Friday 21 August 2020

So I heard you can do Computer Vision at 30FPS; I can do 1000.

- Akash James

And there was a man, in a cave, held captive and hooked up to an electromagnet plunged deep in his chest. Hammering his way through, quite literally, Stark, built his initial Arc Reactor and Mark 1 Iron Man suit, using nothing but a bucket of scrap and modern, tactical, self-guiding, explosive payload-carrying arrows, ergo missiles. Over-did it, didn’t I? Mesmerizing to most, the primitive propulsion system for un-guided flight and rudimentary weapons were not striking to engineers like us.

Stark kept going on, adding new capabilities to his armour, reaching peak performance with the Model Prime and finally calling it a day with the Mark 85. (More like Captain Marvel blasted him in Civil War 2 or the Gauntlet irradiated him, based on the cinematic or comic universe you prefer).

Just like arguably the best science-fiction-based inventor, I never stop with my creations and continue over-hauling for higher performance, ’cause I know that there will always be a higher ascension level to reach.

Computer Vision is a field with rapid progress; new techniques and higher accuracy coming out from various developers across the planet. Machines now have human-like perception capabilities, thanks to Deep Learning; with the ability to not only understand and derive information from digital image media but also create images from scratch with nothing but 0’s and 1's.

How did it begin?

Time and again, the higher tech-deities bring me at a point in this space-time continuum where I am faced with a conundrum. My team and I, back in our final year of college, were building a smart wearable for people with impaired vision, an AI-enabled extension of sorts to help the user with recognizing objects, recognizing people, and performing Optical Character Recognition; we called it Oculus. In all honesty, we did not rip it off from Facebook’s, Oculus Rift VR Headset and it was purely coincidental. The AI Engine was comprised of a multitude of classifiers, object detectors and image captioning neural networks running with TensorFlow and Python. With my simpleton knowledge of writing optimized code, everything was stacked sequentially, not allowing us to derive results in real-time, which was an absolute necessity of our wearable. Merely by running the entire stack on the GPU and using concurrent processes, I was able to achieve 30fps and derive real-time results.

Thus, this began my journey of being fast — real fast.

Ratcheting my way through

Fast forward two years to the present, I currently work as an AI Architect at Integration Wizards. My work predominantly revolves around creating a digital manifestation of the architecture I come up with for our flagship product — IRIS

Wondering what exactly IRIS does? (being Deadpool and breaking the 4th wall) To give you a gist, IRIS is a Computer Vision platform which provides our customers with the ability to quickly deploy solutions that monitor and detect violations. People counting and tracking with demographics, adherence to safety gear usage, person utilization, detection of fire, automatic number plate recognition and document text extraction are some of the features that come out-of-the-box. 

Typically, IRIS plugs into existing CCTV networks, rendering previously non-smart recording networks into real-time analytical entities. IRIS uses Deep Learning for it’s AI Engine but the architecture of the pipeline and the neural networks has seen many changes. My first notable architecture involved web technologies, like Flask and Gunicorn, to create APIs, that my worker threads could utilize. This ensured that the GPU was utilized in a better manner. However, this turned out to be moot when a large number of streams were to be processed.

The two primary hindrances were the API based architecture being a bottleneck under higher loads and the Object detection neural networks being heavy. For this, I needed something better, a better queue and processing architecture along with faster neural nets. Googling and surfing Reddit for a couple of days, I came across Apache Kafka, a publisher-subscriber message queue that is used for high data traffic. We retro-fit the architecture to push several thousand images per second from the CCTVs to the neural networks to achieve our analytical information. We devised another object detection model that was anchor-less and ran faster while retaining performance. Of course, the benchmark was against the infamous COCO dataset.
This increased our processing capability close to 200 fps on a single GPU.

The Turning point

Yes, you guessed it, I didn’t stop there. I knew that there was much more fire-power I could get; accessible but hidden in the trenches of Tensor cores and C++ (such a spoiler). The deities were calling me and my urge to find something better kept me burning the midnight fuel. And then, the pandemic happened.

WHO declared COVID-19 a global emergency — it ravaged through multiple countries and fear was being pushed down people’s throats; most offices transitioned into an indefinite work-from-home status and India imposed the world’s largest lockdown. Wearing masks and Social distancing was the new norm and everybody feared another Spanish flu of the 1900s. 

