Connect with us

Top Stories

Altia Systems Launches Intelligent Vision 2.0 Suite of AI Products for PanaCast

Published

on

Altia Systems Launches Intelligent Vision 2.0 Suite of AI Products for PanaCast

People Detection based on Intel® Architecture Now Available, Demonstrated at InfoComm 2018 as part of PanaCast API

Altia Systems, creator of PanaCast® 2, the world’s first 180° Panoramic-4K Plug-and-Play camera system, today announces its Intelligent Vision 2.0 suite of products which are based on a new generation of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

These technologies improve participants’ collaboration experience by delivering accurate information that automates workflows by accurately counting people and creates “big data” for data science applications through industry-first Intel Architecture based intelligence. The AI head detector CNN (Convolutional Neural Network) has been developed and trained on PanaCast in collaboration with Intel. These technologies have been developed with customers’ privacy as the first and foremost requirement. The device stores no information, only provides numerical data, and that too only on demand.

Altia Systems launched Intelligent Vision 1.0 in January 2017 with the shipment of Intelligent Zoom followed by PanaCast Whiteboard and PanaCast Vivid over the past year. The Intelligent Vision suite works with any video conferencing service and enhances the video collaboration experience.

The Intelligent Vision 2.0 product suite includes:

Built-in People Detection: this capability is based on an embedded face detector technology using front/side facial views and is available through the newly-released PanaCast API. It allows users to query the device for real-time people counting data through simple standards-based UVC queries. The information can be used to create a histogram of usage and also to automate manual workflows, such as room occupancy detection, room calendar management, room/space utilization and resource management, or to automate facility assets such as TV monitors, lights, video conferencing equipment, etc. It can provide people counting data when the camera system is idle and concurrently while it is in use by a video conferencing application. It detects people up to 12 feet away and can simultaneously count up to 40 people, and is built into the PanaCast Vision Processor within the PanaCast 2 device.

Advanced People Detection: this capability is based on a new AI head detector CNN, developed in cooperation with Intel. The technology uses a novel CNN network architecture that is able to detect people from all directions including partially visible heads and extends the range up to 40 feet in crowded scenarios. The CNN inference engine is highly optimized for Intel® Core™ processor based PCs and the Panoramic-4K video of the PanaCast 2 camera system. The technology is available through PanaCast API built for the Windows operating system. The technology can be used for large areas like classrooms, auditoriums and general gatherings.

Intelligent Zoom 2.0 – Intelligent Zoom 2.0 has integrated significant enhancements based on customer use around the world over the past 18 months and now also includes temporal filtering and the new AI head detector CNN. It automatically zooms the video frame in and out to include all the meeting participants autonomously, so people can focus on their meeting without being distracted by the need to manage the field of view. With the advanced people detection technology, Intelligent Zoom 2.0 can detect people up to 40 feet away from the existing PanaCast 2 device and works with any video conferencing application.

PanaCast’s synchronized multi-camera array system is a fundamentally new approach. It is based on a new, scalable distributed architecture in which the video streams from three 80º non-distorting cameras are synchronized with micronic precision and input in the PanaCast Vision Processor to deliver 100% video coverage with a natural looking 180º horizontal field of view. It simultaneously works as a synthetic sensor array to deliver 100% intelligent sensing, delivering Intelligent Vision/Artificial Intelligence technologies to improve participants’ experience and enhance productivity with machine learning, autonomous action and big data.

“Intel is investing in AI technologies on Intel Client platforms to deliver more intelligent conference rooms and meetings” said Praveen Vishakantaiah, Intel Corporation Vice President, Client Computing Group and General Manager, Client Architecture and Innovation. “The Intel Core processor optimized AI head detector technology combined with the low distortion 180º field of view video produced by the PanaCast camera enables businesses to make better decisions, automate workflows and improve business efficiency.”

Jose De La Paz, CEO, VisibilityOne Corp said, “We’ve integrated PanaCast’s API and people detection and counting capability into our VisibilityOne dashboard to deliver real-time data and insights into devices, applications and operating environment to provide the best communication and unified collaboration experience for our customers. VisibilityOne will be showcasing our dashboard at booth N2732 at InfoComm.”

