Vidient's supporters provide $7.8M

Thursday, September 4, 2008

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--Vidient Systems last week secured an additional $7.8 million in funding that will fuel the company's expansion into new markets and enable it to enhance its intelligent video software.
Participants in the funding round included Blueprint Ventures, Trident Capital and Dr. Sergio Magistri, who previously served as president and CEO of InVision Technologies, a provider of explosive detection systems for airports that was sold to General Electric in 2004 for $900 million.
"What makes Vidient different is that the amount of robustness, in my opinion, is greater than any other provider in the industry," Magistri said. "For the past few years, [intelligent video] has been seen as an intriguing add-on to video surveillance systems. It will become the driver for the surveillance market as we are getting to a point where we can understand its value."
Frank Pao, president and CEO of Vidient, said the company has spent the past couple years making its software more robust and able to work in real-world environments. It has also ramped up sales and marketing efforts to position Vidient as a provider of intelligent video for perimeter detection, primarily focusing on critical infrastructure and government opportunities.
"We are really going after the perimeter market right now," Pao said. "Any place you would use a fence sensor to protect perimeters are situations we think our product, Smart Catch, can do the job more efficiently at half the cost."
That is because end users can leverage their existing security technology, such as cameras, with Vidient's software, he said.
Pao admitted the outdoor environment for video analytics is challenging and has been plagued by false alarms in the past. He said Vidient has developed "artificial intelligence that understands these difficult environments", such as shadows and other low-light conditions, and is able to deal with these problems with "very advanced algorithms."
"The market we are going after around perimeter intrusion detection has a slew of competitors from standard fence sensors to microwave sensors," he said. "We believe because we focus on the end user experience that we have the best technology and we are showing that through these additional supporters on board."