As an organization, we work with AI to be an extension of man, helping the human race to be better. Usage of face masks and social distancing needed enforcement and what better way to do it than with AI? Our stars aligned, the goals matched and we knew what we needed to build. The solution had to be light-weight and fast enough to run on low-end hardware or run on large HPC machines to analyze hundreds of CCTV cameras at once. For this, we needed an efficient pipeline and highly optimized models.

Hitting 1000 with Mask Detection and Social Distancing Enforcement

By now, I had a few tricks up my sleeve. IRIS’ pipeline now harnesses elements of GStreamer, which is an open-source, highly optimized, image/video media processing tool. TensorRT is something we used to speed up our neural networks on NVIDIA’s GPUs to properly utilize every ounce of performance we could push out. The entire pipeline is written with C++ with CUDA enabled code to parallelize operations. Finally, light-weight models — the person detector uses a smaller ResNet-like backbone and our Face Detector is just 999 kilobytes in size with a 95% result on the WiderFace dataset. Our person detector and Face Detector are INT8 and FP16 quantized making them much faster. With quantization and entire processing pipeline running on the GPU, amalgamating these together, IRIS’ new and shiny COVID-19 Enforcer ran at 1000 fps at peak performance for Social Distancing and 800fps for both Social Distancing and Mask Detection.

This allows us to deploy IRIS on smaller embedded devices to provide a cost-effective solution for retail-chains and stand-alone stores while letting us utilize multi-GPU setups to run on warehouses, shopping malls and city-wide CCTV networks making it easier to comply with and deny the spread of infection.

So what’s next?

I am not done. Achieving one milestone allows me to mark a bigger and better goal. Artificial Intelligence is in its infancy and being at the forefront of making it commercially viable and available in all markets, especially India has been mine and my organization’s vision. The endgame is to have AI for all, where people, be it developers or business-owners, have the ability to quickly design and deploy their own pipelines. 

IRIS aims at being a platform to precisely empower individuals with that, with the intention to democratize Artificial Intelligence, making it not a luxury for the few, rather a commodity for all. 

Chiselling AI agents to be the best tool that man has ever known will be our goal, paving the future with a legion of Intelligent agents, not making the world cold, but making us a smarter race. Ain’t nobody creating Ultron!

Thursday 2 July 2020

Enhancing Workplace Health & Safety Using Computer Vision

Subhash Sharma 

Although health and safety at workplaces have improved over the years, yet the UK continues to have a large number of workplace accidents. The number of accidents resulting in injury, or in some cases, even death is quite high. Many of these accidents can be avoided, and AI-based computer vision can play a significant role in cutting down these accidents. 
Health and Safety Statistics. Key figures for Great Britain (2018/19)
  • 1.4 million working people suffering from a work-related illness
  • 2,526 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2017)
  • 147 workers killed at work
  • 581,000 working people sustaining an injury at work according to the Labour Force Survey
  • 69,208 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR
  • 28.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
  • £15 billion estimated costs of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2017/18)

( Source: )
Forklifts alone account for 1,300 UK employees being hospitalised each year (That’s 5 UK workers each workday!) with serious injuries due to these accidents. Unfortunately, that number is rising as there is a significant growth in e-commerce and warehouses across the UK. 

Use of AI-based computer vision for optimising workplace health and safety in the UK.
Our Computer Vision product, IRIS, is an AI-based computer vision solution to track and predict workplace accidents and then prevent them from happening. The existing use cases include:
  • Fork Lift Safety, Predicting and Prevention of Fork Lift accidents.
  • Use of Lifting Equipment
  • Work at Height
  • Fire & Thermal injuries and accidents
  • Machine Guarding
  • Manual Handling
  • Monitoring near misses and reporting near misses & accidents in real-time
  • Monitoring Use of PPE

IRIS is an enterprise computer vision solution. The product is currently deployed at many customer sites including Fortune 500 companies. The AI solution sits on the top of existing CCTV infrastructure. It is very cost-effective and can be deployed quickly either at a customer site or through the cloud. 

Monday 22 June 2020

Covid-19 isn’t going away soon…… What’s your plan to make YOUR team safe in the workplace?

Thankfully Covid-19 seems to be on the wane…. But it will take a long time to disappear fully, and it is unlikely to be the last pandemic. This means that YOU may need to make the workplace safe for your team and perhaps your customers.

The good news is that many organisations have successfully implemented a Work-From-Home strategy….. And perhaps it has been much easier than we had dreamed it could be – certainly full or part-time WFH will now be a real option for many office workers.

