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May 21, 2015 4:59 EST

BuddyGuard: An intelligent home security system in a single device that protects you and your home all by itself

iCrowdNewswire - May 21, 2015

BuddyGuard: Intelligent and discreet home security system.

by BuddyGuard

BuddyGuard’s Flare is an intelligent home security system in a single device. It protects you and your home all by itself: Hassle-free!

BuddyGuard

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About this project

Your home is your castle: It’s where you feel safe and where you dare to dream. Home is where you always return to and where we share your thoughts and desires with those close to you.

When someone has broken into your home, into your private atmosphere, it feels as if something irreplaceable has been taken away from you. Valuables are covered by insurances, damaged doors and windows can be repaired. But knowing that a stranger has forced his way into your home, might leave you feeling afraid and unsafe.

Having experienced this himself, our Founder Herbert Hellemann started developing a home security system himself, in 2014. Apart from having the vision of combining multiple advanced security technologies in a single device, Herbert made it the company’s mission to create a system that is affordable, easy on the eyes and most of all: intelligent. Home security should not be a matter of contstant managing and monitoring: It should secure you and your home all by itself.

Flare, the name of our device, is an easy to use home security system with a sleek design that looks right in every home. Forget about alarm codes, maintenance contracts or difficult installation: Flare is hassle free, low-maintenance and requires zero technical expertise.

It turns itself automatically on when you are leaving, but it does not watch you while you are home. Flare will notify you when someone it does not recognise enters your home, but when you don’t have access to your smartphone or the internet, it can take intelligent actions on its own to protect your home. An intelligent action could be notifying other people you can trust, such as your partner or friends and family. If there is no speedy response, Flare will not hesitate to sound the alarm and notify the emergency services.

Naturally, you can always add or delete friends, family, neighbours, your housekeeper or other people to your list of trusted contacts. Flare will authenticate this person as a welcome visitor, and then goes back to standby mode.

BuddyGuard is the developer of Flare, the all-in-one home security system

A complete home security system in a single device: Flare brings the best functionalities of home security together in a single device. At the same time, it is our goal to make home security as easy and non-intrusive as possible.

A self managing device: You no longer need to deal with alarm codes or constant monitoring. Flare takes care of everything on its own so that you can go back to enjoying your life.

Smooth installation: Install Flare in under 10 minutes. Just attach it to the wall, download the BuddyGuard App and have your home secured. No expertise or technical assistance required.

Power independent: Flare continues to operate on powerful lithium-ion batteries when electricity gets interrupted or cut off.

Data privacy: Your data is encrypted by the highest security standards as used by banks. On top of that, our camera gets mechanically covered when you or one of your trusted contacts arrive home.

Hassle free: Flare works entirely wirelessly, as it connects to the WiFi and even to cellular networks. Say goodbye to those annoying cables on the wall.

Pet friendly: Let your pets roam freely at home: You won’t be bothered with notifications constantly.

Smart control: Use your face, voice or the location of your smartphone to control Flare, for example to activate and deactivate the device.

BuddyGuard’s Flare can be installed within minutes. Just follow these simple instructions:

  • Attach the magnet holder with adhesive tape to your wall and place the device on top of the holder
  • Turn Flare on by pushing the only button it has. This makes it automatically search for wireless networks nearby
  • Download the BuddyGuard App from the Apple Store or from Google Play. Open it and enter your WiFi password
  • Take a few pictures of yourself and talk on the App for the system to train itself and be able to recognise your face and voice in the future

That’s it! Flare’s batteries are designed to last 3 weeks under normal operating conditions. Whenever Flare is running out of battery it will inform you through the App. In that case, just take Flare from the holder and charge it like you would your smartphone, using the micro USB port. Leave it charging overnight and place it back before you go out. If you prefer, you can always choose to leave Flare connected to the electricity using the provided micro USB Cable. This is very useful, for example, when you go on a long vacation.

Flare packs a wide array of cutting edge sensors and electronic components inside a very small enclosure:

  • Diameter: 11 cm (4,33”)
  • Height: 2,5 cm (1”)
  • Weight: 220g (7,7 oz)
  • HD camera: A full HD 1080p camera is used to recognise your face and to record video and make snapshots in case of an event
  • Motion detector: Spots movement in your home using infrared
  • Accelerometer: Detects tampering with Flare, to avoid the device being taken off the wall
  • Temperature sensor: Identifies sudden temperature changes in its environment
  • Microphone: Detects sounds associated with burglary and allows the user to give voice commands
  • Loudspeaker: Emits home sounds like people talking or doing the dishes, so that the residents appear to be home
  • Siren: Sounds the alarm when someone has invaded your home
  • WiFi module: Keeps Flare connected to the BuddyGuard Cloud
  • 3G module: Takes over the connection to the Cloud in case the WiFi gets interrupted or cut off
  • Batteries: Can power Flare completely or function as an electricity backup. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

There is a lot of physical parts inside Flare that help it make sense of its environment. Still, the thing that makes Flare very special is the way this information is used by the software. This allows it to be very intelligent. 

