As with most Apple software beta releases, the moment that new builds are available to download work begins to unearth any potential signs or hints to unannounced features. Typically, references to unimplemented features, product set up videos, and codenames are found, but today has brought a new kind of leak, an actual internal consent and release form. Discovered by Steve Moser of The Tape Drive, a document found in the macOS 10.15 Catalina Beta is titled “HomeKit Video Analysis Study”.
The HomeKit Video Analysis Study looks to be a voluntary employee form for those interested in helping to train Apple’s machine learning and AI algorithms. Previously announced during the WWDC Keynote Address, Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video will analyze any camera footage locally, to determine what has passed in front of a connected camera. This would ideally be used to prevent annoying notifications that would normally be sent to users for all motion events, by excluding things such as pets and cars.
According to the consent form, those involved with the study are asked to send videos from a HomeKit supported camera. Motion event videos are requested as well, with example videos for things such as “trees blowing in the wind”, “pets” or a “person walking up to a front door”. Tags would then be placed once the video is reviewed to determine the scope of the motion event, such as “significant motion”, and users will be utilizing dropbox to store their footage (that is aptly named Purple HomeKit Data Collection | Video).
While these types of studies are conducted internally for all sorts of features, it is still a fascinating discovery as it gives a little insight to how the HomeKit team is training their AI and machine learning models. Apple’s Secure HomeKit Video feature is scheduled to be released this fall, with the release of iOS 13, iPadOS, and macOS Catalina. Are you as excited for HomeKit Secure Video as we are? Have some thoughts on HomeKit cameras in general? Leave a comment below, or via Twitter, @HomeKit_Hero.