“PanaCast’s platform has a unique ability to provide full video coverage with real-time intelligent sensing,” said Graham Evans of avt. “Leveraging the data provided by the PanaCast camera system enables our customers to optimize their increasingly expensive and in-demand, meeting/huddle-space resources.”

PanaCast is increasingly being used in new markets, including education, broadcasting and advertising. Quividi, the industry standard for Audience and Attention Analytics in DOOH with its own measurement technology, has now started using PanaCast 2 cameras for some of its high-profile deployments.

“We are proud to pioneer the use of the PanaCast 2 in the Digital Out of Home (DOOH) market,” says Ke-Quang Nguyen-Phuc, CEO of Quividi. “This camera offers an incredible resolution and gives our real-time Attention Analytics a superb 180º field of view, allowing it to analyze ever further and wider. More than ever, measuring DOOH is equivalent to measuring views.”

“Modern collaboration requires 100% video coverage and, concurrently, 100% intelligent sensing. Single cameras miss a lot of the space because of their limited field of view and create unnatural distortion when extending the field of view optically, making them infeasible for modern AI based solutions,” said Aurangzeb Khan, President and CEO of Altia Systems. “This new suite of products lets you see and make sense of the video experience for people in real time, enabling companies to improve participants’ collaboration experience via autonomous, intelligent action, and to create data sets which lead to further workflow automation and provide the basis for sound decision-making.”

The PanaCast API is available free of cost. The Intelligent Zoom 2.0 and the built-in people detection technology are also available as free of cost upgrades for Intelligent Zoom 1.0 customers for their own use. Companies wishing to build commercial services on this technology may contact the Altia Systems team.

The Intelligent Vision 2.0 suite of products prices will remain identical to the original 1.0 suite, available as an add-on to any PanaCast 2 camera. Customers currently using the 1.0 suite of products may upgrade to 2.0 at no additional cost.

Intelligent Vision 2.0, along with PanaCast 2, PanaCast 2s and the recently announced PanaCast Live will be demonstrated at booth N1868 at InfoComm, taking place from June 6-8, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Top Stories

UK’s Sunak to build bridge to recovery with more spending

Published

on

UK's Sunak to build bridge to recovery with more spending 1

By William Schomberg

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak will next week promise yet more spending to prop up the economy during what he hopes will be the last phase of lockdown, but he will also probably signal tax rises ahead to plug the huge hole in the public finances.

Sunak, who is due to announce a new budget plan on March 3, has already racked up more than 280 billion pounds ($397 billion) in coronavirus spending and tax cuts, pushing Britain’s borrowing to a peacetime record.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to lift England’s current lockdown entirely only in late June so Sunak is expected to rely heavily on the debt markets again.

His job retention scheme, paying 80% of employees’ wages, will probably be extended beyond a scheduled April 30 expiry date, further inflating its estimated cost of 70 billion pounds. Support for the self-employed looks set to stay too.

Businesses are demanding Sunak keep other lifelines, such as exempting the firms hardest hit by the lockdown from property taxes and giving them a value-added tax cut.

And calls are growing for an extension of a 20 pounds-a-week emergency welfare increase due to expire in April.

The Times newspaper said Sunak would prolong his stamp duty property tax break for three months until the end of June.

Sunak hopes that by then Britain will be emerging from its deep freeze thanks to Europe’s fastest vaccination programme.

Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane likens the economy to a “coiled spring” primed with the savings that households have built up after being stuck at home.

A strong recovery would mean a jump in tax revenues, doing some of the Treasury’s job of fixing the public finances.

Rupert Harrison, an aide to former finance minister George Osborne, said Sunak should not try to slash Britain’s 2.1 trillion-pound debt mountain, equivalent to 98% of GDP – a ratio unthinkable for decades.

Instead he should write new budget rules tied to the cost of debt servicing, which is close to record lows.

“We can safely carry higher levels of debt than before,” Harrison told a webinar organised by Onward, a think-tank.

But the scale of Britain’s borrowing is raising questions about how long Sunak and Johnson can stick to their promises not to raise key taxes, made to voters before the 2019 election.

BROKEN PROMISES?

The huge costs of tackling the worst of the coronavirus pandemic are likely to ease in the months ahead, meaning this year’s 400 billion pound budget deficit should narrow.

But Britain is probably on course to be stuck with a gap of 60 billion pounds between revenues and day-to-day spending by the mid-2020s, the Institute for Fiscal Studies think-tank says.

