A look at a smart underwater camera that uses Artificial Intelligence to monitor what's happening in your pool in an effort to prevent drownings.
Pools are a fantastic backyard addition, but they can also be deadly. We took a look at a connected product called the Coral Manta 3000, which aims to protect pools 24/7/ with an added layer of surveillance.
The device looks like the sea creature it's named after, with a solar panel on top and a camera that sits below the surface of the pool. The entire unit installs in seconds, just hang it on the side of your pool with the camera sticking into the water. You can screw it down for added security.
"I’m pretty certain it should be installed in every backyard pool," said Eyal Golan, CEO of Coral Detection Systems, the Israeli-based company that produces the unit. "Drownings do occur when an adult is nearby but they are not aware of the situation."
The device connects to a WiFi hub in your home and uses artificial intelligence to monitor what is happening in your pool.
It can recognize when someone gets in for the first time, sounding a simple alarm to alert you that someone has entered the pool. Unlike other pool alarm systems, there is no need to turn the Coral Manta on or off.
The system will monitor everyone in the pool and if it notices someone isn’t moving for a certain period of time, it will sound bigger alarms and send alerts to your phone.
"The system will alert you within 15 seconds so you have a lot of time to get the person out of the water and save their life," explained Golan.
When we tested the system at a home in Los Angeles, it did recognize our test swimmer, but it wasn't always perfect. Sometimes alerts would be delayed, sometimes we wouldn't get them at all. It was tough to diagnose the exact issue, but it seems like spotty WiFi could be to blame.
Because the system is solar-powered and wireless, it's imperative that you have good sun and a good connection for it to all work properly.
I have no doubt the folks at Coral Detection are on to something. Now that I've seen a product like this, it makes a lot of sense that many - if not all - pools in the future will have a layer of smart protection like this.
Additionally, Coral is quick to point out that their system does not replace existing security precautions like fences or covers.
"It’s in addition to everything else that exists today, and mainly adult supervision," concluded Golan.
The Coral Manta costs $2,000 and is on sale now. The company says they do believe they can make a less expensive version in the future as technology progresses and manufacturing costs go down.