I one sensor systems – an industry positively disruptive technology armando guevara
iOne Sensor Systems – An industry positively disruptive technology
A lot has changed in the geospatial industry since GIS first became commercially
available; GIS software today has a level of sophistication that we could have only
dreamed of years back –it is now core to “the science of where” and the “spatial enabling
of information”. Digital technology and the Internet have transformed how we do
business and how customers utilize imagery. And the geospatial industry has grown
tremendously. Most importantly, geospatial imagery and data is everywhere today, used
in countless applications by private companies, non-profit organizations, government
agencies and the public. That is deeply rewarding to people who have devoted long
careers to advancing the technology and promoting the use of geographic information.
The world has changed a lot over the last two decades and the use of geospatial
information has grown exponentially, but in many important ways sensors have changed
very little over that span of time. No, sensor technology has not been static. There have
been important advancements that make them more powerful. But in a very fundamental
way, digital sensors have not changed much since they were first commercially
introduced back in 2002: Sensors today are predominantly monolithic, single-purpose,
proprietary devices, just like they were 10-20 years ago.
That would be fine if the world we live and work in was single-purpose world, but it’s
not. We live in a multi-purpose world, and that requires a new approach.
A New Direction for Sensor Design
Our industry needs a new generation of sensors that are designed to move beyond that
monolithic approach. Some people might contend that the traditional sensors are OK asis, arguing that the longevity of these traditional sensors prove that they work fine and
arguing that a new generation of sensors is unnecessary. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,”
some might say. But the truth is that the monolithic approach is broken and has been for a
while. Companies that use the sensors have been incredibly creative in working around
the limitations of those sensors, and they have shown saint-like patient with the
frustration of working with those outdated devices.
Traditional sensors are too limited in functionality, too hard to work with, and too costly
to operate and maintain. Their design drawbacks and inflexibility impact geoimaging
companies’ bottom lines every day by imposing unnecessary hard costs, soft costs and
opportunity costs. The companies that use these sensors to collect imagery and data need
better equipment in order to increase their productivity, increase their margins and grow
their businesses. And we firmly believe that our industry will not achieve its true
potential and advance the “science of where” until sensor technology evolves in a way
that overcomes those limitations and drawbacks.
The Next Generation of Sensors
So what are the key attributes that the next generation of sensors needs to have in order to
meet the technical and business requirements of geospatial companies for the next 5, 10,
15 years and beyond?
Flexibility and Multi-Purpose Capabilities – As the use of geospatial data has
grown, the specifications of collection projects have grown in variety and
complexity for geoimaging companies. On a given day, the collection company
often needs to do radically different projects using the same plane or helicopter.
Single-purpose sensors are an obstacle to the variety of projects they are doing,
forcing companies to do tedious and time-consuming set-ups in between flights in
a business where time on the ground is money lost. The next generation of sensors
must be highly flexible, multi-purpose devices that can easily adapt to the needs
of each project.
Standards-Based Design – Traditional sensors are typically built on proprietary
designs that create interoperability issues between sensors that need to work in
concert with one another. The lack of standards-based design has also inflated
maintenance and repair costs for geospatial companies who must deal with the
chaos of so many different platforms, maintenance programs, etc. Standardsbased design would dramatically simplify things and reduce costs in the process.
Oblique and 3-D Capabilities – One of the biggest market opportunities for
geospatial companies going forward will be oblique and 3-D imagery, which will
require sensors designed to support those collection capabilities and that are
designed to work in sensor arrays that are integrated to deliver the necessary
precision. The next generation of sensors will be able to do ortho, multispectral,
stereo, oblique, 3D, point clouds and geoinformation product generation, all in
Miniaturization – The future of sensing will include deployment on a larger
range of aircraft and locations than in the past, and sensors will need to be
optimized for rapid deployment on not only aircraft and helicopters, but also
miniaturized airborne devices and other mobile applications.
These are the key design principles that are shaping the new generation of geoimaging
sensors, and they will provide a powerful foundation for the geospatial industry as we
continue to grow and as we continue to support new applications of geographic
Multipurpose Sensors for a Multipurpose World
Those design principles are being utilized by a new generation of sensors that bring that
vision for the future of geoimaging to fruition. These next-generation sensors leverage
flexibility, multi-purpose capabilities, standards-based design, oblique and 3-D
functionality and miniaturization to support the kinds of revenue-generating geoimaging
projects that companies are doing not only today and tomorrow, but well into the future.
Visual intelligence’s is at the forefront of bring these next-generation sensor solutions to
market, taking them from a mere concept to a solution that customers can put to use
immediately. Visual Intelligence’s family of iOne sensor solutions are based on each of
these design principles discussed above.
The iOne n-Oblique is the newest addition to Visual Intelligence’s iOne family of
solutions. iOne nOblique takes advantage of the iOne Sensor Tool Kit Architecture
(STKA), a next-generation software/hardware foundation for high-performing, multipurpose 2D-3D geoimaging sensors for aerial, terrestrial and mobile applications. Using
the power of the iOne STKA platform, the iOne n-Oblique offers three major sets of
advantages to small and large collection companies:
1. It helps geoimaging companies grow their business
2. It allows them to minimize risks
3. And it allows them to enhance the products they provide to their clients
We help them grow their business by:
Generating new revenue streams with value-added services
Rapidly configuring/scaling to meet market needs with our sensor toolkit,
enabling customers to do more projects
Taking advantage of a go-as-you-grow model for sensor functionality
Providing a path to greater profits.
Enabling flexibility for large and small projects alike to fit your business model
and new opportunities.
We help them minimize risks with sensor solutions that:
Have the best price/value in the industry
Deliver higher margins for the customer
Are built with a ready-to-go-out-of-the-box design
Reduce costs with less flight time, less acquisition time, less fuel, more area
Produce imagery that is directly ingestible by industry standard photogrammetric
software suites and the leading GIS program
Have no moving parts and all solid state engineering means highest reliability and
nothing to wear out
Feature a single sensor that can do the job of two standard sensors
Are maintainable by customers in the field
Are reconfigurable and upgradeable by customers
Are resilient to obsolescence and longer usable life
We help them enhance their products by providing sensor solutions that:
Are designed and engineered to be modular and scalable
Offer equivalent or better collection performance than competing systems at a
much lower cost
Deliver production at lower cost to buy and operate
Are based on best of breed sensor tech and software, with the best ecosystem of
partners that provide leading edge tools.
Provide multi-purpose reconfigurability to large-area collection to oblique, and
Enable collection scalable from medium to large to extra-large formats
Are functionally scalable, allowing customers to buy what they need now and
then add functionality as they grow
Enable customers to fly low and fast during collect projects
Are based on numerous key patents
Provide industry-leading industry accuracy and base-to-height ratio
Are engineered to be rotated to increase accuracy as needed
The emerging market for oblique and 3D imagery is an exciting opportunity for
collection companies and device-content eCosystems; having the right technology will
make all the difference in pursuing these revenue opportunities. The iOne n-Oblique is
the first and only multi-purpose sensor for capturing oblique/3D imagery, giving
collection companies of all sizes a solution that is flexible, powerful and cost-effective –
a perfect sensor for a multi-purpose world.
Our motto at Visual Intelligence is “Confidently Collect More. Do More. For Less.” and
the iOne n-Oblique affirms our commitment to those principles by providing a solution
that is more productive, less expensive and more accurate than single-purpose solutions
that are being marketed for oblique and 3D use.