The bougie homes of the future may find themselves guarded by high-tech, defensive Sunflowers and Bees.
Those are the brand names of security firm Sunflower Labs’ two flagship products: Sunflower sensors that detect the vibrations caused by nearby intruders’ footsteps, and buzzing quadrotor Bee drones that autonomously capture the intruder on video, according to The Verge.
Beware of Rat Thing
Sunflower Labs is about to roll out a subscription service for its two-pronged security robot service, charging residents of wealthy California suburbs hundreds of dollars a month for the autonomous security, CEO Alex Pachikov told The Verge.
And maybe, if that business model helps subsidize costs, future versions might be cheap enough for the rest of us. But for now, Sunflower Labs will cater to the rich.
Under the legal regulations for drone flight put in place by the Federal Aviation Administration, drone operators cannot fly over unwitting or unwilling people, especially if that drone is carrying a security camera. That means that Sunflower Labs is actually obligated to market towards people who own their own lawns, making it a natural fit for well-off suburbia over other types of communities.
At this point, after seemingly countless scandals involving smart home speakers listening when they shouldn’t have been, or internet of things devices being hacked, or private data being leaked, there appears to be a clear inverse relationship between the ubiquity of smart technology and personal privacy.
Case in point, The Verge reported that Sunflower Labs’ Bee drones send their video footage to a cloud-based storage system so that third-party security companies like ADT can assist the homeowners. Do you really want footage of your crib on the cloud?
Unlike some tech companies, however, Sunflower Labs doesn’t seem keen on selling user data, so there’s a good chance it will handle personal information responsibly. But just like the outrage after the revelation that iRobot’s vacuum Roombas could map people’s homes, these wealthy Californians should keep an eye on exactly what information they’re giving away all the same.