In March, there were reports that Apple acquired the patents of Lighthouse, the maker of a security camera powered by artificial intelligence which had earlier announced it was shutting down. It turns out that there was more to the story. The Information has learned that some of the Lighthouse team will continue their work at Apple. The startup’s co-founders Alex Teichman and Hendrik Dahlkamp, who have strong backgrounds in AI research and self-driving car technology, have joined Apple, along with around 20 of Lighthouse’s software team, said a person familiar with the matter. The Lighthouse hardware team didn’t join Apple.
In an email sent earlier this week to people who tested Lighthouse’s camera, the startup’s co-founders asked for permission to transfer video and sensor data collected through the devices to Apple. Previously, Lighthouse was collecting data from the cameras to train its machine learning algorithms so they could recognize people and scenes inside homes. Those cameras are still functioning.
The Lighthouse team is expected to continue working on this project at Apple, though it isn’t clear how the company plans to use Lighthouse’s technology in the future, the person said. Apple didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. The acquisition is reminiscent of another company Apple bought last year called Silk Labs, which was building a privacy-focused AI-powered cameras and speakers for the home, The Information reported in November.