New Security System Uses AI to Shoot Criminals With Paintballs

New Security System Uses AI to Shoot Criminals With Paintballs

A new home security system that uses AI-driven smart tracking to shoot potential intruders with paintballs might sound like something out of a Home Alone reboot set in the future. But it could be a reality soon if folks on Kickstarter get their way. The big question that’s still unanswered is whether it’s legal.

The Paintcam Eve uses paintballs and intelligent object tracking to identify potential threats, hitting intruders with paint if the target is deemed a hazard. And the way the Kickstarter campaign is currently structured, the system will cost anywhere from roughly $US1,200 to $US2,000 depending on the model, with the more expensive AI options allowing for animal and human face detection to avoid friendly fire.

“PaintCam’s advanced technology detects both humans and pets, utilizing state-of-the-art facial recognition to distinguish between welcome guests and potential intruders,” the creators explain on their website.

But what’s the purpose of the paintballs? Apparently, the idea is that it makes any intruder easier for cops to identify after they flee. And there might even be a tear gas option if you can believe it.

“In the event of an unwanted intrusion, our system springs into action, deploying paintball markers or tear gas to deter the intruder and mark them for easy identification by authorities,” the website says.


PaintCam: Face recognition & Paintball firing security system

The European-based project started with a goal of €12,000 ($US12,800) and raised €74,190 ($US79,451) before the campaign closed. As CNET points out, automatic paintball weapons don’t seem like they’d be legal in the U.S., given the fact that they’d likely fall into a category of “home traps.” Booby traps are illegal under U.S. law, though it’s not clear how these guns would be classified in various states.

The product has an estimated delivery date of November 2024, but it’s not clear whether the people behind this product will meet that target. The company behind Paintcam, OZ-IT, was founded by Srečko Dumanić from Slovenia who told Gizmodo that he doesn’t believe his product would be illegal for home security.

“We have no data that our product could be illegal, this is why we are adding all these different switches or safeguards in the app in order to comply with different legislations,” Dumanić told Gizmodo on Thursday via email.

“There are at least nine different modes of usage including safety rings and final go-no go decision by the user, a part from the clear marking of the property with announcements,” Dumanić continued. “However, since our product is the first commercial Paintcam in the world, there will be no legal precedence until something happens. The end user is liable for legal action, not the producer.”

Non-lethal weapons systems like this aren’t new, though they’re typically used by nation-state actors. For example, Israel has been using AI-powered robot guns for years, deployed in at least one location near a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank. As Euronews reports, the gun turrets can fire tear gas, stun grenades, and “sponge-tipped bullets.”


Israel deploys AI-powered robot guns that can track targets in the West Bank

Will we see private homes defended with Paintcam Eve paintballs or even tear gas anytime soon? Only time will tell. But even if they were found to be legal, the creators of this project are still working with a prototype that needs to be perfected.

If nothing else, it will certainly be interesting to see if this tech that’s now the exclusive domain of militaries becomes a popular product for civilians. Whether it’s GPS, drones, or the internet itself, most of the high-tech we enjoy today has origins in military applications. So it wouldn’t be crazy to think homes could one day see this kind of security system deployed widely.

Image: YouTube

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