eyeSight Technologies: A New Era of Image Processing and AI — A Startup Research Report by Gaby Lorenzi

An Introduction to eyeSight Technologies

eyeSight is an AI and Computer Software company based out of Tel Aviv, Israel specializing in computer vision and image recognition. eyeSight is making dramatic advancements in the fields of image processing and AI algorithms for gesture recognition and movement sensing. Their systems can be integrated to all parts of our daily lives, such as improving safety of car rides by monitoring driver’s attentiveness, head position, and gaze through facial image processing, occupancy detection, and gesture control. eyeSight will be implemented into homes, electronics, vehicles and more to improve user-technology interaction and promote safety thanks to advanced image processing and AI algorithms.

As of October 23, 2018, eyeSight moved from a Series C Startup to its Venture Round of funding, receiving $15 million in the latest round. Its most prominent investors include Arie Capital, a UK venture firm investing in Israeli tech startups. eyeSight received their lead Series A funding from Ceva, a California based licensor of silicon intellectual property (giving its technology as intellectual property, guiding eyeSight in their own production of personalized technology).

The eyeSight team is based out of Israel, with global extensions in Cupertino, Beijing and Hong Kong.

The eyeSight Team

ITAY KATZ: Founder, Chief of Intellectual Property and Innovation Officer

Katz began eyeSight in 2005, after graduating from the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) in 1997 with a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering. Before eyeSight, Katz served in the Israeli military, then worked for three years at Motorola Semiconductors. His work at Motorola and in the army included implementing digital signal processors and image processing, which would later inspire the creation of eyeSight Technologies, previously known as eyeSight Mobile Technologies. Katz specializes in signal and image processing. Katz also served as CTO and is an active board member.

GIDEON SHMUEL: Chief Executive Officer

Shmuel joined eyeSight in 2007, during its early years as a mobile technologies company. Shmuel attended College of Management in Israel, receiving his B.A. in 1995 in Business Studies. He continued his education at Middlesex University, graduating with an M.A. in Marketing Management in 1996. Shmuel brought over twenty years of experience in enterprise software and Telecom to eyeSight thanks to his previous positions at UK Trade and Investment, cVidya, and Olista, serving as director of sales and management. Since his joining in 2007, the company has raised $45.9M in funding from numerous VC firms and made immense strides, such as partnering with big names like LG, in hopes to implement their vision-based software to homes, businesses, and technology world-wide.

eyeSight is currently composed of 11 core team members with less than 60 total employees, consisting of experts in the image processing and computer vision field, with CEO Gideon Shmuel at the helm of the ship.

I believe that with the founder playing an active role in the company and a CEO who has been in position for over seven years exhibits stability and amicability in the company. They have had little team turnover, with two members working as COO and VP of Research and Development for 2016, and an early member of the team leaving after 2014. The company has gained a majority of its funding in the past two years and increased its team size dramatically, but has continuity in its core leadership, which is important to success. They have received positive feedback from the market with the release of their latest intelligent driving car systems, receiving more funding and partnering with big name companies. The impact of their work is crucial to creating a safer world in response to the continuing distractions in our lives. Their is little information as to the motivation behind the creation of the company. A critique I have is the nomenclature for their company is a bit misconstruing as it is not correlated to Subaru’s own technology by the same name, Eyesight, which also powers the safety features of their cars. I believe that the team behind eyeSight is ready to take on the challenges of the modern world and adapt their technology and innovate to do so.

Go to Market Strategy and Market Size

eyeSight is tackling the rapidly growing marketplace for AI integrated into our everyday lives. According to Forbes, McKinsey Global Institute estimates that “AI techniques have the potential to create between $3.5T and $5.8T in value annually … in 19 industries”. The AI market has an enormous potential for growth. eyeSight is clearly tackling a large market. The graph at left shows the value of companies using AI methods instead of other analytic techniques. McKinsey also estimated that “AI and deep neural networks improved performance beyond what existing analytic techniques were able to deliver”. The potential value is dramatically larger than average in fields such as transport, logistics, and automotive, which eyeSight is reaching through their newly developed driver-monitoring technology. The high tech value is also higher than average, which is another market that eyeSight is able to reach.

eyeSight’s initial efforts were to grow its “gesture-recognition tech into phones, TVs and PCs” according to CNET. After making its name in the touch-free market, they chose to expand to “connected devices in homes and cars”. eyeSight is not just in the business of AI, but the creation of the “smart home”, facial recognition software, and now transportation. The wide implementation of their software gives them a broad market to occupy. Their strategies are marketing their software as highly personalized, accurate, and seamless systems.

