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Five Minutes with the CTO of Ipsotek

januar 12, 2021
We recently met with Dr Boghos Boghossian, CTO of Ipsotek, to understand how the company is adapting to current challenges as well as get his views on using technology responsibly.
Ipsotek is a pioneer in the field of A.I.V.A. (Artificial Intelligence Video Analytics) and Scenario-based Intelligent Video Analytics. It is part of the Milestone Partner Community. Established in 2001, the company is driven by a passion to create better technology for a safer future and better world.
1. How has Ipsotek changed the way it operates as a result of the pandemic?
Like many companies, the sudden switch to remote working was a challenge at first (and made more complex by multiple team illnesses), however, we bounced back well. We’ve become used to our new remote set-up and using Teams to communicate and collaborate. In fact, I’d say that the team is performing better now because they don’t have to commute and are saving that travel time. Personally, I’m not travelling internationally anymore and that’s given me more time with my family. It’s also made some of our international deals move more quickly as agreements are made through virtual meetings instead of having to wait for our reps to travel on-site.
2. How have your customers adapted the way they work over the past six months? What significant challenges did they face (and could you/did you solve for them)?
Our customers have felt the challenge of continuing business-as-usual when the world is anything but. Many have turned to us to understand how video analytics can support them in getting back to (near) normal and we quickly adapted our solutions to support with face mask monitoring, social distancing and understanding capacity limits.

We’re rolling out a Europe-wide solution for one client, to help them adhere to public health measures. Our solution analyses the number of people on-site and identifies any bottlenecks or overcrowding. This is sent to management via reports and heat maps.
3. Europe is starting to emerge from various levels of lockdown. What use of video technology do you see coming to the fore as a result of our experience of the pandemic?
I think it’s safe to say that we’re going to see different levels of lockdown continue across Europe and constantly change. Our solution has been used to detect face mask wearing, overcrowding, and measure the distance between individuals. We’re also focusing on contact tracing.

In 2012, we’d already developed a technology we called Tag and Track, which was used to identify and monitor people in a crowd using AI. Now it’s helping to understand who has been in contact with a potential COVID-19 positive person. People can be tracked on multiple cameras through a space and are identified through features like their clothes, height, and movements. It gives operators a much more efficient and fast way to find someone (outside of COVID-19, this could be a police suspect, a child, or a vulnerable person) instead of sifting through hours of footage.
4. Ipsotek features on Milestone's Marketplace - how has the platform been a benefit to you?
Marketplace has been incredibly useful in connecting us with other partners and collaborating on projects. We also often get referrals through it.
5. Outside Ipsotek technologies, which other Milestone partner technologies do you admire?
We’ve worked on a number of projects with Milestone partner technologies. In particular, we often recommend Axis cameras when asked for our preference, obviously, Milestone is the VMS (video management system). On the other end of the system, we like to use CNL Software as a PSIM (physical security information management) platform.
6. What is your approach to innovation?
We have three threads with our innovation:
  • Our product roadmap: understanding where we want our technology to be in 3-5 years and developing new features based on this.
  • Projects: we get requests for bespoke solutions and this drives some new use cases for us. For example, we’ve just done a project where we trained a neural network to detect and identify 12-13 different types of apples.
  • Partner integrations: looking at the technology our partners like Milestone are bringing out and how our integration can take full advantage of this.
7. Technology has supported many aspects of our lives for the past nine months. How do you see that impacting the public's perception of it - more positively? Or does that bring its own challenges? (e.g. the use of increased data with track & trace, facial recognition for face masks, temperature checks...)
We’ve been in the industry for a long time, since 2001, and in that time we’ve seen several waves of public perception rising and falling. Acceptance can take time - and information - just look at social media.

Although concerns still surround the use of our data, the benefits of seeing our friends and tagging ourselves in the latest hotspot outweigh this. That’s the crux, to avoid pushback, educate people on the benefits of your technology.
8. Finally, the conversation around the responsible creation and use of technology continues to build momentum. In your opinion, what can tech leaders do to ensure their technology is created with this in mind?
People ultimately want to know that their data is being used for a good purpose. Technology companies need to reassure people that data isn’t going to hurt them and this is achieved by only using it in an ethical and safe way. We’ve turned down working on projects where we weren’t happy with how data was being used. Consent is also critical - for each and every use of an individual’s data.
Find out more about Milestone Systems at www.milestonesys.com

Find out more about Ipsotek at www.ipsotek.com