Xped adds AI to IoT with AU$900k Jemsoft acquisition

Adelaide Internet of Things company Xped has announced the acquisition of four-year-old AI startup Jemsoft to strengthen its IoT offerings.
Written by Tas Bindi, Contributor

Xped executive chairman Athan Lekkas

(Image: Supplied)

Australian Securities Exchange-listed Internet of Things (IoT) company Xped has announced that it is purchasing fellow Adelaide-based artificial intelligence (AI) company Jemsoft for AU$200,000 in cash and 50 million Xped shares.

The total value of the deal comes to AU$900,000, with Xped shares priced at 14 cents per share.

In addition to acquiring all of Jemsoft's intellectual property -- including its computer vision machine-learning technology, Monocular API -- Xped will also gain ownership of 51 percent of Jemsoft's partially owned subsidiary Media Intelligence, which offers media measurement technologies and real-time research solutions.

Xped executive chairman Athan Lekkas described Jemsoft as the "missing link" in Xped's vision of providing an end-to-end IoT platform.

The acquisition will allow Xped -- which offers a platform that enables consumers of all technical capabilities to connect, monitor, and control everyday devices and appliances through their smartphones -- to provide an in-house AI solution to clients looking to enhance their IoT products using visual sensors.

Monocular's account management and dashboard components, as well as its user-trainable functionality, will become "integral components" of Xped's smart home and other IoT offerings moving forward, the companies said.

Xped will also explore applications from Jemsoft for programmatic advertising and connected devices, vehicles, and smart homes.

Founded in 2013 by Jordan Green and Emily Rich, Jemsoft's Monocular API is a cloud-based computer vision platform that can be trained to identify anything in still images and video footage. The platform has been used in projects in partnership with Unilever, Mars, and Google in Asia, the United States, and Europe.

The technology is also being used to assist orangutan conservation efforts in Sumatra, where drone footage is being analysed to identify orangutan nests.

"Xped's success doing deals with companies in the US and China, specifically with device manufacturers and the successes they've had in gaining adoption of their technology at the chip and module levels, showed us they're the right partner to fulfil our vision of providing the most usable and accessible cognitive computing products and services in the world," Green said in a statement.

The idea for Jemsoft was inspired by a traumatic incident that took place in 2013, Green recently told ZDNet, when he was held at gunpoint during an attempted robbery.

"The question in my head was why is it that someone who so clearly was not here to grab a slab could come into the local bottle-o and threaten my life and the life of my co-worker -- who to my knowledge has not returned to work. You could say that I took a pretty radical career change because I then left uni, left that job, and tried to build a company, which is not something a sane person would do," Green told ZDNet.

"The reason for that was I felt it shouldn't be that hard to build a system that can identify at the very least that somebody is wearing a balaclava and carrying a gun, and perform the inference that they're probably not there to grab a slab -- especially when I knew I had the technology available."

The technology can now be used to create security systems that only grant people access to buildings if their faces are clearly visible in security cameras.

Monocular also has a range of other applications in industries such as retail, marketing, and manufacturing.

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