360-degree solutions firm

Oncam buys Grandeye, appoints "Star Wars" veteran Ionson
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Friday, May 1, 2009

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass.--Oncam Global Group, a self-described “total security solutions company,” has partnered with with an unnamed firm to purchase 360-degree camera company Grandeye. Further, it has hired Grandeye chairman James Ionson, who used to run 360-degree company Remote Reality, as chairman and CEO of U.S. subsidiary Oncam Global Inc.

Oncam will handle sales functions for Grandeye, allowing the company to focus on engineering and product development, said Ionson, who headed the science behind Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative.

As for Oncam’s efforts as a whole, they will focus first on critical infrastructure protection, Ionson said. “I was interested in putting together a company that’s focused more on total security solutions,” he said, “where a camera is just one component of the overall solution.” The company will design systems, partnering with systems integrators for installation.

“The process we use focuses on verification of a threat,” Ionson said. “In the security market, a lot of times there’s emphasis placed on surveillance, and a perceived threat is interpreted as a real threat. That can be quite costly.” Oncam will work to deliver the ability to acquire multiple potential threats, interrogate them with various analytics to see if, for example, the people identified are carrying weapons, and then use rules developed by the customer to take appropriate action.

“Critical to this is persistent situational awareness,” Ionson said, “which is why we acquired a controlling interest in Grandeye.” Grandeye supplier ZiiLABS’ technology allows for more processing power on the Grandeye cameras, which can then perform more of the analytic interrogation.

Currently, Oncam employs roughly a dozen, but Ionson said there will be an extensive network of partners that will give them global reach, and he said the company already has access to important decision makers in the United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern markets.

“They’re very progressive and security is going to be absolutely essential there,” Ionson said, “which is why we’re focusing more than just a little energy in that area of the world.”