In a nod to that, Sunak is expected to start raising Britain’s low corporation tax rate.

The Sunday Times said the rate would rise steadily to bring in an extra 12 billion pounds a year by the time of the next election, due in 2024.

Other options include ending a freeze on fuel duty increases which has been in place since 2012 and looks at odds with Britain’s plans to be carbon net zero by 2050.

But higher fuel prices now would hurt the haulage industry, already struggling with Brexit-related disruption, and could alienate working-class voters who backed Johnson in 2019.

Higher capital gains tax or lower pension incentives would anger lawmakers in Johnson’s Conservative Party.

David Gauke, a former deputy finance minister, said the only big revenue-raising options were the ones that Johnson has promised not to touch – income tax, VAT and national insurance contributions.

“In the end, they are going to have to say, sorry we just can’t responsibly maintain that manifesto commitment,” Gauke told the Onward webinar.

($1 = 0.7046 pounds)

(Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Catherine Evans)

 

Continue Reading

Top Stories

Women inch towards equal legal rights despite COVID-19 risks, World Bank says

Published

on

Women inch towards equal legal rights despite COVID-19 risks, World Bank says 2

By Sonia Elks

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Women gained legal rights in nearly 30 countries last year despite disruption due to COVID-19, but governments must do more to ease the disproportionate burden shouldered by women during the pandemic, the World Bank said on Tuesday.

Nations should prioritise gender equality in economic recovery efforts, the bank said, warning that progress on equal rights was threatened by heavier job losses in female-dominated sectors, increased childcare and a surge in domestic violence.

“This pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities that disadvantage girls and women,” David Malpass, World Bank Group president, said in a statement accompanying the annual “Women, Business and the Law” report.

“Women should have the same access to finance and the same rights to inheritance as men and must be at the centre of our efforts toward an inclusive and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

A total of 27 countries reformed laws or regulations to give women more economic equality with men in 2019-20, said the report, which grades 190 nations on laws and regulations that affect women’s economic opportunities.

While countries in all of the world’s regions made improvements in the new index – with most reforms addressing pay and parenthood, women on average still have only about three quarters of the rights granted to men, the report found.

Notably, nearly 40 countries brought in extra benefit or leave policies to help employees balance their jobs with the extra childcare needs created by coronavirus restrictions.

But such measures were “few and far between” worldwide and will probably not go far enough to tackle the “motherhood penalty” many women face in the workplace, it said.

The report also noted separate data from a United Nations tool tracking gender-sensitive pandemic responses which found 70% of such measures addressed violence, with just 10% targeting women’s economic security.

The pandemic could result in “a backslide on various hard-won advances in women’s rights achieved in recent years”, said Antonia Kirkland, the global lead on legal equality at women’s rights organisation Equality Now.

“This disruption is a unique opportunity for countries to rebuild more resilient, inclusive and prosperous economies,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by email.

“But this can only be achieved alongside the removal of sex discriminatory laws that prevent women from participating fully and equally in economic, social and family life.”

(Reporting by Sonia Elks @soniaelks; Editing by Helen Popper. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)

Continue Reading

Top Stories

Digital health checks vital to travel recovery, Heathrow says

Published

on

Digital health checks vital to travel recovery, Heathrow says 3

By Sarah Young

LONDON (Reuters) – Digital health checks will be vital to a recovery in foreign travel from the COVID-19 pandemic, Britain’s Heathrow airport said on Wednesday, after a collapse in passenger numbers saw it plunge to a 2 billion pound ($2.8 billion) loss last year.

The UK government said on Monday trips abroad could restart in mid-May as its vaccination campaign kicks in, sparking a surge in holiday bookings.

It is also looking into a digital health passport or app to help ease restrictions, while conceding the benefits have to be weighed against potential risks to civil liberties.

But Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said digital technology, and international agreements, would be vital to reviving a travel industry on its knees.

“It’s absolutely critical and that’s one of the main things that government needs to work on,” he said, when asked about a digital health app.

At present, paper checks on COVID-19 test results and passenger locator forms take 20 minutes per traveller at Heathrow, making travel near impossible should passenger numbers rise from current low levels.

Britain’s biggest airport said it was “very likely” people would be able to go on their summer holidays, but expects passenger numbers will take time to recover.

