Following Apple’s acquisition of Seattle AI company Xnor.ai, the company’s people detection software is no longer available on Wyze cameras.
News of Apple’s successful acquisition of Xnor.ai broke on Wednesday, January 15, in a deal reportedly worth around $200 million.
Now, The Verge is reporting that as a result of this acquisition, beta firmware to remove people detection from Wyze cameras has started to roll out. The report states:
Cameras from fellow Seattle-based company Wyze, including the Wyze Cam V2 and Wyze Cam Pan, have utilized Xnor.ai’s on-device people detection since last summer. But now that Apple owns the company, it’s no longer available. Some people on Wyze’s forum are noting that the beta firmware removing the people detection has already started to roll out.
In November of 2019, Wyze announced that the people detection feature would “temporarily” disappear from its cameras in January 2020. A clause in its agreement with Xnor.ai reportedly allowed the startup to terminate the contract “at any moment without reason.” It is unclear from that announcement whether Xnor.ai’s termination of the contract was directly related to an impending acquisition by Apple, however, it is implied in the report that the acquisition and the termination seem to be linked.
As the report notes, Wyze has promised to develop its own version of people detection to replace Xnor.ai’s technology, however, we have no indication as to when it might be ready. Commenting in its own forums, Wzye stated:
The release that will remove XNOR’s person detection is about to be released to beta. Our version is making great progress but I’m not sure when it will start moving through the test cycles.
Until then, Wyze camera’s and its users will remain devoid of people detection for a seemingly unspecified amount of time.
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