Netatmo wants to make your home smart enough to recognize who's walking in the front door. It's doing that with a new device called the Welcome, which is being announced this afternoon at CES Unveiled. Welcome is a small, cylindrical camera that watches a door and then notifies its owner about everyone who walks in. If it's been set up to recognize someone, it'll send an alert mentioning their name. If it doesn't recognize a person, it'll send an alert too — effectively making Welcome into a security camera as well.
Is this comforting or just creepy?
Netatmo suggests that Welcome will be most useful for monitoring kids and older relatives who need assistance. It's probably a good thing that Netatmo is targeting Welcome that way, as there are definitely some creepy possibilities here — you can even load up an app and watch a live feed of what Welcome sees. Netatmo is clearly aware of that potential, however, and it allows Welcome to be set up to not send out alerts or record footage of certain people. All recorded footage is stored locally, too, which should remove other potential privacy concerns.
Face recognition can be pretty hit and miss, and it's not clear yet how well Welcome's tech will hold up. It's also not obvious how useful this will be for anyone other than obsessive parents, but it's a neat take on the home security camera nonetheless. Personal home-video monitors are a growing area, and a device like the Welcome makes them far more approachable because, ostensibly, it's about providing comfort from knowing where someone is, and not offering security from an unknown. It should be available this spring. Netatmo has not yet announced a price.