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Smart Technology: Facial Recognition Doorbell

By: Aparna Zalani
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Imagine a world where you don’t have to carry the keys to your home or an ID to get into your office building… that day may not be far away. A pair of SMU grads have come up with a high-tech doorbell that uses your face as a key to get in.

It’s a doorbell that uses facial recognition technology to identify people and allow entry.

Shaun Moore and Nezare Chafni met at SMU in 2010. They went their separate ways after graduation but reunited after coming up with a simple idea to use facial recognition technology in a doorbell. In 2012 they left their respective jobs to focus on developing Chiu – a doorbell that can read faces.

Chui relys on facial recognition and motion detection technologies. It takes the picture of the person at the door and sends a message to the home owner over the phone or a computer. In other words, you can decide whether or not you want to open the door for someone without ever getting up off your couch.

(credit: CBS 11 News)

(credit: CBS 11 News)

“You can communicate via two way audio, one way video with the person at the door,” says Chafni. “If someone shows up who you weren’t expecting, you can get a picture identification and tap into a video feed.”

Here how it works — you can upload pictures of your friends and family to the website. The technology maps several points on the face and recognizes them. The founders have tested the doorbell at night and on photographs. They say it works every time. “We ran a test with two sets of identical twins and that’s our standard,” says Moore.

Chui allows users to leave personalized messages to people as well. “If you’re busy at work and you’re foreseeing someone stopping by, you can hide the key somewhere and leave a message,” says Chafni. “Chui will recognize the person and will replay the message for them.”

They’re testing the doorbell at Common Desk in Dallas. The company provides work space for members.

“It’s a great way to track who’s here and what time they came in and what time they check in,” says General Manager Merrick Porcheddu.

Moore says the doorbell has several applications… it can keep track of gym members or even school attendance. “This technology can be used in places where identity matters” Moore says. “It is more of a convenience to people as opposed to having to carry an ID with them.”

Chiu is not available in market yet… but you can pre-order it for $199 at getchui.com.

©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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