The bad news is that solving the problem for workers who MUST be in their workplace is much, much harder.

Thankfully there ARE tools and solutions (automated Artificial Intelligence) that can help.

Solving the problem falls into several areas

  • Supplying / enforcing use of PPE
  • Providing hygiene solutions – hand sanitiser and washing facilities
  • Making social distancing easy & ensuring that it happens

The last of the above – social distancing, is easy to request, but much harder to implement & has a whole set of sub-problems

  • Filtering out people who have symptoms e.g. high temperature, that they themselves may be unaware of
  • Re-arranging the environment to provide enough isolation where individuals work
  • Reducing hotspots where people might struggle to keep a suitable distance
  • Changing processes to reduce face-face interactions where possible
  • Encouraging a culture where people choose to do the right thing

For these problems we have a technology solution: IRIS, an Artificial Intelligence tool that automatically and constantly analyses what is going on in your workplace AND gives you the data to work out what is going wrong, when it is going wrong and gives you the opportunity to fix it.

  • It can check who is & is not using PPE
  • It can check temperature of people entering a building
  • It can measure how far apart people are 24/7
  • It can find hotspots where social distancing guidelines being broken
  • Feedback is immediate and specific

Crucially this allows YOU to take control

  • Change processes exactly where it creates problems
  • Rearrange workspace to minimise squeeze points & hotspots
  • Make changes AND then check if these changes were effective
  • As with many processes you often get what you measure ….especially when the feedback loop is effective

Perhaps as importantly it allows you to SHOW that you are taking control, hopefully giving confidence to people, demonstrates your organisation’s desire for change and ideally creating a model for the right culture. 

Here is how you can find out more


Ask us at

The Next Big thing: Post COVID-19 Workplaces

- Apoorva Verma

Pic: Freepik

The economy cannot survive a lockdown mode forever and the vaccine for COVID-19 may take years to develop and market, ‘unlock 1.0’ had become the necessary evil. This puts the responsibility on organizations, irrespective of their size, to focus on making the workplace safer for employees. 


This pandemic has changed the fundamental aspects of professional lives — from the daily commute to work environment to interactions amongst colleagues and peers. Hygiene and safety concerns are here to stay and will probably remain for at least a year from now or even more. 


Consequently, businesses are re-accessing their business models and working on best practices to follow on restarting operations. Thus, they are looking at:


1.    Ensuring compliance: what will be the best practices for floor management in a post-COVID-19 workplace? Face masks, sanitizer, gloves, and face shields are the new survival kits. Social distancing is being jacked up and automation solutions have seen a jump owing to the difficulty in ensuring these social distancing norms. 


2.    Hygiene: Can they deploy contactless technology wherever possible and emphasize on frequent sanitization in high-touch places?


3.    Accelerated technology adoption: Each sector has different requirements and use of advanced technologies such as AI and IIOT can help manage operations better. 


Returning back to work will require efforts and everyone needs to be vigilant. The world is at a stage where people can’t afford to be lackadaisical in their approach. Organisations are looking for long-term solutions to enforce safety compliance, especially in workplace environments where thousands work together. 


Computer vision technology solution trained for detecting compliance such as IRIS AI, by Integration Wizards, is ensuring face mask and social distancing compliance for organisations. It works on any existing CCTV network and identifies cases of social distancing or face mask violations and sends real-time alerts to the relevant authority. A dashboard provides detailed analytics for a given time period. In addition, using face recognition technology, their newly launched attendance app – LogMyFace, is a contactless attendance solution. 


Change is perpetual. But sometimes, it is the only option. As the world around us is changing, it has provided us with a new canvas. It is time to paint a new picture. 

Get in touch to discover the best compliance solution for your business. 

Monday 11 May 2020

Competing in the Age of AI

-Apoorva Verma

How machine intelligence is changing the rules of business and what should companies do to stay on top? 

Pic: Freepik

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science that makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks.

According to IDC, companies are forecast to spend $98 billion on AI, globally in 2023. This stems from the fact that more and more businesses continue to invest in projects that utilise the capabilities of AI software and platforms. For example, most companies have turned to chatbots or automated customer service agents for their customer services.

In the current scenario, the world is grappling with a global pandemic, the COVID-19. This has forced most of the countries into lockdown and changed the way businesses function. The role of AI has now become more important than ever.

