In baseball, a manager often goes to the bench to call a specific pinch-hitter to bat in a clutch situation. Similarly, enterprises sometimes require specific software applications to get a hit “in the clutch” as well.
Vantiq (pronounced VAN-tick) is a specialized agile and DevOps-oriented software creator that has built its own highly sophisticated development platform for use in big, customized projects. It can come to the rescue for organizations up in arms about what to do in unprecedented situations—especially those on short deadlines, such as weeks or even days.
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, there are a number of unprecedented situations that require high-quality applications built in very short time windows. One recent example of an effort to stop the contagion: Vantiq set up an airline-passenger-monitoring system in which the temperature of each traveler is taken as they come off the plane. A person with a high fever is detected and tracked as he/she walks through the airport and stopped by security if determined to be a hazard to other travelers. The airline's operations staff also is notified to trace that passenger back to his/her seat on the plane, so the seat and surrounding location can be sanitized properly.
Food Supplies Could Use Help During Pandemic
In another COVID-19-related use case, farmland regions throughout the U.S. have suffered the loss of a lot of fresh produce, meat products and decorative flowers and plants—because so many restaurants and stores are closed due to workers and customers stuck at home during the virus-caused lockdown.
Vantiq potentially could set up digital infrastructure within mere weeks (or less) for a revised supply chain to get produce out of the fields and onto trucks and trains, on the way to storage facilities. At the moment in states such as Florida, Arkansas and Georgia, crops such as squash, wheat and corn aren't being harvested because buyers have pulled back due to a dearth of buyers. Some of those crops sit rotting in fields without an alternative value chain to get them harvested and moved to refrigerated locations, a sad situation when food is desperately needed in other parts of the country.
Using Vantiq, users can create applications like that based on data streams from any source, such as IoT and mobile devices, existing enterprise systems and personal mobile devices. These full applications are not simply dashboards; they enable complex actions to be taken by people and automated systems in real time. The platform has its own artificial intelligence engine and uses machine learning liberally as needed in the use case.
Useful data streams originate in the environment and can include new readings from real-time sensors, requests from mobile devices and changes in a legacy system. They are continuously fed into the Sense stage of the Vantiq application. This stage also translates and aggregates external data to create events within the system and maintains an internal current state representation of the environment.
Saw Need for Speedy App Development for Certain Use Cases
“This is my fifth startup,” Vantiq CEO and co-founder Marty Sprinzen told eWEEK. “[Co-founder] Paul Butterworth and I saw this need five years ago because we recognized that it was going to be very challenging to build these new kinds of applications—because they were going to be run with all kinds of inputs: cameras, IoT sensors … they're going to use AI, they're going to run in the cloud; it is very difficult and challenging to build these apps.”
Privately held, Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Vantiq connects a lot of dots centered on its software-agnostic dev platform, primarily using system integrators (such as Softbank and others) to build the required apps in the cloud.
Vantiq sees its specialty as utilizing real-world data from multiple sensors and devices, along with smart AI and real-time communication across both oﬃce and industrial systems, to get data measured and stored and tasks completed. As time moves on, these applications will be more and more critical to opening up retail stores, oﬃce buildings, airports, stadiums and factories closed by the pandemic.
Other Current Use Cases
Some additional Vantiq use cases include:
- U.S.: Bits in Glass is developing a social distancing app for retail stores, enabling reservations and check-ins so shoppers don’t have to wait in long lines.
- Europe: Amorph Systems is building an application for thermal monitoring in airports, hospitals, factories and warehouses.
- China: GiConnect has built an application that uses facial recognition, thermal monitoring and location tracking to safeguard workers in hospitals and factories.
- China: Inesa is building a smart elevator application to track social health metrics for elevator occupants, for deployment across about 7,000 elevators in Shanghai. The job eventually is expected to grow to monitoring about 50,000 elevators.
- Singapore: Vantiq’s partner is building an application that provides risk management, quarantine management, tracking and smart routing of people in hospitals.
- Japan: Vantiq’s partner is building an application for a major sports league to use thermal cameras to track entry and exit at large sports stadiums, concert venues, etc.
Each of these applications was built for a speciﬁc purpose, based on local customer needs and regional privacy laws/expectations.
Sprinzen said Vantiq has more than 50 customers since its platform came out in 2018, and “we're adding over a dozen per quarter,” he said. “We have a pipeline of 28 customers and potential customers right now, all within the last four weeks.”
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