Computer Vision start-up ORBO today lived up to the origins of its name (‘privileged’) by unearthing at least two things after almost more than two years in research: First, the company lifted a curtain of secrecy as it emerged from stealth with undisclosed funding from Bollywood music gurus – The Meet Brothers and AJ Ventures. Second, the firm unveiled a list of computational photographic products that promise to enhance photo quality and automate the tedious manual task for users by using computer vision and deep learning.
It’s becoming harder to squeeze more performance out of one’s phone camera hardware especially where customer demand for best phone camera and quality of image is becoming crucial. ORBO is stepping in here to bring its mathematically heavy algorithms to overcome camera produced deformities or hardware limitations.
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MeetBros explained, these days nobody knows if the product would become a blockbuster. People have used general intelligence or potential gaps in selecting segments and business areas to build products thinking one day it would become big. However, it is a no brainer that everyone around is still suffering from low quality of photos despite the advancement in phone hardware. If it wasn’t already tough enough to differentiate one smartphone from the millions of others, it’s now becoming extremely important to differentiate by providing the best photographic experience on a user’s smartphone and not by just adding mega-pixels to the camera.
MeetBros strongly believed in CEO, Manoj Shinde’s philosophy because it was synonymous with their belief; where he largely emphasises on ‘Quality and Research’ unlike many other entrepreneurs. MeetBros have followed the same path in their music career to reach where they are today. Anil Jain from AJ Ventures too had the similar conclusion, he said, “We mainly focus on the quality of the entrepreneur especially, grit and patience.”
Computer vision for tomorrow
The company’s announcement is well-timed given the burgeoning interest in computer vision and artificial intelligence, but CEO Manoj Shinde said the timing is coincidental and driven solely by customer need. Smart imaging and computer vision are becoming essential and fundamental ingredients for camera-enabled applications from mobile devices to autonomous drones, and from surveillance equipment to automotive safety systems, and intelligent image retouching to digital signages. Interestingly, “The number of smartphone manufacturers referring to their phone as ‘camera phone’ has grown higher than ever, but at the same time, it will be difficult to stay on the top of the game just by upgrading hardware,” said Manoj.
With their well-publicised and costly adverts – Apple and Google have done amazing work in demonstrating their camera and computational photography capabilities. Not to mention, camera is amongst top 5 priorities for them. Yet ironically, as new tools are developed to outdo each other, the user experience still remains very manual or tardy in some cases. “The average customer still has to access three or four different camera apps including stock camera and follow perhaps five steps in order to apply the feature in order to get best out of the photo,” said Manoj.
This is where ORBO stands different from the league; their focus is on bringing AI automation to eliminate redundant tasks and low-power computational photography to all camera-enabled devices and applications. It provides scalable imaging solutions using computer vision and deep learning. As new-age camera-enabled devices are proliferating, for them sending image or data up to the cloud and back to get an answer will simply be too slow since computational tasks require extremely rapid processing. To increase the speed of processing, ORBO’s products are built on edge computing to provide the extra punch of native support and low powered processing to such devices.
ORBO is already working with some of the large clients on embedded vision and smart imaging solutions. “We are just getting started with computer vision and scratching the surface, but I am very optimistic about what our AI research team has achieved so far. Will we be seeing these algorithms pop up in your smartphones or should I say Camera Phones? It’s not unlikely,” concluded Manoj.