We are in a phase where AI is realising its potential in achieving human-like capabilities, so isn’t it time to question the business leaders on how they can harness the strength of man and machine.

With technologies such as deep learning, IoT, computer vision and language processing, machines have learnt how to speak, read, text, identify patterns, and so much more. As this field precipitates more into commonly manual activities, for example, the use of AI to combat the corona pandemic in many countries such as training the AI to recognise a positive case using the Chest X-Ray or using drone cameras for thermal screenings.


Rather than scrapping the traditional methods of competitive advantage, AI reframes them in such a manner that companies can get a dynamic view of their strengths. For example, the health and safety of company employees were traditionally dependent on manual hours of patrolling security, it then moved to long hours of video feed monitoring from multiple cameras. However, humans are prone to error due to fatigue or negligence.

So, how can this be reimagined by AI?
  • Data: AI can harness data at a much faster rate and directly from users. 
  • Automation: Algorithms learn from data and experience. This allows us to train them for any security breaches as well as to explore new opportunities that may not be possible manually.
  • Decision Making: AI increases the rate and quality of decision making as the number of inputs and the speed of processing for machines can be millions of times higher than for humans. 
Thus, AI can make lives safer and help employers gain insights on those areas that may have been opaque to them before. Our computer vision solution, IRIS AI is certainly changing lives and supporting business restart their operations.

Furthermore, predictive analytics and objective data are free from human gut feeling and experience. Many industries such as manufacturing, warehousing, retail, banking, automobile and many more have all moved sharply towards adapting computer vision technology. For example, in retail, AI can generate insights from online as well as physical stores (if connected using computer vision).


In this AI-enabled world, it is almost imperative for companies to embrace AI to achieve a competitive edge. Companies need to identify what machines can do better than humans and vice versa, and then develop complementary roles and responsibilities for each, and redesign processes accordingly.

Tuesday 7 April 2020

IRIS AI – A fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic

pic: Unsplash 

How do we stop a global pandemic which has infected over 3.6 million and claimed more than 250000 lives? 

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, wearing masks and gloves, frequent hand sanitization, social distancing, and early identification of infected people are crucial in curbing further spread of COVID-19.

However, the biggest challenge that is faced by organizations is to enforce and ensure strict compliance with these measures. Especially at a time when the number of cases is on a surge each day, non-compliance due to human negligence and fatigue can cost us greatly.

To put it in words, “we are our worst enemies” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is where technology such as computer vision can be highly impactful. IRIS AI, a flagship product by Integration Wizards Solutions can transform your passive CCTV cameras into active analytical tools.

The computer vision technology can keep your employees and premises safe by ensuring the use of masks and gloves by people, social distancing compliance, and early sensing of fever using thermal cameras.

With the majority of countries in a lockdown, business continuity is another key challenge being faced by companies across the globe. However, it is also critical to get the operations re-started to get the economy back up.

So, for those looking for an effective mechanism of ensuring more than 99% compliance without any infrastructure overhaul, implementing IRIS computer vision can help.

IRIS AI uses the feed from existing CCTV to detect non-compliance and raises real-time alerts as SMS, WhatsApp messages, email, etc. The alarm is configured to be sent to the right authority who can then take the necessary steps like personally contacting the non-compliant employee. Moreover, it gives insights on a dashboard for the organisation to understand the analytics during a given time period.

In these challenging times for communities across the globe, technology and innovation could be the key in this fight against COVID-19.

Sunday 8 March 2020

Happy women's day to our nerds, geeks and genius coders

What image comes to your mind when you think ‘Geek’, ‘Nerd’ or ‘Genius Coder’?

The bespectacled guy with spiky hair is passé, here is what the geeks at Integration Wizards also look like. Women who are as good at applying make-up as they are at training the algorithm for intruder detection or detecting a bug in a thousand line code. 

Integration Wizards prides itself for creating an inclusive workplace where meritocracy rules. We function without any bias at every step - fair hiring process, promotions based on performance, onsite visits as per project requirements, leadership opportunities, it is all earned by the deserving employee. 

Women’s day started being celebrated in the early 1900s to respect and honour the work that women do. The theme for International Women's Day2020 is #EachforEqual to celebrate a world where women constantly challenge bias, stereotypes, and are achievers at every front. That just about sounds like the profile of any woman working at Integration Wizards. Our phenomenal women talk about what Women’s day means to them. 

This is what an inclusive workplace looks like. Ours. 
Happy Women’s Day.