Based out of Zurich, Scandit is a technology platform for mobile computer vision and augmented reality (AR) solutions for enterprises. Recently, the company has announced it has raised $ 80 million (approx €73 million) in Series C related funding led by G2VP, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm of former Kleiner Perkins partners. They were joined by Atomico, GV, Kreos, NGP Capital, Salesforce Ventures, and Swisscom Ventures. Scandit has previously raised $ 43 million (approx €39 million).
The Swiss company is planning to use the funding to accelerate growth in new markets such as APAC and Latin America, as well as expand Scandit’s footprint and operations in North America and Europe. Furthermore, part of this money will go to R&D to develop new ways enterprises can transform their core business processes using computer vision and AR.
Samuel Mueller, CEO of Scandit, said: “The smartphone is a personal tool that can be deployed with powerful computer vision software to seamlessly interact with everyday objects and display real-time insights with AR-overlays. Our new funding makes it possible for us to help even more enterprises to quickly adapt to the new demand for ‘contactless business’, and be better positioned to succeed, whatever the new normal is.”
Unique computer vision and machine learning platform!
Founded by Christian Floerkemeier, Christof Roduner, and Samuel Mueller in 2009, Scandit is a unique computer vision and machine learning platform combining leading-edge barcode scanning, text recognition (OCR), object recognition and augmented reality (AR) for any camera-equipped smart device – from familiar smartphones to drones, wearables, and robots.
Numerous use cases!
Notably, the organisations in retail, transport & logistics, and manufacturing use Scandit’s computer vision technology to create and power mobile apps or websites for mobile shopping, self-checkout, inventory management, proof of delivery, asset tracking and maintenance. In healthcare, Scandit supports digital health, with healthcare workers using familiar smartphones to scan patient IDs, samples, medication, and supplies.
Performs 10 billions of scans every year!
A lot of high-profile companies like 7-Eleven, Alaska Airlines, Carrefour, DPD, FedEx, Instacart, Johns Hopkins Hospital, La Poste, Levi Strauss & Co, Mount Sinai Hospital and Toyota uses Scandit as part of their digital transformation and perform tens of billions of scans every year on 100+ million active devices.
Ben Kortlang, General Partner at G2VP, said: “Scandit’s platform puts an enterprise-grade scanning solution in the pocket of every employee and customer without requiring legacy hardware. This bridge between the physical and digital worlds will be increasingly critical as the world accelerates its shift to online purchasing and delivery, distributed supply chains, and cashierless retail.”
Main image credits: Scandit
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I see far more research articles than I could possibly write up. This column collects the most interesting of those papers and advances, along with notes on why they may prove important in the world of tech and startups.
In this edition: a new type of laser emitter that uses metamaterials, robot-trained dogs, a breakthrough in neurological research that may advance prosthetic vision and other cutting-edge technology.
We think of lasers as going “straight” because that’s simpler than understanding their nature as groups of like-minded photons. But there are more exotic qualities for lasers beyond wavelengths and intensity, ones scientists have been trying to exploit for years. One such quality is… well, there are a couple names for it: Chirality, vorticality, spirality and so on — the quality of a beam having a corkscrew motion to it. Applying this quality effectively could improve optical data throughput speeds by an order of magnitude.
The trouble with such “twisted light” is that it’s very difficult to control and detect. Researchers have been making progress on this for a couple of years, but the last couple weeks brought some new advances.
First, from the University of the Witwatersrand, is a laser emitter that can produce twisted light of record purity and angular momentum — a measure of just how twisted it is. It’s also compact and uses metamaterials — always a plus.
The second is a pair of matched (and very multi-institutional) experiments that yielded both a transmitter that can send vortex lasers and, crucially, a receiver that can detect and classify them. It’s remarkably hard to determine the orbital angular momentum of an incoming photon, and hardware to do so is clumsy. The new detector is chip-scale and together they can use five pre-set vortex modes, potentially increasing the width of a laser-based data channel by a corresponding factor. Vorticality is definitely on the roadmap for next-generation network infrastructure, so you can expect startups in this space soon as universities spin out these projects.