Arising from the R&D work started 15 years ago in the Multimedia Technologies Group of the University of Vigo, the artificial vision software of the spin-off of the academic institution relEYEble has become in 2020 one of the winners of the Technology Transfer Awards in Galicia. Promoted by the Royal Galician Academy of Sciences (RAGC), with the collaboration of the Galician Innovation Agency of the Xunta de Galicia (Gain), the jury of these awards especially valued the capacity of this company, promoted by Professor José Luis Alba and Manuel Ubeira and Elisardo González, graduates of the School of Telecommunications Engineering, to adapt “in a very agile way” their technology to the needs arising from the Covid-19 crisis. Capable of measuring advertising media audiences as digital posters and recording each person’s actions, the digital image processing system awarded the Ricardo Bescansa Martínez award as the best business case for technology transfer that it now also offers to commercial establishments the possibility to receive alerts in real time when customers do not wear a mask or do not respect the safety distance.
These awards, which will be presented on July 14, have a financial allocation of 6,000 euros in each of their categories and are intended to recognize the best practices for the transfer of knowledge from research organizations to the productive fabric, according to the organization. In this sense, Alba acknowledges being proud of “the recognition of such a prestigious entity for the academy” and that “a commission where there are people who know a lot about the creation of companies based on R&D results and how difficult it is for them to survive longer than three years “, values the work carried out by reEYEble, giving it an award that in 2019 obtained another spin-off from the academic institution, Alén Space.” The University of Vigo has much more potential than what is actually seen to transfer the R&D results to the market, “said the professor of the Department of Signal Theory and Communications and atlanTTic researcher, for whom it is an obligation to try to transfer our R&D more directly to the socioeconomic fabric.”
Along with this initiative, the jury for the sixth edition of these awards decided to award the Francisco Gutián Ojea Award to an initiative of the research group CellCOM, the Institute for Biomedical Research in A Coruña, in collaboration with the University of A Coruña and the Institute of Research Ramón y Cajal. Sanitary, and the Fernando Calvet Prats Award to the Interdisciplinary Group in Pharmaceutical Technology, Parasitic Immunology and Parasitosis of Water of the University of Santiago de Compostela.
Measure of attention and emotions
The origin of the project that made the creation of this company possible is “facial analysis software to estimate the sex and age of people who pay attention to advertisements on digital screens equipped with cameras”, developed at the Multimedia Technologies Group and transferred to spin-off. “Over the years, the software has been changing” to measure emotions, attention span, and monitoring in general, “as Alba, the scientific advisor to relEYEble, explains, and the project led to the creation of the division in 2016. But, remember, this happened later than “30 months in which we have been developing the business model”, in the accelerated OpenFuture of VíaVigo and Galicia and as finalists of the international entrepreneurship event University Spin2014, organized by RedEmprendia.
“Before we launched into the market, we had to rely on adjusting the business model,” says the researcher about a project that, over the years, has been refining software that provides valuable information to advertisers and managers in advertising and marketing sectors. commerce, when making decisions about your campaigns or when defining the design of products in stores and the design of shop windows. Not in vain, the system allows, through the analysis of images captured by the cameras, to extract information in real time about how many people are in front of a certain element, their sex and estimated age, the emotion caused by visual stimuli and how much time remain in front of these.
New Features for the New Normal
As Alba explains, the relEYEble software “has grown over time and the demands of customers” to become a tool with “many different applications”, such as those related to video surveillance, which make these new utilities related to Covid-19. Given the news that pointed to “a new normality of indefinite duration”, marked by the use of masks and safety distances, it was decided to develop new software and offer a new measurement product applicable to both screens that report the capacity at the entrance , while measuring distance and the use of masks, such as security camera installations, to integrate with their surveillance routines, “explains Alba, who acknowledges that while” some companies are already testing “these new functions,” they have not yet we know how the demand and the service itself will evolve ”.