Technologies for user identification in VIKI

The house of the future is the house where technology blends harmoniously with your lifestyle, ensuring a perfect balance between comfort and relaxation. Intended for the whole family, VIKI technology is more than home automation. Our system automatically adapts to the changes in the environment in which it is installed, without needing a manual reconfiguration of the settings at each change of the family’s preferences.
In these processes of learning and reproducing the behavior of the users depending on the environmental context, the requirement to detect their presence in the respective location and to automatically identify each individual who is in the respective space is critical .

To establish the technology for detecting the presence in the house controlled by VIKI, we tested and evaluated several types of systems:

Global Positioning System (GPS) presence detection
The personal smartphone equipped with a GPS device is used to detect the user’s entry and exit from a certain geographical area. The major advantage would be the low cost of implementation but this system has the disadvantage that it does not work inside the buildings and therefore could not be applied if a user has two or more locations inside the same buildings (block of flats).

Facial recognition systems
These use video surveillance equipment with video processing systems placed in places where presence detection is desired. The advantage would be that the users do not have to wear any specialized device to detect their presence, instead the cost of the system would be quite high and the system could not be applied in places where it would represent too much privacy invasion.

Security systems based on pin code or fingerprint
Security systems equipped with keyboards and / or fingerprint sensors are used at entry / exit points in / from the location. The disadvantage of this system is that the user has to perform an explicit identification operation each time, which can be annoying.

Systems based on RFID or NFC devices
It consists of placing active RFID or NFC reading devices at the entry / exit points at / from the location and users must have a passive device (card or label) equipped with RFID or NFC. Due to the short operating distance for NFC devices, they have the same disadvantage as the security systems equipped with a pin code or fingerprint. The advantage of the system would be the relatively low cost of implementation, but the disadvantage is that each individual must wear an identification device.

Smartphone-based systems and beacon-type devices
We use beacon devices placed inside and / or outside the location and an application installed on the smart phone of each individual interacting with the respective location. The advantage is the relatively low cost of implementation and the fact that each individual no longer has to have any other identification device, other than the personal smart phone.

By carefully analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each option, we have chosen to implement within our projects security systems based on fingerprint and / or NFC devices, and systems based on smart phones and beacon-type devices.