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deviceOwl - Checking Devices


Important: Before checking devices, to be sure you're getting the most out of deviceOwl's device identification capabilities, please review the Getting Started guidance (steps icon) available from the main screen of deviceOwl.

Tap the owl icon from the main screen to start device checking with deviceOwl.


Camera Access (Required)

Important: When reviewing the Getting Started guidance, or when you first start checking devices, you'll be asked to allow deviceOwl to access your iPhone's rear camera.

During device checking, deviceOwl uses AI to analyze the images that are received through your camera, to determine whether the device has a known match against it's device knowledge.


Location Access (Optional)

Important: When reviewing the Getting Started guidance, or after selecting the "Remember Device Locations" under "Detection Preferences", you may be asked to allow deviceOwl to access your current physical location, when checking devices.

deviceOwl can optionally remember your current physical location, when checking devices. Use this feature to help you recall where you were when you encountered/checked a particular device, for instance if you are travelling to multiple destinations.

This feature is optional, and you can choose to deny access if you prefer.

Note: If you want deviceOwl to remember your location when checking devices, check the "Remember Device Locations" option in Detection Preferences under preferences.


Selecting the Device Type

Device Type Lookup Using Speech Recognition

Before checking a device, you'll be asked to select what it looks like. It's important to select the correct device type, so deviceOwl has the best chance of identifying it.

Several device type lists are now available, to help simplify device type selection.


All Devices

Select "All" to select from the list of all available device types supported by deviceOwl.


Popular Devices

Select "Popular" to select from the list of the most popular device types that people are checking using deviceOwl.


Recent Devices

Select "Recent" to select from the most recent devices that you have checked using deviceOwl.

To clear the "Recent" devices list, select the X button to the right of the "Recent" list.


How to Select the Right Device Type

When selecting the device type, make sure to select what it looks like, vs. what you think it might be.

For example, if you think a device has a surveillance camera, but it looks like a thermostat, select "Thermostat".

If unsure, tap the microphone button and in a few words say what the device looks like. deviceOwl will try to find the most appropriate device type based on your response. There's no need to include the device brand or model number when saying the device type.

Examples: You can say "Smart Speaker", "Set Top Box", "Thermostat", or "Location Tracker".

Note: If deviceOwl is unable to identify a device based on the selected device type, try selecting an alternate device type that may also match the device you are checking.


Microphone/Speech Access (Optional)

Important: When reviewing the Getting Started guidance, or when you first start checking devices and tap the microphone button, you'll be asked to allow deviceOwl to access the microphone, along with the speech recognition capabilities on your device.

Allowing deviceOwl to access to the microphone and speech recognition capabilities of your device allows you to conveniently say the type of device you want to check, vs. selecting it from one of the device type lists.

This feature is optional, and you can choose to deny access if you prefer.


Show me how to check this device

Select this option to review important guidance on checking the device type you have selected. This includes preparation and other specific steps required before deviceOwl can successfully identify the device.


Continue button

Once you have selected a device type, select "Continue".

If you have selected the "Show me how to check this device" option, the device checking guidance will be displayed, otherwise device checking will start.

Note: deviceOwl remembers the last device type that you selected, and allows you to repeat checking the same device type from the main screen, simply by tapping and holding the owl button for about 2 seconds.


Cancel button

To cancel device type selection, select "Cancel".


Device Viewfinder Not Steady

The Viewfinder

The viewfinder is used to direct deviceOwl towards the device you want to check, and provide information, guidance, and updates while checking devices.

Several interactive features can be conveniently accessed directly from the viewfinder, by tapping the appropriate button.


Torch Button

(Upper Left in Viewfinder)

The torch button indicates whether or not the torch on your device is currently on. The torch is automatically if there is not enough available light for device checking.

Tapping this button will disable/enable the torch for the remainder of this device check. You can disable the automatic torch feature through Detection Preferences.


Sounds On/Off Button

(Upper Right in Viewfinder)

If the sounds from deviceOwl get too much for you or others, simply tap this button to disable them.

You can enable/disable the sounds again by tapping this button again, or through Preferences.


Cognition Boost Button

(Advanced Edition Only - Lower Left in Viewfinder)

Tapping this button enables the Cognition Boost feature which temporarily increases deviceOwl's sensitivity, to help identify devices that are either partially damaged or have permanent marks that can't be removed.

Important: Using this feature increases the chances of incorrect device detections. Please use this feature only when necessary, and confirm all deviceOwl's device detections.

Cognition Boost will be turned off automatically after checking a device.


Device Type Button

(Lower Right in Viewfinder)

The selected device type button indicates what type of device deviceOwl is currently looking for.

Tap this button if you need to select a different device.


Done Button

Select the "Done" button either on the lower of the screen, or at the top left of the screen to stop device checking.

Device Viewfinder Steady

Align the Device Steady within the Viewfinder

Align the device steady, and as large as possible within the viewfinder, until it changes to green, and you see an "Analyzing Device" countdown timer.

DeviceOwl will start checking the device.

Continue to keep the device steady within the viewfinder, until the checking is complete.

Important: deviceOwl has a privacy protection feature that works to prevent human faces from being captured in the viewfinder during device checking, for instance from another person in the room, or from a photograph nearby the device.

If one or more faces are detected, deviceOwl will display a message indicating "Avoid faces in viewfinder", and device checking cannot proceed until the viewfinder is free from facial profiles.

If you receive this message, simply reposition your iPhone so you can check the device from a different angle which won't include faces.


Device Detection

Device Detection

If the device is recognized, the viewfinder will indicate this with a detection box around the device, and display a summary of the device details at the lower of the screen.

Important: Before taking any further action on any device detection, please confirm the device detection using an Internet search using the reported device make and model information.

For more information, refer to Viewing Device Details.


Done button

(Top Left/Lower Center)

Select "Done" to stop device checking, and return to the main screen.


Report button

(Top Right)

If you feel the detection is incorrect, select "Report" to report the detection to Entropic Labs for analysis.


Check from Another Angle

Checking from Different Angles

If the device you're checking is not recognized, deviceOwl will ask you to check the device from a few additional angles.

Doing this gives deviceOwl a better chance at recognizing the device, based on the way it has been trained.

Follow the guidance screen to check the device from the additional angles specified, such as "45 degrees down towards the front" of the device, as illustrated.

If its not possible to check a device from a specific angle, simply face the viewfinder towards the device at an angle that is different from the previous angles you have tried.

Note: If you don't want deviceOwl to ask you to check devices from multiple angles, you can uncheck the "Check from Multiple Angles" option in Detection Preferences under preferences.


No Detection

No Detection

If deviceOwl is unable to recognize the device after checking from a few different angles, a summary screen will be displayed which offers you the option to report a sample of this new/undetected device to Entropic Labs for further analysis.

This step is optional, and can help deviceOwl detect this device in a future knowledge update.

Select the "Submit" button to expand the view for device sample reporting.

Note: If you don't want deviceOwl to ask you to report samples of devices, uncheck the "Ask to Report New Devices" option under Owl Cognition Network under preferences.


Device Sample Submission

Reporting a Sample to Entropic Labs

From here you can specify where you found the device, add an optional description of the device, review/remove the sample photos that you want to be reported, review the privacy policy, and submit the device sample to Entropic Labs.


More Info button

Select the "More Info" button to view information about reporting samples, and review the Entropic Privacy Policy.


Change Device button

Select the "Change Device" button to change the currently selected device type you are checking.


Review Device Photos

(Expanded View)

The device sample photos captured during device checking, are shown at the bottom of the screen. These will be included with the device sample submission, when you select "Confirm".

Swipe left or right to review these sample photos.

Important: Prior to reporting the sample, please make sure that the sample images don't include personally identifiable information, such as people's faces (including in photo frames), and text/signs.


Removing a Sample Photo

If you don't feel comfortable reporting a specific device photo, simply tap the red X icon on that photo to remove it, so it will not be included with the device sample submission.


Confirm button

(Expanded View)

Select the "Confirm" button to report the sample to Entropic Labs. Once reported, you will be returned to device checking.


Continue button

Select the "Continue" button to close the device sample submission screen, and resume device checking.