With CES 2020 now underway, attendees in Las Vegas will have the chance to see some of the world’s latest tech and gadgets in action. From TVs to robots, there’s something for everyone at the year’s biggest technology expo.
But one kind of technology is making a bigger impact this year than many expected: surveillance tech. We already have cameras in many of our gadgets, and now manufacturers are attempting to leverage this technology in new ways for consumers. Tap or click to see 4 types of spy cameras that could be watching you.
Although much of the spy gadgets on display at CES aren’t showcasing new technology, the smaller form factors and IoT integration have many concerned. Are we entering an age where privacy finally slips away from the public? See for yourself with our latest sneak peek at CES 2020.
Cameras. Cameras everywhere.
Attendees at CES 2020 were treated to waves of new gadgets and devices throughout the halls of the convention. But no other tech on the floor has a greater potential impact on society than surveillance devices.
Mostly scattered throughout the smart home and smart city showrooms of the massive event, these devices give users even more ways to monitor their properties. Unfortunately, many of these internet-enabled gadgets provide companies with new tools to spy or collect data on users.
A sign of the times
While many of these devices provide useful security and recreational features, some industry insiders believe the sheer amount of surveillance tech at the convention is an ominous sign.
Aside from consumer pushback against some surveillance tech like facial recognition being used by world governments, a number of high-profile data incidents have led to increased skepticism about the long term effects of storing private information obtained by security systems.
Cindy Cohn, executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, spoke at a CES panel. She explained many manufacturers primarily focus on the money — and there’s plenty to be made in the world of smart home surveillance.
Many, many horrible stories have come out of consumer electronics.”Cindy Cohn
According to Cohn, manufacturers aren’t properly considering the bigger picture for home security. They’re just in the business to make a quick buck, meanwhile the horror stories, such as hackers accessing home security systems, fall by the wayside.
A who’s who of surveillance leaders at CES 2020
Some of the surveillance tech on display at CES 2020 gives an intriguing look at the future of smart homes.
Aside from some familiar names and devices, the items being shown have the potential to transform the way we live our domestic lives. These are just some of the most striking examples seen on the floors of CES 2020.
Introducing the Ring House
Ring is already a household name, and although the security system is popular, it hasn’t been without its kinks. Tap or click to see how your address can be exposed by your Ring video doorbell.
But at CES 2020, Ring had something entirely new on display: The Ring House. Similar to old House of the Future showcases from yesteryear, the Ring House is a conceptual project that shows what a unified security system with multiple Ring devices looks and works like.
While that was already impressive, the biggest news came Monday: A new control center for Ring users to tweak their privacy settings and opt out of police requests for footage.
Previously, numerous privacy settings were inaccessible to ordinary Ring users. Hopefully, the control center seen at the Ring House points to a better experience going forward.
Sunflower Labs presents a “home drone security” system
Not to be outdone by Ring and its dystopian house of the future, Sunflower Labs has designed an even more unique security gadget for homeowners and aspiring warlords.
A typical day at Sunflower Labs. This is how we test the resiliency of our landing algorithms. No drones were harmed in making of this video. pic.twitter.com/m7ud1cGIA0— Sunflower Labs (@sunflower_labs) October 23, 2019
Sunflower Labs’ Home Drone Security system is a small quadcopter designed for installation in yards and gardens. It’s able to silently patrol a perimeter, and if an intruder steps into certain zones, the drone can activate and snap a photo.
Interestingly, CEO of Sunflower Labs Alex Pachikov defends his product as “less intrusive” than Ring’s, citing it “only patrols the user’s property” and doesn’t rely on a mesh network of neighbors for surveillance. A sobering statement, indeed.
Arlo scares up a security floodlight
Device maker Arlo has also brought a new kind of security gadget to the table at CES. Designed as a smart floodlight, this easy-to-install light features a built-in camera and two-way microphone.
Conceptually, this light can help illuminate driveways like an ordinary floodlight. When an intruder arrives, the light can be set to flash red and sound a siren. Scary!
The camera and microphone array give the user a chance to talk to and interrogate any potential criminals and intruders. This one is pretty cool, and just like Sunflower Labs’ drones, doesn’t rely on a neighborhood network.
But what kind of future are these designers imagining when they build products that intimidate and spy on intruders? Do they anticipate we’ll be seeing more domestic crimes in the future?
Regardless of intent, the tech on display at CES portends interesting developments in the realm of smart home gadgets. Whether they’re used for good or evil, however, will be the real question facing consumers this decade. Tap or click to see 5 uses for security cameras you never thought of before.