Technology has revolutionized the way in which current societies receive and share information. Part of this revolution is due to the evolution of the machines towards more intelligent versions. Within its new capabilities, artificial vision stands out, a scientific discipline that seeks computers to perceive and understand the world through images with the precision with which a human being would analyse it.
One of the people pushing the boundaries of this research area is the Frenchman Xavier Lagorce, through the company PROPHESEE. Together with his team, he has invented an artificial vision system that combines neuromorphic optics sensors (inspired by the biology of the human eye) with artificial intelligence algorithms, which imitate the behaviour of the brain neurons. Thanks to this approach, PROPHESEE grants metavision to the machines that, according to Lagorce, “enables them to visualize information that was previously invisible to them”. For this breakthrough, the researcher has become one of the winners of Innovators Under 35 Europe 2018 of MIT Technology Review.
Thanks to the effectiveness of these sensors and their fast vision processing capacity (equivalent to more than 10,000 frames per second), Lagorce's technology offers unprecedented levels of performance in real time. And it not only completes conventional vision methods but also helps to overcome future challenges in areas such as robotics, automotive sector, industry, surveillance and the internet of things. Its practical application in the automotive field translates, for example, in a faster detection of obstacles and people while driving and a greater performance of the cameras integrated into the vehicle. In this way, a more precise adaptation to the environment is achieved and a more efficient road safety is committed.
PROPHESEE was born as a start-up in 2014 under the name of Chronocam. Lagorce joined shortly after and became its current director of Strategy and Research. The company, based in Paris (France) and formed by a team of 70 people, has already raised more than 15 million euros to expand the projection of its patented technology. In addition, it has the collaboration of a group of international investment funds such as 360 Capital Partners, Supernova Invest, iBionext, Intel Capital, Renault Group, and Robert Bosch Venture Capital.
Research Director of the international company Gartner, Erick Brethenoux, an expert in artificial intelligence and jury member of Innovators under 35 Europe 2018, believes that Lagorce’s project provides an “original neuromorphic approach to artificial vision” and appreciates its “interesting double application, both for the field of medicine and industry.”
By Marta Sotres
Translation: Ana Milutinovic