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National Grid invests in video AI start-up
- November 29, 2022
- Steve Rogerson
National Grid has made a multi-million dollar investment in Visionary.ai, an Israeli developer of artificial intelligence (AI) for real-time video enhancement.
“Electricity grids by their nature incorporate many geographically distributed assets that need to be monitored for safety, security and signs of damage or malfunction,” said Lisa Lambert, chief technology officer at National Grid. “The transition to renewable energy sources drives this distribution of assets even further. Vision is critical to monitoring these assets, and cameras need to be dependable in all lighting and weather conditions. The technology that Visionary.ai is developing can help with the need for increased security of electricity supply and the battle against climate change.”
One of the principal benefits of Visionary.ai’s technology is it enables cameras to operate in extremely low lighting, in real time, in colour and while maintaining high picture sharpness. In addition, Visionary.ai has developed a software image signal processor that can adapt image processing to the needs of particular applications.
“We’re experiencing a surge of interest in our technology from many industries, including from several of the world’s most renowned technology companies,” said Oren Debbi, CEO of Visionary.ai. “The need for better real-time video clearly resonates across both human and machine vision applications. Our engineering team has made incredible progress over the last 18 months, and our first products are now production-ready. This investment from National Grid will enable us to build on this foundation and expand the range we can offer our customers.”
The money comes from National Grid Partners (NGP), the venture investment and innovation arm of National Grid. With its investment in Visionary.ai, NGP has backed a total of 40 start-ups dedicated to combating climate change across a range of applications, from cyber security to customer-focused offerings.
Visionary.ai’s de-noiser and software-based ISP (image signal processor) leverage AI on the edge to improve performance for a wide range of imaging tasks. The technology has applications across industries, including consumer electronics, drones, robotics, mobility and medical imaging.
NGP is the venture investment and innovation arm of National Grid. It is headquartered in Silicon Valley and has offices in Boston, London and New York.