Wyze introduces pay-what-you-want model for AI powered person detection security cameras

Smart home company Wyze is experimenting with a rather unconventional method for providing customers with artificial intelligence-powered person detection for its smart security cameras: a pay-what-you-want business model. The company said it would provide the feature for free as initially promised, after it had to disable it due to an abrupt end to its licensing deal with fellow Seattle-based company Xnor.ai, which was acquired by Apple in November of last year. But Wyze, taking a page out of the old Radiohead playbook, is hoping some customers might be willing to chip in to help it cover the costs. AI-powered person detection uses machine learning models to train an algorithm to differentiate between the movement of an inanimate object or animal and that of a human being. It’s now a staple in the smart security camera market, but it remains rather resource-intensive to provide and expensive as a result. It is more expensive than Wyze at first realised, in fact. That’s a problem after the company promised last year that when its own version of the feature was fully baked, it would be available for free without requiring a monthly subscription, as many of its competitors do for similar AI-powered functions.

No equality in opportunities in Silicon Valley

Recently released numbers from some of the largest and most powerful companies confirm what many had suspected: Opportunity here is not created equal. Blacks and Hispanics are largely absent, and women are underrepresented in Silicon Valley – from giant companies to start-ups to venture capital firms. The industry that bills itself as a meritocracy actually looks more like a "mirrortocracy," says longtime high-tech entrepreneur Mitch Kapor, co-chair of the Kapor Center for Social Impact. Even as companies scramble to find workers in the most competitive hiring market in recent memory, most are continuing to bring aboard people who look like they do. Eric Kelly is president and CEO of Overland Storage in San Jose, and chairman of Canadian-based Sphere 3D. He is also one of the few black CEOs of a publicly traded technology company. He says having managers and senior executives with differing perspectives gives companies like his an edge in the marketplace. By 2040, the U.S. will be a minority majority, with 42 per cent of the country black or Hispanic.