In the AI Startup of the Week, the editorial staff of ai.nl is featuring promising AI startups, their innovations, solutions and challenges. In this fourth episode, we are taking a look at the Netherlands-based Spotr.ai, a startup making the inspection of buildings smarter and more efficient with artificial intelligence and image recognition.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used in a number of ways but the one area where AI’s impact has been immediate has to be in the field of detection or inspection. From medical imaging to construction, AI has been changing the way these industries do their analysis.
Spotr.ai, a Netherlands-based startup, is using the expertise and disruptive ability of AI to change the way buildings are inspected. It has raised €2.5M so far from a SEED round with the goal of helping businesses determine the quality and maintenance status of residential and commercial real estate. It primarily operates in the Netherlands but has expanded to the UK and is looking at expansion to other international markets.
Powerful combination of image recognition and AI
Spotr.ai was founded as Octo in 2015 by Dirk Huibers (CEO), Tara Campagne (COO) and Marieke Dijksma (CTO). With Octo’s two products becoming their own entities, the company now functions as Spotr.ai and HeadsUpp. While the Octo brand has ceased to exist, it continues now in the name of Spotr.ai.
The startup is an excellent example of how various elements of AI can be utilised to make a major societal impact. Spotr.ai uses a mixture of Internet of Things (IoT), AI and drone imaging technologies to deliver data-driven insights on both an operational as well as strategic front.
The end product offered by Spotr.ai is an inspection tool that makes building inspection and maintenance easier. What started as a drone imaging technology alone has now expanded to include imaging from nine different sources, including humans and satellites. The company says only 8 per cent of buildings are inspected every year due to budget and time constraints.
It aims to make this process efficient by including image recognition on satellites, aeroplanes, drones, cars, and images made by inspectors and tenants. This image recognition data is then used to take measurements, perform condition surveys, and find upgrade potential in real estate.
What does Spotr.ai offer?
Spotr.ai is essentially offering three products: Spotr Collect, Spotr Recognise, and Spotr Views. Spotr Collect is a database tool that collects all images and maps of your real estate in one place. The images and maps are collected by the nine different sources mentioned earlier.
This holistic approach allows property managers and their partners to view the property from every angle. The sources include street view, aerial view, satellite view, maps, tenants and inspectors, and Lidar. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that Spotr Collect creates a Google Maps of your property, making inspection work easier for property managers
Spotr Recognise is a computer vision tool used to detect materials and defects on every image. From roof, interior, facade, to offering context on these images. Spotr Recognise also analyses, measures, and categorises all building objects on every image.
Spotr Views, on the other hand, is a business analytics tool that helps with finding risks and opportunities. Using Spotr Views, property managers can get insights into unforeseen risks ahead of time, discover the best investment opportunities like solar panels or livability improvement.
In a nutshell, Spotr.ai allows property managers and their partners to get access to image repositories, maps, measurements, and views. If these tools aren’t enough, Spotr also connects with experts to help with valuation, investment plans, and conditional surveys.
Artificial Intelligence put to good use
Artificial Intelligence is classified into several branches and computer vision is one that is making a significant impact. The technology is used in the field of healthcare the most but is also making a dent in the industry dominated by consumables like construction.
The use of image recognition and computer vision to detect the faults in the buildings is a clever implementation of artificial intelligence and shows how AI can be moulded to a specific use case. With Spotr.ai, it is once again proven that data and the use of data to get insights is the linchpin of this technology.