eyeSight is on the rise for AI companies creating such software. The affordability of eyeSight’s products are unknown, as their public material lacks information about pricing. However, their products are easily integrate able into homes, cars, and into analytic programs for businesses that, if priced correctly, would be attractive to consumers. eyeSight is creating usable AI that is able to be integrated for optimal ease of use.

eyeSight is able to market to a wide range of customers. The ideal customer of eyeSight depends on the product they are buying. eyeSight’s products include smart home integration, driver detection software, and analytic data collection. According to Owler, eyeSight achieves $5 million in revenue annually. There is little data on the success of eyeSight to capture the market for smart home integration, particularly reaching for homeowners looking to implement technology seamlessly into their lives. They have the most recorded success with their driver detection software. eyeSight has paired with numerous companies to put their safety features into more cars globally. SEAT, a leading car manufactured based out out Spain, to improve driver experience and safety. According to Globe News Wire, CEO Gideon Shmuel was excited to work with SEAT, stating “our experience in this field and vision for intelligent control of the in-car environment will enhance the driver experience and help prevent distracted driving. With the market transition to semi-autonomous cars, it’s vital that automotive solutions provide the highest quality of driver awareness technology”. In addition to SEAT, eyeSight has partnered with Sony to build “the vision technology” that eyeSight specializes in “into an interactive portable projector called the Xperia Touch”, according to CNET.

eyeSight’s Products

eyeSight offers four main categories of products: automative, smart home technology, viewer analytics, and consumer electronics.

AUTOMOTIVE

The automotive and AI industry are becoming more and more integrated every year. eyeSight is hoping to improve the car safety market that has been projected to be evaluated at over $150 billion by 2020. Their automotive product is their most recent addition to their suite, but rapidly becoming their most prominent software. The software monitors drivers for eyelid openness, gaze direction, mobile phone usage and more using sensing systems to promote driver safety. The driver can control the entertainment system with swipes and hand gestures instead of touch. The system can identify driver age, gender, and other characteristics to monitor who is behind the wheel.

SMART HOME

For eyeSight’s smart home integration, they offer technology to turn our homes into touch free, gesture driven environments. Entering our home and the lights turning on, printing from your computer with a wave of the hand, and controlling your TV by swirling your finger through the visible region of their sensors. EyeSight can detect which family member has entered the room, turning on their favorite show, lowering the blinds to their preference and adjusting the air to their ideal temperature. The customer for such product is families ready to equip their homes with new technology. Their products provide an optimal ease of living, allowing touch free interaction with environment.

VIEWER ANALYTICS

eyeSight has a plethora of data collection options for optimizing the broadcasting and advertising industries. The advertising industry had a revenue of over $103 billion in 2016. eyeSight is eager to implement their product into this money-making industry. Through integration with their smart home technology, they can collect data about who is viewing and better tailor TV preferences, count the number of viewers and age for better metric data, and monitor attentiveness to, for example, see if the viewer has fallen asleep and turn the TV power off. Their pillars for analytics are viewer demographics, viewer attentiveness, audience measurement, and viewer recognition.

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS

eyeSight consumer electronics has the widest range of applications, from Smart TVs, office presentations, mobile phone usage, and facial analysis. eyeSight has been implemented into Smart TVs, to monitor if there is a viewer in the room — if so, play their most watched show, and if not, turn the TV into off mode. The technology is able to be added to an abundance of technology devices, making our lives seamless and simple. eyeSight offers embedded software in addition to their own camera that is able to monitor customers and tailor their experiences. The product that eyeSight is offering is cutting edge, however, it is not unique as noted by competitors such as Gestoos hoping to reach the same market with very similar software and technology. eyeSight’s product is hard to determine how friendly its interface is and the successes and bugs of the software since there was a lack of case studies in my research. I believe their selling proposition in not unique, but rather an attempt to be the most modern and integrated with billion dollar companies, such as LG and Sony. eyeSight has easy to navigate technology that is created to optimize the user’s ease of living. By 2020, the European Union will require driver monitoring systems in all new cars, so product growth will primarily be in the automotive sector.

One interesting observation is that the eyeSight website had little, if any, statistic data regarding the success, feasibility, and failures of their work. There is no information on car crashes they could prevent, or the number of homes their software has been integrated to. There is no data where the $5M in revenue is primarily coming from either.

The end customer benefit for a company like eyeSight is for the user to be able to be integrated with their home, automobile, technology and devices seamlessly, creating a safer living and working environment for the future.

eyeSight’s Competition

There is plenty of overlap in eyeSight’s desired market with numerous other companies reaching for similar clientele. eyeSight is not the only gesture-oriented, safety pursuing technology company using AI for their technology. There are other companies hoping to acquire the same section of the same market with which eyeSight is contending with for clients. For most of its competition, eyeSight is doing well thanks to their of integration, partnerships with companies such as Sony, SEAT, and LG, and ability to implement their software into a wide variety of services.

