Ottawa-based Solink wants to turn millions of hours of unwatched security footage captured around the world into actionable data, the firm’s CEO Michael Matta told Techopia Live recently.
Security cameras have traditionally been used for two purposes, Matta says: as an insurance policy to check when something goes wrong and as a deterrent to would-be thieves. It’s great at the first bit, he says, not so much at the second.
But if there was a person – or say, an artificial intelligence – intently watching on the other end of the camera, that onlooker could pick up on a lot of suspicious patterns to protect your business and maybe a few others that could improve it.
Solink’s software can do just that.
“It’s not just from a risk perspective, but it’s how can you use that data to improve the operations of your business?” Matta asked.
The firm’s solution segments videos to mine a lode of information. Say a cashier rings through a returned product: The video would be able to identify the pair of jeans sliding back across the counter at the time of the transaction.
But if that pattern was disrupted – the transaction is logged but no jeans were seen – then a store owner would be alerted to potential fraud.
That’s not the only example of how Solink purports to help customers. It goes beyond security, Matta says, and into efficiency.
He offers the example of a fast-food chain hoping to speed up the average time spent in its drive-throughs. By matching any car that waits at the window for more than 30 seconds with that customer’s order, the restaurant can make some changes to its offerings to expedite drive-through transactions.
Last year, Solink landed $5 million in venture capital to scale its offerings. Matta tells Techopia Live that the vast amount of money spent in the surveillance industry is on hardware – fancy cameras that offer all-in-one solutions – while Solink sees its opportunity in the footage itself.
“We truly believe the value of the underlying infrastructure, the hardware, is in the data.”
To hear more about Solink’s product and Matta’s thoughts on Ottawa’s software talent, watch the video above.