The Home Front: Protecting our privacy in increasingly smart homes – Montreal Gazette
As our homes become ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Å“smarterÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¯Â¿Â½ and more connected ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â€ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â the garage door talkingÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â to theÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â securityÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â camera, which talks to the light switches, and all of them, including the vacuum cleaner, interfacing with our smart phones ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â€ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â issues surroundingÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â privacy and security are forefront in the design process.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Å“Privacy and security is such a huge thing with any product thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â„¢s collecting any data, regardless of those that are beaming it out to devices or across devices, so itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â„¢s somethingÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â„¢ve spend a lot of time on and a lot of money and effort making sure the security is there,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¯Â¿Â½ says Rob Green, a senior design engineer atÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â Dyson, andÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â one of the designers behind DysonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â„¢s newÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â 360 Eye Robot vacuum cleaner.
Eighteen-years in the making, and a product that involved Dyson partnering withÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â theÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â Imperial College of London, the Eye RobotÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â uses SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) to make detailed floor maps of anyÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â room it enters by taking 360 degree photos (at 30 frames per second).
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Å“ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â„¢sÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â almost like an old sailor using star charts,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¯Â¿Â½ says Green. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Å“ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â„¢s looking at the top of a door frame or bookcase or picture and going OK, thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â„¢s a very strong defined corner, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â„¢m going to mark that down and as I move forwards IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â„¢m getting closer to that point and further away from this point I marked behind me, so I know these are obstacles IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â„¢m approaching or moving away from.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¯Â¿Â½
Questions surrounding privacy come up, says Green, because of the robotÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â„¢s camera and the fact that the maps it generates (showing where itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â„¢s cleaned) can be viewed on the userÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â„¢s devicesÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â byÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â downloading an app.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Å“The images we get asked a lot about because obviouslyÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â you do have this camera recording images within your home,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¯Â¿Â½ says Green. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Å“Actually the camera and the memory and all of that is kept very separate from what people can access from the data thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â„¢s beamed to the cloud if you will.ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â„¢s only keeping those images for as long as it needs to analyzeÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â them and then deleting them off so thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â„¢s no record on the machine of those images when the robot goes back to the dock, it wipes all of that off.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¯Â¿Â½
For $1299.99 consumers can have this robot do their dirty work from anywhere in the world.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Å“LetÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â„¢s say youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â„¢re on vacation in the Caribbean and youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬â„¢re about to board the flight and you want to come back to a nice clean house, you can hit start from your phone and the robot will go off and clean it,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¯Â¿Â½ says Green.
Interacting with our homes, remotely, will be even easierÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â this Fall, with the new Nest Cam Outdoor.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Å“We wanted to lower the barrier for people to get an outdoor camera to begin with, something that so far has only been associated with high end homes,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¯Â¿Â½ saysÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â Rocky Jacob, head of industrial design at Nest. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Å“InÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â order to do this, we chose a differentÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â path by enabling people to install theÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â outdoor camera themselves without compromising the features.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¯Â¿Â½
The camera has a magnet base, around which it pivots, allowing it toÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â stick to any metal surfaces (such as window or door frames) and doing away with the need for tools to install it, saysÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â Jacob.
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