The coronavirus pandemic has emerged as a major threat globally. While the number of cases are mounting gradually, the pandemic cannot be controlled by governments alone. The transmission can only be reduced with the complete cooperation of people.
Physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing face masks have proved to be effective to control the transmission of the virus, but not everyone is following rules.
In this scenario, technological solutions that allow for contactless functioning are gaining prominence. Bengaluru-based Integration Wizards Solutions has come up with a solution to avoid manual monitoring of people.
Founded in 2014 by Kunal Kislay, Saquib Khan, and Kumar Raman, iWizard is an AI-enabled computer vision platform helping enterprises and the B2C segment with its unique and easy to assimilate solution. Its software converts legacy applications to work on modern IoT and mobility standards, and uses data to make business teams to use assets efficiently.
The startup’s latest offering, IRIS, uses deep integration with hardware, which allows the system to run efficiently. According to the startup, the algorithm has been trained to track face mask usage and monitor social distancing.
IRIS has also incorporated thermal screening onto its platform. The platform works with existing CCTV networks and can be deployed with little downtime.
At present, the startup has clients from the manufacturing industry, warehouses, and retail outlets to malls and hospitals.
How does it work?
IRIS AI is a computer vision technology that uses deep neural networks to process data from live video feed of cameras. It is trained to identify people as well as objects like face masks, PPE, and also monitors the social distance between people in real-time.
It raises an alarm or sends WhatsApp or email notifications to the concerned authority and can alert people to follow safety compliance and standard operational procedures. The solution can be integrated with thermal cameras to detect high temperature as well.
“IRIS can analyse images at a very high fps real-time to provide up to 99.5 percent accuracy in most scenarios. It has a successful track record in several large-scale deployments. It is being used by some of the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturers to track the movement of vehicles in their manufacturing plant, and a large solar power plant uses our solution for intruder detection,” says Kunal.
The startup is working with existing clients and the technology has also been implemented by companies globally to restart their manufacturing premises, warehouses, tech parks, and malls.
“We are now in the process of training our solution to identify masked faces so there is no need to take off masks for logging attendance. IRIS is striving to make its client organisations a safe place to work by providing real-time solutions to fight COVID-19,” adds Kunal.
“Computer vision gives a real-time scenario at any given point about the number of people wearing masks, whether people are following social distancing or not, etc. For the AI-enabled platform like ours, the results are binary – someone is wearing a mask or not wearing it,” explains Kunal.
The option of multi-channel streaming and personalised dashboards makes the monitoring of footage in IRIS easy.
The journey so far
Kunal is a BTech graduate from IIT Mumbai, with over a decade’s experience in enterprise mobility, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), neural networks, and machine learning. He says, creating solutions for a vast array of verticals made him understand the pulse of technology and its changing paradigms.
He started his career with Birlasoft as a consultant. Here, he met Saquib Khan, one of the co-founders. Both moved to work in Antenna Software after a year. It was here that they met their third co-founder, Kumar Raman and together they started up.
Integration Wizards was started with enterprise mobility, creating a platform that would allow for seamless communication across devices. The platform incorporated industrial IoT and mobile device management over time.
Today, the team has grown to about 80 employees, including the founders.
“Initially, AI was viewed more as a novel idea than a workable solution. The high cost of the hardware, coupled with low accuracy, made it hard to convince prospective customers to adopt AI. However, Integration Wizards has evolved with the assistance of AI. It has been a long and difficult journey that has led us to expand and establish with significant footprints in three continents with nine fortune five hundred customers and several thousand CCTV cameras monitored 24*7 through IRIS,” recalls Kunal.
Today, the startup has offices in India and the US, with global customers across 16 countries. It has partners in the US, Nordics, South America, UAE, Bahrain, Turkey and India. Integration Wizards Europe is going to be a new addition to the organisation, which will be its official expansion into the European market.
A report by Statista suggests the global market for IoT end-user solutions is expected to grow to around $1.6 trillion by 2025.
There are many other startups in the market similar to Integration Wizards that are offering products to track and monitor people during COVID-19. Some of them are PoS Insights, Glimpse Analytics, and Arvi.
According to Kunal, the key feature that distinguishes IRIS from the rest is that it works on existing CCTV infrastructure. This helps deploy the solution quickly and efficiently, and reduces the overall cost of the solution compared to other solutions that rely on infrastructure overhaul.
IRIS can work with Azure, AWS, Google, or any other cloud platform with an on-prem deployment option available. According to the startup, this flexibility helps clients with various requirements across geographies.
IRIS is a SaaS platform and the user is billed on the basis of the number of cameras and use-cases running for them. The basic price is around Rs 1,000 per camera per month, but can go up to Rs 3,000 per camera a month.
Bootstrapped till date, Integration Wizards claims to be profitable from the first year of operations, having an ARR of $3.2 million.
Going ahead, the startup aims to increase its use-case and customer foothold and build a global partner network. The startup is also planning to partner with other institutions to help de-escalate the risk of infection in public with the lockdown being lifted in various parts of the world.