Former SMU football player Shaun Moore and international student Nezare Chafni, both graduates of SMU’s class of 2010, both co-founded CHUI with two other colleagues to create “an intelligent device that employs facial recognition and machine learning to deliver social intelligence.”
Moore spoke with The Daily Campus on CHUI and gave his advice to SMU students eager to put their education to competitive, professional practice within today’s global economy.
“Businesses now function across time zones, cultures, and languages,” Moore said of his first months navigating as an alumnus. “Looking back, I am thankful for the international education I received at SMU, where I learned to work with students from numerous countries.”
Moore explained that Chafni — originally from Abu Dhabi — and himself met while in Cox School of Business, and their collaborative work during their time as students graduated with them as they created CHUI. The idea was initially born while the two were in Casablanca reminiscing about projects and habits they had had as undergraduates.
“We discussed how convenient — and safe — it would be if a camera doorbell would have been at one of our houses, or even allowed entry into the many buildings on campus that lock during night hours,” Moore said.
Moore and Chafni put their inspiration to work. Within a few months, the two had filed a provisional patent and committed themselves to “think more about the potential of using facial recognition software in any environment.”
Most recently, they took their achievement to the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas — an event boasting more than 150,000 professionals from the industry attending the exhibit. At the event, the CHUI team honed in on their invention’s consumer uses, specifically in home security — their catchphrase of sorts has become that CHUI is “always on the lookout.”
“It will send a picture of who’s at your door instantaneously to your phone,” Moore said. “We provide [consumers] with an unfalsifiable record of visitors and the option to leave personalized voice greetings that are activated once a visitor pushes a button.”
The facial recognition system can be used to monitor not only homes and apartments, but classrooms and businesses as well. As an “opt in device,” any visitor can choose privacy by not pushing the button that activates the camera—allowing for collaboration between security and personal privacy.
Moore attributed much of his success to the education he received on the Hilltop, and has seen many lessons he learned at SMU replayed out in the professional business world.
“My number one piece of advice for SMU students is to take advantage of every opportunity you can while at the Hilltop, and be open to fields and knowledge you may have never thought you’d pursue,” Moore said.
He explained that he came to SMU as a football player interested in his finance heritage, but graduated on a very different path after four years of exploration.
“I would have never dreamed of founding a company and introducing new technology,” Moore said. “It was through meeting people that I could work with and applying the theory and practice SMU taught me.”