Vaisala acquires Finnish computer vision and AI company Vionice

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One of the global leaders in environmental and industrial measurement, Vaisala, has purchased Finnish IT company Vionice Oy, which specializes in the use of computer vision and image processing for infrastructure asset management systems.

The deal follows Vaisala’s weather and environment business strategy in which the company stated that it is looking for both organic growth and growth through smart acquisitions that fit the focus segments and a selective expansion to environmental measurements. With the acquisition, Vaisala will bring Vionice’s product portfolio globally to its road and rail customers.

Vaisala also intends to use Vionice’s computer vision platform in a fast and agile manner and will spread the capability of the Vionice team and its offering more widely into Vaisala’s weather and environment customer segments. Vionice’s main product is RoadAI, which captures data from a smartphone camera and application.

Vionice was established in 2014 as a spin-off from the Computer Vision Laboratory at Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland, and the company’s team of eight computer vision experts will transfer to Vaisala. The company’s strategy has been to enable real-time, cost-effective asset management and condition monitoring with automated image sourcing, computer vision and machine learning, through an easy-to-use platform delivered as a cloud service.

Powerful artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms enable traffic sign mapping, lane marking analysis, potholes and crack detection, and inventory maintenance of roadside assets. Road and rail authorities, contractors and cities can achieve new levels of observational intelligence and efficiency by automating manual data collection and information processing and by maintaining a real-time view into their assets and environmental conditions.

“Computer vision and use of AI are revolutionizing work at an accelerating pace in all industries. Vionice brings expertise and existing products to us in this field. We will work together to create the next generation of computer vision- and AI-based solutions for the road and rail sectors globally, by increasing the use of camera-based sensoring and intelligent algorithms packaged into an easy-to-use platform,” said Jarkko Sairanen, Vaisala’s EVP for weather and environment business areas.

“We are truly excited to be, if not the first one, at least among the first ones to bring a serious commercial offering using affordable cameras as sensoring devices connected to a highly intelligent computer vision platform to the market. We believe fusing this information with other observations combined with AI analytics have true potential to open some totally new innovations and offerings going forward.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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