Kami’s new video doorbell boasts on-device person detection and facial recognition

The Kami Doorbell Camera doesn’t need the cloud to detect people or recognize friends and family, although it does rely on cloud-based video storage.

kami doorbell camera
Yi Technology

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Plenty of video doorbells offer people detection, but only a few of them can perform that trick on the device itself rather than in the cloud, and the new Kami Doorbell Camera happens to be one of them. Too bad about the lack of local video storage, however.

Available now on Amazon for $100, the Wi-Fi-enabled smart doorbell from Yi Technology-owned Kami Home serves up the usual 1080p video resolution (expect a 160-degree field of view, oriented horizontally rather than head to toe), along with color night vision up to 17 feet, two-way audio, and mobile alerts whenever a visitor is detected on your doorstep.

The Kami Doorbell Camera also boasts people detection, which helps the doorbell tell humans apart from pets, vehicles, and branches swaying in the wind, while facial recognition lets the camera identify friends and family from a list of recognized faces.

Of course, it takes a certain amount of analysis for people detection and facial recognition to be performed on your captured video footage and generally speaking, that analysis is handled in the cloud. The beauty of the Kami Doorbell Camera is that it can perform people detection and facial recognition on the device itself, rather than on a third-party server. (The wildly popular Wyze Cam v2 also used to offer on-device person detection, but Wyze has since moved that feature over to the cloud.)

If edge AI-powered people detection and facial recognition is the good news about the Kami Doorbell Camera, the not-so-good-news is that the doorbell doesn’t support local video storage (on, say, a microSD card). Instead, all video is stored in the cloud, which means you’ll have to deal with Kami’s cloud-based servers one way or another.

Kami offers both free and paid storage plans for the Doorbell Camera. The free option supports a 24-hour history of 6-second video clips, while a paid Kami Shield subscription allows for uncapped video clips plus 7-day, 15-day, or 30-day histories (for $5 a month for one camera, $12/month for five cameras, or $19/month for five cameras, respectively).

Aside from its AI and cloud storage features, the doorbell’s weatherized housing offers IP65-certified protection against dust ingress and low-pressure jets of water sprayed in all directions—meaning, in other words, it should be safe from rain and snow.

The doorbell comes with a detachable battery pack that can power the camera for up to 150 days, or it can be wired to an AC (8V, 10V, 12V, or 24V) or USB power source. You can also connect the doorbell to existing mechanical or digital chimes.

Support for Alexa and Google Assistant should be coming sometime in the first quarter of 2021, a Kami rep said.

We’ll have a full review of the Kami Doorbell Camera once we’ve tested out a sample unit.

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