The stereotypical perception about college goers is known to all. Breaking such stereotypes are four final year engineering students from PES Institute of Technology, Bangalore who are proud entrepreneurs of an Artificial Intelligence based company called VISIO.AI. They have just come out with a new product called ‘Driver Distraction Alert System’ which maybe an economical solution to reduce the number of road accidents happening presently.
Origiin got candid with one of the co-founder, Mr. Saahil Kamath and discussed about how they balance work and college.
Excerpts from the interview:
Origiin: The Drowsiness detector device is one of your many inventions. What was your motivation to develop this device?
Mr. Saahil Kamath: We originally were working on a ‘Car Enhancement System’ which would enhance the overall experience of a driver by giving statistical information of his driving style, mood, expression, steering angle, engine information etc. This was a pretty big task to master. So we ﬁrst decided to solve the issue of accidents induced/caused due to one’s own mistake. Our case study told us that almost 60-65% of accidents happen due to driver drowsiness. We quickly identiﬁed the causes and symptoms of drowsiness and created a novel neural network that could detect the same and alert the driver. In addition, we also do ‘driver authentication’ and ‘driver distraction alert’ in the same product. This helps us to personalize the statistics which will be providing in our mobile application along with the device.
Origiin: So you are a team of 4 guys in your last year of engineering in PESIT. How did you manage to ﬁnd time for developing all these inventions and still manage to be in par with your college curriculum?
Mr. Saahil Kamath: The key to managing studies and a company is seting priorities straight and planning. It’s a given fact that if I choose to do this, it would not be easy, but I know it would be worth it. So I try my best to keep an open mind and concentrate in classes so I can understand the core concepts of the subject. Once you understand a subject its not very hard to manage studies. I go to the oﬃce right after college ﬁnishes and try to work till night and sometimes (almost everyday) take the work home and work late in the night. Fortunately I have a very good team beside me. So the work is distributed.
Origiin: The 4 of you have started your own company called VISIO AI. How did that happen? It is quite baﬄing to understand how 4th year engineering guys can achieve so much at such a young age. Please share your experiences with us.
Mr. Saahil Kamath: VISIO.AI was started by four of us, Saahil Kamath (myself), Rahul B Prakash, Aviral Joshi and Akshay Kumar. We happened to meet in an internship at IISc, where we all worked together on a project.
We quickly developed chemistry and learnt that we had very similar interests. We all had common interests in fields like Computer Vision, Machine learning and Artificial intelligence. One other thing that we all had in common was the vision to use Artificial intelligence and computer vision to solve real world problems.
This common vision of ours in addition to the entrepreneur mindset was the reason for the birth of VISIO.AI .
Origiin: Can you brieﬂy talk about all the inventions that you have developed till date?
Mr. Saahil Kamath: Apart from the ‘Driver Distraction Alert System’ we have multiple projects constantly running in parallel. Some of them include:
- Face Recognition Attendance System.
- Automatic Number Plate Recognition System, which will be used in malls, oﬃces etc.
- Visitor Enhancement System: using AI we can tag the visitor and give useful statistics about the guest.
- Malicious Object Detection System: for public places like metros, railway, airports.
- Airport Person-Baggage tagging using AI.
- Driver enhancement module: this can help the driver improve his driving by using the statistics provided by our AI algorithm.
- Crowd Density Estimation and statistics: used presently for disaster management system.
The above mentioned are only some of the R&D projects which we are allowed to speak about.
Origiin: Where do you guys see yourself as a company in the next 5 years?
Mr. Saahil Kamath: What we do at VISIO.AI is futuristic and new, if the idea is not new the approach is new, if the approach is not new the technique is new and that’s the beauty of artiﬁcial intelligence. Its all about targeting the right question and targeting the right approach to solve that question and I strongly believe we are doing that. We are targeting at augmenting the human life and amplifying the human skills. We collectively strongly believe that AI is the future. We see ourself well established and doing something that is actually worthwhile and earn a good name in the AI ﬁeld.
Origiin: With the amount of things you have on your plate, do you get time for recreation? If you do, what are the things you guys like doing to keep yourself stress-free?
Mr. Saahil Kamath: We do what we love and certainly love what we do. Hence there is no requirement of ‘recreation’ at this juncture. That being said it does get a little overwhelming at times and I personally have a habit of playing the guitar to ease my mind. But all of us here are VISIO.AI believe that ‘your focus determines your reality’ and this keeps us motivated and helps us push harder.
Origiin: We at Origin thank you for your time and wish you all the best of luck for your future endeavours.
Mr. Saahil Kamath: We at VISIO.AI thank you guys. We are humbled for the opportunity to present our work in your newsletter.