFR Facial Recognition Profile on Sep 25, 2019
RealNetworks entered the surveillance market by giving away their analytics to schools for free, and is now targeting large commercial users with...
Startup XNOR.ai, Inventors of YOLO, Video Surveillance Plans Examined on Sep 24, 2019
YOLO is arguably the most discussed and hyped computer vision model today. The inventors of YOLO have a startup named XNOR.ai that aims to bring...
Hikvision Acusense Analytics Tested on Sep 23, 2019
Hikvision touts "The Magic Behind It All" in their new Acusense line are 'deep learning algorithms' inside these cameras and recorders. But how...
Directory of 70 Video Surveillance Startups on Sep 18, 2019
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known. 2019...
US Army Base To Buy Banned Honeywell Surveillance on Sep 17, 2019
The U.S. Army's Fort Gordon, home to their Cyber Center of Excellence, has issued a solicitation to purchase Honeywell products that are US...
Vivotek "Neural Network-Powered Detection Engine" Analytics Tested on Sep 17, 2019
Vivotek has released "a neural network-powered detection engine", named Smart Motion Detection, claiming that "swaying vegetation, vehicles passing...
ASIS GSX 2019 Final Show Report on Sep 12, 2019
IPVM went to Chicago for ASIS GSX 2019, with many exhibitors disappointed about traffic and the exhibitor schedule changing next year. However,...
Commend ID5 Intercom Tested on Sep 12, 2019
Commend touts the new ID5 intercom as 'timelessly elegant' and the slim body, glass front touchscreen indeed looks better than common, but ugly,...
Uniview OEM Directory on Sep 11, 2019
This directory lists 20+ companies that OEM products from Uniview, with a graphic and links to company websites below. It does not cover all...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Altronix Claims Tango 'Eliminates Electricians' on Oct 15, 2019
Power supply provider Altronix claims its new Tango power supply 'eliminates the need for an electrician, dedicated conduit and wire runs'. In...
Hikvision Dissolves North American Business Unit, Splits Canada and USA on Oct 15, 2019
Hikvision has dissolved its North American Business Unit, splitting up US and Canada operations as the PRC-government owned manufacturer faces...
Camera Focusing Tutorial on Oct 14, 2019
Camera focus is fundamental to quality imaging. Mistakes can significantly reduce details, making cameras less effective. In this guide, we...
"UL Has Blood On Their Hands" Alleges The Interceptor / Keith Jentoft on Oct 14, 2019
"UL has blood on their hands" alleges Keith Jentoft of "The Interceptor Project". We examined The Interceptor in-depth last year, see: The...
Access Control Course Fall 2019 - Save $50 Last Chance on Oct 14, 2019
Register Now - Fall 2019 Access Control Course. Save $50 through October 10th. Thursday, October 17th is the last day to register. IPVM offers...
Axis HD Analog Encoder Tested on Oct 11, 2019
Two years after declaring "Everything is IP", Axis has released their first HD analog encoder, the P7304, with support for AHD, CVI, TVI, and SD...
Dahua Celebrates PRC 70th Wearing Communist Party Hammer and Sickle on Oct 11, 2019
Dahua celebrated the PRC's 70th anniversary with a video of various Dahua employees wearing China Communist Party hammer and sickle pins as shown...
Last Chance - Register Now - October 2019 IP Networking Course on Oct 10, 2019
Last Chance - Register Now - Fall 2019 IP Networking Course. The course starts next week. This is the only networking course designed...
Network Optix NxWitness 4.0 Tested on Oct 10, 2019
Network Optix released Nx Witness 4.0, proclaiming new features like a deep learning analytics metadata SDK, increased H.265 support, and UX...
HID Fingerprint Reader Tested on Oct 09, 2019
HID has released their first access reader to use Lumidigm optical sensors, that touts it 'works with anyone, anytime, anywhere'. We bought and...