Japanese insurance giant Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. will begin offering next month an industry-first security service that pairs cameras and artificial intelligence to detect possible home intruders, according to people familiar with the matter.
Photo taken on Aug. 1, 2023, shows the headquarters of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. in Tokyo.(Kyodo)
The plan comes as the firm seeks to expand from its mainstay property insurance business and move into smart home services.
With Japan’s insurance market expected to decline in line with the shrinking population, the firm intends to diversify its revenue sources and expects demand for home security services to grow, the sources said.
The company plans to set monthly fees for the service at 2,980 yen ($20), below what providers of conventional home security services charge. The lower fees are made possible by not dispatching a security guard in the event of a disturbance as major residential security service firms do, they said.
Initial costs will be around 100,000 yen per unit, which will include the camera and installation costs.
The AI security camera will be able to identify humans, animals and vehicles and notify users of possible disturbances via their smartphones. Users can talk to a person near the camera via a built-in speaker or trigger a siren.
The company plans to expand the smart home business further and introduce internet-connected entrance locks and intercoms among other products, the sources said.
The devices will be linked together on a platform called “MS Life Connect,” which can all be accessed via a smartphone. The system is being developed in partnership with U.S. home automation and monitoring service firm Alarm.com Inc.
Mitsui Sumitomo is considering selling the system in combination with fire insurance, the sources said.