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ADT Employs Facial Recognition to Provide Conditional Access to Homes

ADT has announced a new feature coming to its ADT Plus home security system alongside all new hardware and software. This new feature, being called Trusted Neighbor, allows ADT security systems to arm and disarm using facial recognition on people who have been cleared for home access and is made possible through Google’s new open API for its Home platform.

According to information collected by the Verge, Trusted Neighbor uses both time- and event-based access based off data gathered by Google Nest cameras and doorbells to create bespoke automations that disarm the security system in the presence of a recognized, trusted individual.

These automations are set toe tripped the moment a someone registered as an ‘ADT Trusted Neighbor’ appears on facial sensors, however homeowners can also set timeframes for these events to occur as well. For instance, a user who has a dog-walking service come to their house around 10 to 10:30 AM on weekdays, might set a schedule to have the door open for them only during that time frame.

Additionally, the Trusted Neighbor feature can be set to trigger in response to certain sensors as well. Users can set it so if a water sensor detects a leak, for instance, the system will automatically allow a “Trusted Neighbor” into the home if they are seen approaching it, allowing them to potentially find and correct the issue while the homeowner is away.

These situations can be manually responded to as well, notes ADT, in case automatic access through facial recognition is an uncomfortable idea for people.

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Regardless of how users choose to let trusted individuals into the home, once they are seen walking away, the system will automatically rearm itself.

While the goal here is to make it so granting access to a home to trusted parties occurs seamlessly and without much extra effort outside of the initial setup, that initial set-up does pose itself as a bit of a hurdle.

According to ADT, anyone expected to be a “Trusted Neighbor” must download and use the ADT Plus app for them to be considered an authorized user. Additionally, they will need to consent to having their facial image in ADT’s database for the facial recognition to work.

The “Trusted Neighbor” will then need to authenticate themselves at the OS level on their smartphone and open their ADT Plus app to make a secure BLE connection with the system.

That, combined with time-based/event-based presets, is meant to ensure only the correct person is allowed in.

The Trusted Neighbor facial recognition feature will also require the new updated ADT Plus system, which includes upgraded door and window sensors and takes design cues from the shuttered Nest Secure. Other hardware is to be introduced, though the greater details were not available at this time.

According to ADT, the new Trusted Neighbor feature should be available this summer to select ADT subscribers on the ADT Plus platform using Nest cameras. There is word that the system will work with smart locks outside the ADT ecosystem, however which ones will work have not yet been stated.

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