Dec 18, 2017

New AI-Powered Feature Takes the Guesswork out of Home Cameras

We recently introduced a new artificial-intelligence-powered feature in our Xfinity Home 24/7 video recording service that makes it much easier for customers to pinpoint the moment when their home cameras capture movement.  The feature is just the latest example of how AI is helping us to make our products even better and evolve the overall customer experience.

Last year, when we launched 24/7 recording, we included a widely-used motion-detection feature that would record movement and deliver a thumbnail image to a customer. While the system was smart enough to recognize movement, it was less good at capturing exactly when that movement was taking place (this resulted in a lot of a pictures of the tip of a dog’s tail or the edge of a car bumper in the far corner of an image).

Our engineering and AI teams knew that we could do better, so we took some of the same AI and machine learning techniques we use to refine the X1 Voice Remote, and applied them to an artificial intelligence technology called computer vision.

Computer vision PhDs from our Applied AI Team in Washington D.C. worked with Xfinity Home engineers in Philadelphia to train our AI to identify the most relevant image in a motion event. Using our homegrown algorithm, the system focuses in on the movement, centers it, and delivers a thumbnail that is instantly recognizable.

So now instead of squinting to see the tip of your dog’s tail, you’ll see a clear image of your dog, or the delivery truck, or whatever else triggers your motion detector. Members of our team have been testing the new feature in their own homes in recent months, and they report the difference is night and day.

Our customers seem to think so too. In just the first days of making the feature available, without any announcement or publicity, we saw a more than 20 percent jump in customers using the app to view recorded moments. And we’re seeing engagement continue to climb.

In future releases, we’ll be pushing more of these features directly into our Xfinity Home cameras – not just the system that powers them – so they’ll be able to use optical zoom to deliver even better, more useful images.

This technology is just another example of what we love about AI. In ways great and small it’s allowing us to deliver better more exciting customer experiences, whether that’s by identifying (and helping us fix) problems before customers know they exist, connecting customers to video content they love, or just making sure that you can get a good look at your dog when he decides to chew up the couch.

We’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible, and we’re excited for what comes next. 

 
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