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KPN and Calumino work together in Manufacturing Fieldlab on widely applicable thermal imaging sensor

The scaleup Calumino has developed a groundbreaking thermal imaging sensor, connected by KPN. “Our sensor has a number of unique features that make it very well suited to pest control and to people sensing,” says Bart de Jong, commercial director of Calumino. This solution is being demonstrated in the KPN Manufacturing Fieldlab in Eindhoven.

Thermal sensors offer a unique lens to our world by sensing heat instead of light. When combined with computer vision AI technology, thermal sensors have the power to revolutionize how we manage, monitor and secure our living and working environments.

The Calumino Thermal Sensor combines high performance with AI, privacy protection and affordability.

Existing sensors for detecting people and animals have clear disadvantages. For example, visual cameras violate privacy, motion sensors are “not smart” and radar technologies are complex. Calumino’s new thermal imaging sensor solves these challenges with its low resolution, embedded analytics and affordability.

Innovating together
In the KPN Manufacturing Fieldlab on the Brainport Industries campus in Eindhoven, KPN and partners experiment with emerging technologies such as 5G, precise localization and Edge computing. “In our Fieldlab we are working on use cases that give substance to digitalization themes in the manufacturing industry,” says Paul Cobben, Sector Developer for Manufacturing at KPN Corporate Market. These use cases are based on a secure underlying application infrastructure consisting of three core building blocks: a 5G network, plus precise localization technology and on-premise Edge computing. Together with our sector partner Calumino, we are creating relevant examples and applications that feed companies with tangible examples to underpin their Smart Industry strategy.”

Privacy and time-to-market
With a native low resolution of around 500 pixels, the Calumino sensor solves an issue that is a worry of many companies: privacy. ”As our sensor sees heat instead of light, people appear as hot blobs against the background,” De Jong explains. “Based on the shape, size and movement of a blob we can determine whether the blob is a person, animal, asset of hotspot. And when we detect a person we can’t identify who that person is. The most we can do is to distinguish between and adult and a child. Privacy is then no longer an issue.”

Another significant benefit is how simple it is for companies to integrate the Calumino sensor in their end product. “The sensor has an embedded processor that analyses images with our inhouse developed computer vision algorithms,” says De Jong. “These basic algorithms make it very easy for customers to start evaluating and using our technology. We are the only producer that also supplies these algorithms, so our smart sensors reduce time to market significantly.”

De Jong says that the Calumino sensor can be used for a wide range of applications:

  • Building management

The sensors help make buildings energy efficient. “Based on a real-time thermal map and number of people in a space, our users can optimize the air conditioning and lighting . Of course it’s also possible to count people with a visual camera, but then privacy is a problem. Manufacturers often say that nobody can access the data and that the data doesn’t go to the cloud. The fact remains, however, that a visual camera can record sensitive personal data. A motion sensor isn’t prejudicial to privacy but at the same time it isn’t smart.”

  • Pest Control

The Calumino sensor can also identify small animals like rats and mice. This makes the sensor very suitable for monitoring and controlling pests. “Our sensor gives an insight into how big a problem pests are at a particular location and whether the control measures are having an effect. There are plenty of opportunities for Calumino in that market too. We’re already working with various pest control companies across the world that are integrating our technology into their products.”

  • Healthcare

Healthcare institutions can use the sensor to monitor elderly without violating their privacy. “After a fall, people sometimes lie on the ground for many hours. So you can easily keep an eye on difficult situations of that nature. It’s also possible to monitor sleep patterns. If someone gets out of bed unexpectedly at strange times, it could mean that something is wrong. You can also combat loneliness, for instance by taking action if a client is constantly on his own, sitting in his chair.”

  • Fire security

The Calumino sensor is also a smarter alternative to smoke detectors. “A smoke detector takes 7 to 8 minutes to warn of a fire, because there first has to be enough smoke. Our sensor doesn't look at light but at heat and detects high temperatures immediately. That saves a huge amount of time. The sensor also gives useful information to firefighters. Even if there’s a lot of smoke production, they can see, for example, where there are people that need to be evacuated.”

  • Security

Calumino is working on a variety of applications in the field of security and access control. “One of the ways you can use the sensor is to continuously monitor restricted areas in business environments or datacenters. Our sensor can also be used to secure ‘moving’ assets such as trailers. That enables you to prevent theft and people-smuggling.”

Reliable network
The sensor currently uses a 4G cellular connection. This has several benefits, says De Jong. “The KPN network is reliable and has an excellent range. This provides a solution in industrial environments where the Wi-Fi signal might not be strong everywhere. In addition, an ‘autonomous’ connection is often handier than using a local network, because you don’t have to coordinate things with the customer’s IT department. Sometimes, mobile connectivity is the only option. An example of this is trailers that are constantly on the move.”

Mobile World Congress and Industrial IoT working group
The collaboration with innovation partners like Calumino enables you to access the biggest venues. “At the Mobile World Congress KPN had the opportunity to make a significant presentation on the topic of the relationship between man and machine; Calumino served as a concrete example of this. In the end, that led to another valuable pitch at an important GSMA working group meeting for industry leaders in Toulouse,” Cobben explains.

The partnership with KPN is very valuable to Calumino. “And not just because KPN makes sure that our sensor is always connected,” De Jong stresses. “KPN has a lot of customers that are interested in our platform technology. Furthermore, KPN has an extensive network of strategic and other partners that we benefit from. In that context, we were fortunate enough to give a joint presentation with KPN in the Airbus factory in Toulouse. What an amazing opportunity!”

The commercial director is grateful for the support of KPN. “It’s great that a big company like KPN has so much confidence in our technology. We look forward to tackling our customers’ IoT challenges. With the combination of 5G, edge and cloud computing and our sensor the possibilities are endless.”

Want to know how KPN can be of benefit to your organization? Feel free to contact us without obligation. We are happy to help!

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