Face recognition: Flare can distinguish residents and trusted contacts from unfamiliar persons, by analysing and verifying the facial features of people entering your home.

Voice recognition: By listening to your voice, Flare can authenticate your identity in order to take commands. For example, you can tell Flare to be more vigilant while you are on vacation.

Privacy control: Flare will only use the camera and microphone when there’s a direct reason for it. Upon positive face recognition, the camera will be mechanically closed and the microphone gets turned off.

Location: By using the geolocation of your cellphone, Flare knows when you have left your home. From that moment on until it sees you again, the system will be fully active and extra alert to protect your home

Pet friendly: Flare can tell the difference between an innocent pet and someone who should not be there, as shapes and motions are verified to belong to an animal.

Scheduling: Inform Flare by voice command or app that you will be away for a few nights or even a long vacation, to make sure the system stays alert and activated at all times.

Flare is an entire system. The advanced hardware and software work together in harmony to guarantee that it can act on your behalf.

Our highly secured, continuous exchange of information between Flare, the BuddyGuard Cloud and the App ensure a home security system that stays intelligent by recognising faces, voices and patterns – so that it can always take smart actions to protect you and your home.

BuddyGuard uses the power of IFTTT to extend the functionalities of Flare. IFTTT allows you to communicate with other Apps and devices to create simple action-reaction rules. You could, for example, trigger your Philips Hue lights to turn green when you arrive home when the system has recognised you.

Techmog: “BuddyGuard promises to be a life companion that protects your home when you’re out and gives you some space when you’re in”
LeBlogDomotique: “Flare BuddyGuard dispose donc de nombreux avantages et doté de très nombreux capteurs de mesure.”
Turn-On: “Mit BuddyGuard wird ein neues Sicherheitssystem fürs Zuhause vorgestellt: Es soll sehr einfach und ohne Kabel zu installieren sein und sich den Gewohnheiten der Nutzer intelligent anpassen.”
Mobiflip: “BuddyGuard, ein smartes System für die Sicherheit daheim.”
T3n.de: “Das System kann euch im Falle eines Einbruchs nicht nur kontaktieren, sondern soll potenzielle Einbrecher auch automatisch mit Geräuschen von dem Einbruch abschrecken.”

Hardware demo

Flare knows when to deactivate itself once you arrive home. This means that you won’t have to deal with entering security codes anymore. Flare recognises your face and then goes into standby mode.

Face recognition

By analysing and verifying the biometric features of faces, Flare’s artificial intelligence can distinguish residents and trusted contacts from unfamiliar people.

Voice recognition

While unfamiliar voices are a reason for Flare to raise its vigilance, authenticated voices from residents and trusted contacts can control and inform the system.

Location detection

by analysing the location of your phone, Flare can deactivate the system and cover the camera just as you are arriving home. This way you never have to loose a second taking an action for yourself. Also, you will never feel observed.

Although Flare will do its very best to keep intruders at bay, there is still a chance that someone will enter your home. Apart from sounding the alarm, Flare will video record and snapshot everything within its sight, while sending push notifications to your smartphone. Flare will also notify the emergency services of your city on your behalf. All video and photo material will be saved, encrypted, in the BuddyGuard Cloud, for future reference.

Your pledge means so much more than just money. We have a functional prototype, but the development of Flare is not finished. We still need to tweak our design to be able to fit it in the beautiful form factor you see. With your support, we can produce and ship an amazing home security system.

Hearing from you means the world to us: It will help us to create a sophisticated device that can think and act on its own, to ensure optimal protection of you and your home. Your feedback can help steer BuddyGuard in the right direction.

Join us!

We are in the middle of our journey. We currently have a working prototype, but there is still some work to do before Flare is ready for shipping. In the coming months we are going to focus on fitting all our hardware components in the final enclosure. Once we have passed this milestone we look forward to shipping Flare worldwide.

Risks and challenges

Getting any product into full scale production is really challenging and we have spent an extensive amount of time on designing the hardware and software inside Flare in a way that translates easily to manufacturing.Flare is a prototype and is still under development. We are very happy at the pace at which we have been moving forward. Nevertheless, there could be unforeseen delays as a result of the FCC/CE electronic certification, supply of electronic components and plastic mould tooling process.

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