Vaisala, a global leader in environmental and industrial measurement, today announced that it has purchased a Finnish IT company, Vionice Oy, specialized in computer vision and image processing. The dealfollows Vaisala’s Weather and Environment Business Area’s strategy in which the company stated that it is looking for both organic growth and growth through smart acquisitions that fit the focus segmentsand a selective expansion to environmental measurements.
With the acquisition, Vaisala will bring Vionice’s product portfolio globally to its road and rail customers. In addition, Vaisala intends to utilize Vionice’s computer vision platform in a fast and agile manner and will spread the capability of the Vionice team and its offering more widely into Vaisala’s Weather and Environment customer segments.
Vionice was established in 2014 as a spin-off from the Computer Vision Laboratory at Lappeenranta University of Technology. The company is a team of eight computer vision experts, who will transfer as existing employees to Vaisala. The company’s strategy has been to enable real-time, cost-effective asset management and condition monitoring with automated image sourcing, computer vision and machine learning, and easy to use platform with intuitive user interface delivered as a cloud service. Powerful artificial intelligence algorithms enable traffic sign mapping, lane marking analysis, potholes and crack detection and inventory maintenance of roadside assets. Road and rail authorities, contractors and cities can achieve new levels of observational intelligence and efficiency by automating manual data collection and information processing and by maintaining a real-time view into their assets and environmental conditions.
Vionice’s current customers are mostly leading Finnish cities, construction companies and authorities. However, the company has carried out successfully also its first international projects.
“Computer vision and use of artificial intelligence are revolutionizing work at an accelerating pace in all industries. Vionice brings excellent expertise and existing first products to Vaisala in this field. We will work together to create the next generation of computer vision and artificial intelligence based solutions for the road and rail sectors globally by increasing the use of camera-based sensoring and intelligent algorithms packaged into an easy to use platform.In order to maintain the speed and dynamics of the acquired team, we are going to integrate Vionice to our”RunWay” portfolio, in which the teams are working according to the LeanStart-up philosophy, with increased independence and agility”, says Jarkko Sairanen, Vaisala EVP for the Weather and Environment Business Area.
“During the over 80 years of its existence Vaisala has pioneered many solutions to the global Weather and Environment markets. We are truly excited to be, if not the first one, at least among the first ones to bring a serious commercial offering using affordable cameras as sensoring devices connected to a highly intelligent computer vision platform to the market.
We believe fusing this information with other observations combined with AI analytics have true potential to open some totally new innovations and offerings going forward”, continues Sairanen.
Main Photo – Photographer: Jetro Matilainen