CENSIS Unveils New Vision Lab at Technology Summit 2018


Today at CENSIS’s 5th Annual Technology Summit, the company announced the launch of its new Vision Lab. 

More than 400 delegates from academia and industry gathered today in Glasgow to attend CENSIS’s 5th Technology Summit and Conference. The theme of the day was digital disruption and how it can be harnessed to benefit businesses and drive broad social change and deliver deep economic impacts.

MSP Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, was in attendance to give the keynote speech. He emphasised the Scottish Government’s commitment to ensuring that innovation, in particular digital innovation, will become an intrinsic part of the country’s economy.

McKee also announced the second phase of funding for CENSIS – £9.25 million from the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and the Highland & Islands Enterprise, which will be supplemented by an additional £3m in third-party income. The funding will be used to support IoT (Internet of Things), sensing and imaging projects to make Scotland a leader in innovation.

CENSIS to Open New Vision Lab

CENSIS chairman Bob Downes also announced the soft launch of CENSIS’ Vision Lab, located within a dedicated facility in the company’s Glasgow offices. The purpose of the new lab is to help businesses adopt or deliver innovative computer vision or imaging solutions.

According to CENSIS, the Vision Lab, much like its IoT Centre, will help SMEs with product development or product enhancement around the new technology through funding, collaboration, consultancy and access to equipment and expertise.

The company said: “We’re looking to engage with end-users of the technology, not just developers or those already at the cutting-edge. We’re particularly keen to talk to companies throughout Scotland and further afield with imaging or vision-based challenges who are interested in product development or enhancement.”

IoT: Barriers and Potential

A key theme, which threaded itself through each speaker’s talk, was the huge potential IoT has to do good. Hugo Fiennes, CEO and founder of Electric Imp, believes that IoT self-optimisation can be used to tackle climate change. However, with the good also comes the potential pitfalls and, to overcome these challenges, speakers emphasised the need for more open dialogue. Too often engineers, developers and companies work in isolation and there is a strong need for more opportunities to open a dialogue and to get the community to share their expertise and insights.

One the main problems holding back the development of IoT is the lack of specialists in the field of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence – an issue that needs to be addressed by bolstering the talent pipeline.

Another hot topic of the day was IoT security and how it can be improved. Chris Ensor, the deputy director of the National Cyber Security Centre, believes that this issue can be addressed by the vendors. Ensor explained that security must be a factor during the build process.

For example, not using default user names and passwords such as admin in the end device is a basic first step manufacturers can implement. Problems need to be identified at the prototype stage, but vendors should also listen to those who bring security flaws to their attention and put a vulnerability policy in place. Furthermore, software should be kept up-to-date and personal data stored securely. One way of doing this is to design software with the ease of installation and maintenance at the forefront.

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