The airport, west of London, is forecasting 25 million passengers in the second half of the year, meaning it would be operating at about 50% capacity.

Heathrow, owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, the Qatar Investment Authority, China Investment Corp and others, last year lost its title as Europe’s busiest airport to Paris after its flight schedules shrank more than those of its rivals.

Passenger numbers plunged 73% to 22 million people last year, with half of those travelling during January and February, before the pandemic shut down global travel in March.

Heathrow said it had 3.9 billion pounds of liquidity, giving it sufficient resources to keep going with low levels of traffic until 2023, despite the 2 billion loss before tax for 2020.

The airport urged the government to provide business tax breaks for big airports, something only available to smaller airports so far, and to extend the furlough job support scheme to help it financially before the recovery takes off.

($1 = 0.7044 pounds)

(Reporting by Sarah Young. Editing by James Davey and Mark Potter)

Continue Reading
Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2021
2021 Awards now open. Click Here to Nominate

Latest Articles

Reasons Why You Should Be Opening an Offshore Savings Account Today 4 Reasons Why You Should Be Opening an Offshore Savings Account Today 5
Banking1 hour ago

Reasons Why You Should Be Opening an Offshore Savings Account Today

No one has to convince you that savings accounts are a bad idea. As a safe investment, this approach is...

Vodafone's towers arm plans biggest European IPO of 2021 so far 6 Vodafone's towers arm plans biggest European IPO of 2021 so far 7
Investing3 hours ago

Vodafone’s towers arm plans biggest European IPO of 2021 so far

By Paul Sandle and Arno Schuetze LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Vantage Towers, the mobile masts company spun out of Vodafone Group,...

UK's Sunak to build bridge to recovery with more spending 8 UK's Sunak to build bridge to recovery with more spending 9
Top Stories3 hours ago

UK’s Sunak to build bridge to recovery with more spending

By William Schomberg LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak will next week promise yet more spending to prop...

Oil rises despite surprise U.S. stock build weighs 10 Oil rises despite surprise U.S. stock build weighs 11
Investing3 hours ago

Oil rises despite surprise U.S. stock build weighs

By Ahmad Ghaddar LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices firmed on Wednesday amid continued outages in the United States and a...

Sterling touches $1.42, hits highest vs euro in a year 12 Sterling touches $1.42, hits highest vs euro in a year 13
Trading3 hours ago

Sterling touches $1.42, hits highest vs euro in a year

By Ritvik Carvalho LONDON (Reuters) – Sterling hit $1.42 on Wednesday, coming within touching distance of $1.43, while also reaching...

Strong German data helps European shares recover; Wall Street futures subdued 14 Strong German data helps European shares recover; Wall Street futures subdued 15
Investing3 hours ago

Strong German data helps European shares recover; Wall Street futures subdued

By Elizabeth Howcroft LONDON (Reuters) – European shares rose but U.S. stocks futures pointed to a further tech sell-off in...

EasyJet to raise up to 1.2 billion euros from bond issue 16 EasyJet to raise up to 1.2 billion euros from bond issue 17
Investing7 hours ago

EasyJet to raise up to 1.2 billion euros from bond issue

By Yoruk Bahceli and Abhinav Ramnarayan AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – EasyJet will raise 1-1.2 billion euros from a seven-year bond sale...

ExxonMobil to sell some UK, North Sea assets to HitecVision for over $1 billion 18 ExxonMobil to sell some UK, North Sea assets to HitecVision for over $1 billion 19
Business7 hours ago

ExxonMobil to sell some UK, North Sea assets to HitecVision for over $1 billion

(Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp said on Wednesday it would sell its non-operating interest in its UK and North Sea...

JPMorgan's blockchain payments test is literally out of this world 20 JPMorgan's blockchain payments test is literally out of this world 21
Business7 hours ago

JPMorgan’s blockchain payments test is literally out of this world

By Anna Irrera LONDON (Reuters) – Stuck in space with bills to pay? Don’t worry, the satellites could take care...

Aussie, pound soar on reflation bets; dollar struggles 22 Aussie, pound soar on reflation bets; dollar struggles 23
Trading8 hours ago

Aussie, pound soar on reflation bets; dollar struggles

By Saikat Chatterjee LONDON (Reuters) – The dollar struggled at multi-year lows against the Antipodean currencies and held near a...

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now