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Issue 46

Interview: Movidius

Anna Maria Radu
PR & Owner @Digitales
OTHERS

Movidius is a company that develops state-of-the-art technology in Silicon Valley, alongside development centres in Timișoara and Dublin. Established in 2005, Movidius develops cutting-edge technology for media content processing (issued by high resolution video sensors), a technology which uses very little energy and very little space. At present, the company has 90 employees in Timișoara, under Valentin Mureșan's lead, General Manager and Movidius co-founder.

What are the most successful projects that Movidius has had so far?

Myriad 1, the first microprocessor in the Movidius technology family, made computer vision applications possible for mobile platforms, at the same time introducing the "hub" sensor concept.

One of the fruitful collaborations Movidius had was the launch of Myriad 2, which is incorporated in the Google Tango smartphone in 2014. With the aid of this platform, Google created maps inside buildings, extended the use of technology in assisting the visually impaired, and enabled the rise of experimental projects dealing with augmented reality.

The year 2016 brought about a new technological avanguarde project for Movidius. By using the same Myriad technology, the company supplies the microprocessors, which provide intelligent sight for drones, to one of the biggest commercial drone suppliers in the world. Movidius developed a technology for obstacle avoidance, in real time, for DJI Phantom 4.

Movidius developed and implemented a family of high-performance microprocessors, used in products from IoT (Internet of Things), AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), robotics, wearables, Smart Home, Smart City and so on. Movidius is one of the few companies in the world which develops de "Intelligent Machine Vision" technology and the AI technology for mobile platforms.

Given the most recent collaboration with DJI, what is the technological plus Movidius brings to the market?

The Movidius - DJI partnership is an industry premiere, as it is the first which introduces advanced systems of visual guidance as standard functionality for commercial drones.

Together with DJI, Movidius develops algorithms for Computer Vision and AI, which allows for identification, recognition and automated piloting in real, commercial, and industrial settings.

Recently, Google introduced AI algorithms on Movidius technology. The technology can be used at both industrial and commercial levels. For instance, the Smart City concept may replace traditional traffic lights with intelligent traffic lights, which can identify various "situations", which make decisions locally, for traffic optimisation, which can ensure supervision and traffic control, and which can report rule breaking to appropriate institutions.

Which product components were developed in Romania?

Within Timișoara hub, Movidius develops software for the Movidius microprocessor family: Myriad 2 Vision Processor Unit (VPU). This hardware and software solution offers the drones the ability to identify and avoid obstacles in real time, continuing the supervision of an object or of a person in motion.

What were the challenges you confronted yourselves, technically-speaking?

One of the greatest challenges encountered so far was finding specialists. "The number 1 problem is to attract suitable talent for the technology we develop. The Romanian market is still undergoing transformation; it does not have veterans in peak fields such as Computer Vision or AI. The mirage of working in the West, popular in the past 5-10 years in Romania, determined many valuable specialists to leave the country. The phenomenon has recently decreased in magnitude. Moreover, I have recently hired 5 Romanian citizens who worked in Western Europe, but decided to return home." (Valentin Mureșan)

How do you see the future of AI in Romania?

"We are witnessing a new technological revolution. Nearly 20 years ago, the first electronic products turned mobile (smartphone and not only), revolutionizing the way in which and the speed with which we interact and communicate. The products Movidius develops alongside other tech giants will determine these devices to become autonomous and possess enough intelligence to make decisions on their own, in real time, in the most diverse of situations. This technological advancement will help solve the problems and will improve the specific processes of great urban hubs and not only: traffic, pollution, communication, routine efficiency, generally speaking, and the implementation of the Smart City concept." (Valentin Mureșan)

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