WSJ hearts Vumii

Night-vision manufacturer Vumii picked up a nice accolade today when the Wall Street Journal tabbed the company for its 2008 Technology Innovation Awards. Basically, the WSJ employs a panel of judges, mostly entrepreneur and inventor types, to evaluate new technology entries in a bunch of different categories, and picks a "winner" in each of those categories, physical security being one. Of all the new stuff out there in physical security - easy-to-configure analytics, browser-based control of alarms systems, video fire detection, wide-reaching PSIM software - Vumii took the prize. Of course, there's no way to know who entered or even knew about the contest (and I generally don't go in for these kinds of awards), but the WSJ certainly has no stake in the physical security market, you know the award wasn't paid for, and it's interesting insight into what non-industry observers think is valuable in our market. Here's what they had to say: Vumii Inc. was selected in this category for developing a night-vision camera technology that uses a near-infrared laser to illuminate an area. Most long-distance night-vision cameras "see" in the dark by capturing thermal infrared rays. But these cameras can't read writing or recognize faces, and they can't see through glass. Atlanta-based Vumii's Discoverii technology gets its illumination from an invisible laser beam that produces a high-resolution image that can be captured by standard video equipment. Introduced in 2006, the equipment is being used to monitor a nuclear power plant in Japan and a water system in Pennsylvania, among other uses. You'll remember I was pretty geeked about this technology back at ISC West. Still, I don't actually think the Discoverii part of Vumii is the coolest. The software the company offers, Sensorii, which offers a panoramic view of the scene you're watching and places what you're looking at, or allows you to create automated night-vision video tours, is what really makes the technology somewhat practical. Good for WSJ for making an interesting choice. If anyone would have picked something else, I'd like to hear what you would have picked. Obviously, another night vision company, NoblePeak, has been winning lots of show awards within the industry. Wonder if they entered this contest.