Dystopia Alert: Floating Cameras for Your House

Companies keep suggesting we should put floating cameras that track us in our homes.

Oct 26 2017, 2:30pm

Image: 1-Ring

I can think of few technological advancements creepier than a drone following me around my own home like I'm on house arrest in the not-so-distant future. But that's exactly what people keep churning out on Indiegogo and Kickstarter.

The latest hellbot in our increasingly absurd and willingly-entered surveillance state is the "Moon" by smart home and IoT company 1-Ring. Moon is a levitating security camera that takes 360-degree footage of your home. It's not clear from its crowdfunding page how it actually levitates, but it apparently does.

Voice and noise recognition make this tennis ball sized eyeball turn toward the action. And the company advertises "behavior based learning," so it'll presumptively take your daily life and preferences and optimize them with machine learning to make the Moon even better at quietly tracking you and your family's daily life. It's advertised as a security device, as well as a baby monitor or recorder for all of your wacky living room/conference room hijinx.

More than 400 people have backed this thing so far on Indiegogo, throwing a combined $93,229 at it. It's 200% funded! The public wants floating cameras.

The Moon isn't alone in this questionable space. In September, the Avena Aire drone—essentially a flying Alexa—raised $84,464 on Kickstarter, beyond its $50,000 goal. It was supposed to be a drone for your home, drifting around ready to take selfies, answer all the dumb questions you typically ask Alexa, play music, or just generally be up your ass.

But seven days ago, Avena founder Jeff Tseng announced he was canceling the Aire project, citing "several unexpected business opportunities." The company got so much good press that it had to kill its eerie robot darling.

I personally think the Moon belongs, well in space—the only acceptable place for a flying camera bot since there's not a lot else to do but report your every burp back for science. Of course, there's a levitating camera for that, too: the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency sent the "Int-Ball" to the International Space Station in June.

To everyone else developing indoor interrogation drones: Please, no more.