Tag Archives: Butterfleye

Butterfleye is acquired by Ooma

Butterfleye is a producer of wireless security cameras with image recognition technology. I wrote about the company, which we had invested in at Aslanoba Capital, here and here.

Butterfleye was recently acquired by VoIP phone service provider Ooma.

Building a hardware business is hard. The combination of supply chain commoditization and the large budgets required to differentiate your brand in a world where consumers have access to tens of unbranded products through horizontal e-commerce sites, are big challenges.

Led by its founder Ben Nader, the Butterfleye team did a great job in light of these challenges. I congratulate them for the acquisition.

The commoditization of AI algorithms

Butterfleye, where we’re investors, is the producer of the Nero 1, a wireless security camera which comes equipped with facial recognition technology.

Once you start using the Nero 1, it captures and prompts you to tag the faces it identifies. This lets the Nero 1 remain passive in the event that it sees a known face while alerting you to new faces who could represent potential intruders.

What’s interesting about the facial recognition feature is that Butterfleye developed it using the Amazon Rekognition API. In other words, Amazon built the general image recognition algorithm, and Butterfleye is now using it for the specific case of facial recognition by applying the algorithm to the facial data that it collects.

This is a great example of the commoditization of AI algorithms. As more people have access to these algorithms, the source of value increasingly shifts from the algorithm itself to the data to which the algorithm is applied.