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Enter at your own risk: New home security camera aims paintballs at intruders

Click to play video: 'AI-powered home security system fires paintballs at intruders'
AI-powered home security system fires paintballs at intruders
Marketed in a promo video as the first security system of its kind, 'PaintCam Eve' is an AI-powered, paintball-launching home security system with real-time face recognition to deter intruders. The robotic contraption is currently a project on Kickstarter – Apr 18, 2024

Porch pirates beware. There’s a new home security camera on the horizon, promising to deter would-be intruders and package thieves with paintballs fired at “ultra-high precision.”

OZ-IT, a Slovenia-based startup, is raising money for an AI-powered home surveillance system that would use facial recognition and an app-based system to fire paintballs — or even tear gas pellets — at potential ne’er-do-wells .

The PaintCam Eve comes equipped with night-vision technology, a warning laser and a built-in speaker to issue a verbal instruction for intruders to skedaddle. If the interloper doesn’t leave, the homeowner can choose to fire a paintball at them.

A wacky promo video for the device promises to fend off unwanted animals, burglars and, perhaps, innocent civilians out for their nightly stroll, with its “zero compliance, zero tolerance” warning system.

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Homeowners, however, can make sure their loved ones are safe to approach by marking occupants and approved visitors as no-fire. Also, if an unidentified person is detected alongside a familiar visitor, the camera will send an alert to the user’s smartphone, asking if it should pull the trigger.

“If an unknown face appears next to someone known — perhaps your daughter’s new boyfriend — PaintCam defers to your instructions,” reads the product’s website, meaning you can override the controls from the comfort of your couch and ultimately administer the level of violence you feel comfortable with.

The PaintCam Eve aims to deter unwanted visitors by firing paintballs or tear gas pellets. PaintCam

The PaintCam does raise some concerns: for instance, how does it tell the difference between a mischievous raccoon and your beloved family dog? What about the poor Amazon or UberEats delivery driver? While the option exists to turn off autonomous operation of the PaintCam, there’s no doubt a system like this could be abused by trigger-happy or overly paranoid people.

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There’s also questions about the device’s legality. While it’s not illegal to own (most) paintball guns in Canada, there’s been at least one case where police have warned citizens that using paintballs on unwanted intruders could land them assault charges, and there have been debates on the humanity of hazing animal pests with projectiles.

Ultimately, it’s difficult to determine what the courts will consider reasonable force.

Details on the PaintCam website are slim for now. There’s little information about detailed specs, price or how the company plans to rein in what seems like a pretty indiscriminate surveillance method. The camera is currently offered in three tiers, but only the highest tier allows for facial detection, meaning you’ll likely have to shell out more moola if you don’t want your letter carrier to be faced with a daily paintball attack.

PaintCam’s Kickstarter goes live on April 23. There’s no word on release date yet.

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