New Technology Magazine March 2014

Page 37

Tools and Techniques

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Watchful Eyes Real-time intelligent video surveillance of remote sites provides peace of mind, enhances worker safety



wo young Calgary entrepreneurs have taken the widely used idea of video home security systems and, by combining wireless access, sophisticated video technology and the use of the cloud, are providing 24-hour surveillance of remote oil and gas sites that operators can use to enhance safety, remotely check equipment, and deter theft and vandalism. Michael von Hauff, 34, is chief executive officer and his 30-year-old partner, Lukasz Skalka, is chief technology officer of Osprey Informatics Ltd., which the former University of Calgary classmates launched in 2010. Von Hauff, who has a B.Sc. in computer engineering and is responsible for the company’s overall strategy and oversees product development and research, has developed software programs to audit field equipment. He previously led the development of the first lowpowered camera for industrial wireless protocols and an embedded video analytics application for remote surveillance camera systems.

Skalka, who has a B.Sc. in electrical engineering and is responsible for product development and integration of new products into the Osprey visual intelligence platform, has extensive experience in developing telecommunications, electronics and cloud technologies in both Silicon Valley and Calgary. The pair took almost two years to fully develop Osprey Reach, the company’s core product offering. Since then, the company has grown from a staff of two to 10, with its revenue having grown fivefold from just $300,000 during the first year of business. The idea of concentrating on the oil and gas industry came somewhat naturally, both because of Osprey’s location and because von Hauff had held summer jobs in the industry. “I realized there was a huge opportunity to develop visual systems that hadn’t yet been adopted by the oil and gas industry,” he says. “I realized that being able to see what is going on at your site doesn’t just have value

LOOKING FOR TROUBLE Osprey Informatics’ flagship product, Osprey Reach, an intelligent visual monitoring platform created for the oil and gas industry, detects, analyzes and reports on the status of facilities, equipment and personnel.

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