The market for technology from companies like eyeSight are in demand now more than ever. Companies driven by insights, such as those collected by eyeSight’s image processing technology, are on the up and up for revenue forecasting, with projections that insight-based companies will be growing at a more rapid rate than startups backed by venture capital firms. Insights are powering companies, such as eyeSight to gain invaluable customer data for personalized technology.

As for eyeSight’s competition, they are primarily contending for clientele with GestureTek and Gestoos.

GestureTek

GestureTek has specialized in the field of computer vision since they pioneered the field in 1986. They have optimized computer-human interaction over the course of the over 8,000 interactive computing solutions they have installed in the past thirty years, steered by a . GestureTek offers a suite of products from GestureFX, an “interactive visual display system that projects dazzling special effects … onto any floor, wall, screen…”, to AirTrack, a “portable hand-tracking unit for mouse replacement”. Although GestureTek is a much older company than eyeSight, both companies have approximately $5 million in annual revenue coming from their computer vision and image processing software and products. GestureTek is in their Series D of funding. GestureTek reports that sales have increased by 50% annually, in thanks to customers such as “CNN, NASA, BMW, Ford, Oracle, Sony, Samsung, Intel, Vodafone, IBM, Cisco, Federal Express, Telefonica and Gillette”.

GestureTek and eyeSight, while similar in field, are approaching computer vision in much different ways. From perusing their website to seeing their online presence, GestureTek appears to be having an identity crisis by being an “ancient” company trying to take on modern technology. Their products lack the “oh and ah” that is crucial to eyeSight’s success. Take one look at eyeSight’s website, and you will be begging to have their software implemented in your life for optimal ease of living. Then switch tabs and take a look at GestureTek’s website. You are immediately sent back into the 1980s, with dark colors, no modernity, and frustration with navigation for what should be a seemingly simple website. The material is cluttered, the sight is unmanageable, and it no doubt takes away from the value of the product at hand. GestureTek is far less funded than eyeSight which again is a sign of lack of modernity due to how long GestureTek has been around for compared to eyeSight. Their products compare as they both are providing immersive experiences, combining the human experience with technology. eyeSight primarily does this for safety and ease of living, while GestureTek offers computer experiences for recreational games and displays. It appears that eyeSight is reinventing the market and products that GestureTek invented, but failed to update to modernity.

Gestoos

Gestoos is an AI platform occupying an extremely similar market as eyeSight. Gestoos gathers information from an environment and the subjects within it and responds to such information using precision tracking and natural interaction. Similarly to eyeSight, Gestoos offers products in the categories of automotive, consumer electronics and digital media. Their automotive software increases safety, monitors the passengers and driver, and integrates with self driving capabilities in cars. For consumer electronics, Gestoos provides software to control your home touch free, using gestures instead. Wave to turn on the alarm, a simple thumbs up to confirm your dinner timer, and interact with your technology from across the room, all made possibly by Gestoos and their software suite. Finally for digital media, Gestoos is able to attract customer and monitor engagement through exciting digital displays, ideal for retail, advertising and marketing, and events.

Gestoos provides very similar products as to eyeSight, but have yet to partner with large brands like LG, Sony, or SEAT although their sales are still more than that of eyeSight. Despite Gestoos later founding date, their annual revenue is currently $700,000 more than eyeSight. Gestoos does a great job of modernizing their website and online presence, partially thanks to their 2015 founding date. They entered the Venture Round of funding in August 2017, which is the round eyeSight joined this past week. Gestoos is better targeting businesses with their interactive, touch free displays which is a customer base that eyeSight has not quite figured out how to better attract. Businesses looking to accumulate customer data can get that from both eyeSight and Gestoos, however the digital marketing and advertising is best at Gestoos, which attracts these businesses looking to use computer vision to grow their own client base. Gestoos is on the rise, and quickly becoming one of eyeSight’s most prominent competitors. Gestoos is challenging the universal accessibility that computer vision can provide and accessing the endless potential for integrating AI into business before eyeSight has been able to adapt to such.

What will disrupt eyeSight? eyeSight is monopolizing on the ever growing AI and gesture-based software market. The main threats to success in these fields is the immense competition they face and growing ethical and moral issues about the collection of personal data. Gestoos and GestureTek are not the only two competitors out there offering similar services to eyeSight. There is a lack of information as to what exactly will be the next market to tamper AI’s growth, and much more information on all the industries that AI will disrupt, including military, real-estate, customer service and more. However, due to the enormous value of the AI market, there is room for multiple companies to dominate.

Originally published November 2019.

Disclaimer: All information in this report has been aggregated through numerous, public news reports/articles or eyeSights’s website itself. Any misrepresentation of the company is purely accidental. BV is more than willing to correct any mistakes.

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