What is it?
E:T is your personal video surveillance A.I(Artificial Intelligence) agent. Its mission and cause are to let you feel safe again at home, your business or farm. It enhances your existing surveillance security by giving you the ability to act and defend in realtime before a situation occurs.
It works on low-cost small computer hardware also known as “single-board computers” like the Raspberry Pi (available from anywhere in the world). The E:T software has an internal chatbot which connects to your Telegram messaging app on your smartphone. This provides you with a chat messaging interface to talk to your E:T device. It eliminates the need to download propriety applications to communicate with your E:T device.
You can now tell E:T what to look out for and it will notify you once it sees those objects via Telegram. It functions almost like a watchman on a tower in medieval times but in a digital form. You have the power to respond and act upon the things E:T sees.
E:T is multi-stream, which means it can look at multiple things at the same time. E:T is more than just surveillance, it is intelligence and control under your fingertips that allows you to respond in realtime. Here are a few distinct features that sets it apart.
You give the command and E:T executes. Done! All with the power of chat.
It has a built-in chat engine and with the help of Telegram Messaging, E:T will deliver alerts or notifications to any of your Telegram capable devices. There is no need to figure out a new app or a new user interface. If you can chat you can control it. E:T even goes further to provides you with options of the possible answers it would expect. This is achieved through in-line keyboard functionality or buttons so that you don’t have to “spell things out”.
E:T is designed to assist you, not to annoy you.
You have full control over E:T’s actions and when E:T should notify you. With the multi-schedule system, you define a schedule per video camera feed that suits your requirements and E:T sticks to it. If a time-slot interferes with your convenience within the scheduled time frames, you can then simply ignore notifications for a given period without even changing the schedule.
You are the Commander and you choose your Users.
E:T operates according to a single Commander, Multi-User design. You as the E:T System Commander have full access control over all the users of the E:T system. You can add as many users as you please to control E:T and you have full control over their access to the system.
Take real-time action!
Not only does E:T notify you on detections, you can also act upon them. E:T includes a defence arsenal engine. From audio alarms to voice message playback to IoT(Internet of Things) device activation, E:T got you covered. Add as many network controlled defence systems to E:T as you please and control them all at your fingertips. Also, there is no need to wait for something to happen, you can simply control your “things” anytime, anywhere.
Reach out to as many as you please.
Not only can E:T notify all of its users, but it can also notify anyone of your Telegram contacts. All you have to do is add them to your E:T contact list. Simply share your chat, and add them to your E:T contact list.
What’s up with the name?
Edge – meaning “cutting edge”, edge device, at the furthest point of view, standing at the edge looking out.
Tower – meaning protection, the highest point of view, looking out over the rest, overlooks and watches over something, can only go higher, get better and stronger.
E:T is a statement. These two powerful words ‘Edge’ and ‘Tower’ separated by the ‘:’ completes the statement on who and what E:T essentially is and its ever-evolving capability.
How Does it Work?
E:T utilizes world-class A.I(Artificial Intelligence) technology called DNN(Deep Neural Networks) or Deep Learning. E:T applies DNN computer vision algorithms or deep-learning methods called object-detection on the image frames of your real-time security camera footage. It then processes the results based upon a computer vision A.I model. Detection results are then compared with the objects you defined within the list of object classes available from the A.I model.
A.I models is usually pre-trained to detect only certain objects classes like persons, dogs, cats, cars and buses. If you choose this specific model, then you tell E:T to notify you on whether anyone of your camera feeds detects any one of the objects defined in the models class list. You could also choose specific objects like ‘person’ or a ‘dog’ and E:T will notify you on exactly that. It is a form of digital intelligence that aims to replicate the cognitive abilities the same as that of a human being.
Why is this important?
Most standard security CCTV systems deploy pixel-based methodologies and alarms on events such as motion. These motion-based triggers can be caused by anything moving in front of the camera. From leaves blown by the wind to flashing lights to insects moving across the lens, these are all things you don’t care about and these are things which mostly yield false alarms being triggered and annoy you through notifications which you’ll eventually switch off.
Yes, some standard CCTV systems depending on the price range have built-in intelligence like facial detection and people counting etcetera, but that is how far it goes for the cheaper systems. What if you want to know when certain things appear in front of your camera? Things like a car, or a motorbike or a sheep or a cow? These are just some of the endless things which could be detected through DNN or deep-learning provided its model is trained on those objects. The world of Deep Learning has opened the doors to digital intelligence and E:T deploys this kind of technology in conjunction with other technologies to solve many of the surveillance challenges.
E:T was not designed to replace conventional CCTV systems, but to complement and enhance an existing system. It can be viewed as an intelligence plug-in into your existing security ecosystem. And E:T, in turn, provides you with a powerful capability to act real-time from anywhere in the world! You don’t have to replace your existing CCTV system, just plug-in E:T.
How does E:T “plug-in”?
First of all, E:T can work on any computer provided that the system environmental requirements are met. However E:T was designed around cheap SBC’s(Single Board Computers) available anywhere around the world, specifically the beloved Raspberry Pi together with Intel NCS2.
The Pi as it is referred to is a stand-alone computer that requires nothing else except external power. The Pi can work totally headless: meaning no screen, mouse or keyboard is required for it to function as a normal PC. This makes it an ideal computing platform for E:T to function. The Raspberry Pi has everything it needs to communicate with the outside world. Best of all, the Pi is:
- and, widely supported by makers and enthusiasts around the world
Although the Pi has well-respected performance compared to its form factor, it is however not suited for Deep Learning A.I performance. Or at least not for E:T’s multi-stream real-time requirements. Thus with the release of Intel NCS2 the Pi received A.I DNN capability and thus served as the ideal hardware platform for E:T.
So simply connect the NCS2 to the Pi’s USB port, setup the E:T software, connect the Pi to your network and E:T is now “plugged-in”, ready to stream and be your digital agent. Below are before/after diagrams of a typical CCTV setup without E:T and then an after with E:T added: