As the world becomes more urbanised, with 70% of people now living in cities, “there is an urgent need to make them more sustainable, more energy efficient, safer and cleaner,” says Dr Marlene Kanga, iOmniscient’s director. “Our products enable this to be done intelligently using video data from different sources to complement text and numerical data.”
The company’s technology can analyse images from anywhere – TV, YouTube, security cameras and personal and public sources – and from that provide real-time responses in complex and crowded environments. The technology can be employed wherever there are cameras.
It pinpoints faces in a crowd, counts people, manages crowds, detects abandoned objects, recognises license plates, and matches drivers to their vehicles. The technology works in more than 120 languages, including Arabic scripts and numerals and can operate indoors or outdoors, even in the harshest climates. It also accepts inputs from audio and chemical sensors.
The system has already been installed in oil and gas plants from Azerbaijan to Mexico, in airports, on railway systems including China’s High Speed Rail network, on campuses such as the University of San Francisco, and in Iraq’s Karbala mosque. As Rustom Kanga, CEO of iOmniscient puts it: “We can do everything that any video analysis supplier can do and do it better – and many things that no one else can do.”
Using mobile devices, iOmniscient’s software can also “monitor garbage and vandalism, understand traffic congestion, assess riots and commotions and provide inputs for big data systems analysing information relevant to a city,’’ adds Kanga. “The technology has its own ‘smarts’, with the ability to minimise nuisance alarms, diagnose itself, and determine whether all cameras are working effectively.”
The starting point for this remarkable technology was a single patent acquired in 2001 from the CRC for Sensor Signal and Information Processing. Founders Marlene and Rustom Kanga and Ivy Li then invested extensively in the company to expand its scope and product range. Today, it has 26 patents covering multiple technologies. Sales are mainly made through major systems integrators such as Siemens and Motorola. They also partner with other major technology providers like Microsoft, EMC and Oracle.
The company is working on improving its technology through four engineering centres in Sydney, Toronto, Chennai and Singapore, where they continue to develop robust in-house technology, train postgraduates, and maintain a strong lead in the ownership of its intellectual property.
R&D: 26 patents covering multiple technologies
Reach: Azerbaijan, Canada, China, India, Iraq, Mexico, USA, Singapore
At a glance: Established in 2001, iOmniscient is one of Australia’s great software export success stories. 95% of sales are overseas and it has offices in Canada, Singapore, India and more.
– Paul Hendy