Saint John startup works on artificially intelligent surveillance

A Saint John startup will showcase its artificially intelligent video analytics products on the international stage next month.

EhEye one of 8 companies selected for Global Affairs Canada’s Smart Cities mission to India.

EhEye, which specialises in artificially intelligent video analytics, can plug its technology into existing surveillance systems, according to CEO James Stewart. (NattapolStudiO/Shutterstock)

A Saint John startup will showcase its artificially intelligent video analytics in India next month. 

EhEye is still in development, but the technology is able to monitor a video stream for "persons and objects of interest," said CEO James Stewart, who founded the company in September.

Take a convenience store robbery, for example.

"Currently, when a robbery happens, the person working is trained to let the robbery occur," Stewart said. "The robber leaves, they lock the door, and call police. When police arrive, they don't have a lot of information."

EhEye's Robbery Overwatch product can actively monitor a surveillance video stream to detect the indicators a robbery could be happening — like firearms, knives, and masks. When such objects are detected, it alerts a monitoring station to verify what's happening in real time, Stewart said.

"The police can then be on their way in seconds."

Creepy smart cameras

While the applications for the technology are "endless" — able, for example, to evaluate senior citizens for changes in their balance and taking proactive action before a fall — "we're really focused on public safety and security," said Stewart, whose background is in policing and crime analysis.

EhEye's technology could also be plugged into cities' existing closed-circuit camera systems.

"You can't have a smart city without public safety," Stewart said. "Preventing crime is the ultimate goal. But we can also detect things like assaults, theft, and sexual assault as they are happening."

The company, which started in September, was one of eight companies selected for Global Affairs Canada's Smart Cities Mission to India for its innovation in the field of public safety.

Starting Feb. 6, the delegates will spend a week travelling to cities in India to present the technology and forge relationships with potential business partners.

"It's the perfect time, because the video technology is so mature," Stewart said. "The only thing missing is for the camera to have its own eyes. To be able to add that is the next revolution."

With files from Information Morning Saint John