SoftBank has joined forces with sensor maker Vayyar Imaging to develop new technologies for the IoT.
Japanese tech giant Softbank has partnered with Vayyar Imaging, with a view to combining its own artificial intelligence (AI) expertise with sensors from its new partner, which specialises in radio wave 3D imaging technologies.
The two companies plan to create solutions for Japanese customers in areas such as public transport, construction and elderly care – an important issue in Japan, where one-third of the population is over the age of 60.
Vayyar looks beyond the obvious
Established in 2011, Israel-based Vayyar develops and markets 3D imaging sensors that uses radio waves to ‘see’ through human tissue and many man-made surfaces, in order to understand situations that might otherwise remain concealed.
By merging these capabilities with AI, the two companies reckon they will be able to identify opportunities “to create buildings and infrastructure which are safer, more energy-efficient and better able to handle large crowds.”
For example, among the challenges SoftBank and Vayyar aim to answer together are analysing people flow in order to optimise transport; monitoring the structural integrity of buildings in real time, both during and after construction; and creating safety solutions for public areas.
“Vayyar is the global leader of radio wave 3D imaging, and we are excited to be their channel priority partner for the Japanese market,” said Hironobu Tamba, vice president of the smart IoT devision at SoftBank. “We see great synergy between their sensor technology and the needs of our customers.”
In early December, SoftBank also announced another IoT/AI partnership, also with an Israeli start-up, Intuitive, a developer of 3D imaging and computer vision processors. Many of the aims in that deal seem to be pretty similar to those of the tie-up with Vayyar: traffic and people flow analytics, for example, as well as the detection of displacement and aging in building structures.