Optimizing Security

From the Blog

Smart Security Cameras Detect Long Lines, Optimize Retail for Pittsburgh Penguins

A company that expands security camera capabilities by introducing computer vision technology and artificial intelligence is creating next-level opportunities for its users. 

Azena, which was launched in 2018, now has more than 350 users signed onto its platform who have purchased app licenses and are using cameras. It allows retailers to sell merchandise, cities to manage traffic, stadiums to monitor fan capacity levels and manufacturers to ensure compliance with safety gear on their manufacturing floor. 

Rather than feeding a central server for analysis, as traditional security cameras do, Azena puts the analytics in the camera itself so it can view, analyze and decide which video information is important enough for human review. Its apps also measure certain aspects of efficiency, such as how many people are in line at a retail checkout or how many customers use a specific store entrance. 

The company is supported by Bosch, both financially and with co-location and collaboration opportunities in Pittsburgh. One of its projects partners with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who will be using Azena technology on game days to optimize parking operations and detect long lines outside PPG Paints Arena as fans line up for security checks. The Penguins will also test retail heat-mapping applications to optimize the layout of their souvenir shops.

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Pittsburgh team among finalists in $10 million robotic avatar competition

A Pittsburgh-based team has advanced to the final rounds of a competition meant to launch virtual reality systems into another dimension. 

AvaDynamics, a startup that strives to create avatars that make you seem to be present in a remote environment, is in the final leg of the $10 million ANA Avatar XPRIZE competition. The goal of the competition is to create a robotic avatar system that allows the human operator to see, hear, touch and interact with a remote environment in a way that feels like they were actually there. 

The AvaDynamics team was created specifically for the competition. One of its members, Billy Zelsnack, noted that the isolation created by the COVID-19 pandemic has helped people better understand the benefits of a system like the one the team is building. Besides working, learning and socializing, an avatar system could potentially allow humans to direct robots to do work that is not safe for people, he said.

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“If you want to build anything – anything – southwestern Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh is the place to be. It’s access and connectivity. You won’t find it anywhere else.”

Pittsburgh Tech Council CEO Audrey Russo on the announcement that Pittsburgh will host the 2022 Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit
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Region’s Internet of Things Gets Boost From Smart Cameras