This Chip Can Make Security Cameras Smart

Movidius’s Myriad 2 is designed to help newer-model cameras interpret images and send alerts as needed.
Photo illustration by 731; Photos: alamy (2); Courtesy Movidius (2)

Form and function
Security cameras may be ubiquitous, but they still miss a lot. And humans have to monitor their feeds for unusual activity. The Movidius Myriad 2 vision-processing chip is designed to help newer-model cameras interpret images themselves.

Sean Mitchell and David Moloney
Ages 48 and 54
Titles Chief operating officer and chief technology officer of Movidius, a 180-employee company in San Mateo, Calif.

Mitchell and Moloney, who’d worked as engineers for several Irish chipmakers, founded Movidius in 2005 after sketching out the idea for a smart-camera network in a Dublin pub.

The company raised about $87 million in venture capital before Intel announced plans to buy it late last year.

A camera equipped with Myriad 2 uses the chip’s AI software and processing power to distinguish people and vehicles from other objects. The chip can also identify trespassers and traffic infractions.

Multiple cameras, connected by the internet, can combine their analyses and send alerts to police or security guards.

Movidius is pitching Myriad 2 chips to highway departments and other government agencies, as well as companies and individuals looking for set-and-forget security.

Next Steps
Dronemaker DJI’s Phantom 4 drones use the Myriad 2 to help steer around obstacles. Hangzhou Hikvision, the leading maker of internet-connected cameras, says it’s incorporating the chip into some of its cameras. “Smart cameras are the future of security cameras,” says Anand Joshi, principal analyst at consulting company Tractica. Now that Hikvision is onboard, he says, “others are likely to follow suit.”

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