In this blog article, we had the opportunity to interview Marcin Jabłonowski, General Manager of Pragmile, the company behind the InfraSenses thermal imaging and AI solutions. Marcin is an expert in the field and shared with us his insights on the future of thermal imaging and AI and how it will revolutionize various industries in 2023.
Marcin, Can you tell us a bit about your background and experience in designing thermal AI systems?
Of course, I am the General Manager of Pragmile, the company from where the Infrasenses solutions were developed. We specialize in creating AI solutions and E2E software with a big focus on thermal imaging. We design and develop thermal imaging systems that can identify and track humans, human movement, and measure body temperature using thermal images and video. Our technology is designed to bring value to a wide range of industries, including security and surveillance, industrial and manufacturing, autonomous vehicles, search and rescue operations, agriculture, healthcare, smart buildings, and the retail industry.
That’s quite a diverse range of industries. Can you give us an example of a particularly interesting or unique project you’ve worked on recently?
One project that comes to mind is a recent feasibility study we conducted at a fuel station. We used our thermal imaging technology to detect people at the fuel station and successfully identified suspicious activities that could lead to fuel theft. Our thermal imaging systems were able to detect the heat signatures of people and vehicles, and the AI was able to distinguish between legitimate customers and potential thieves. This was a great demonstration of the power of thermal imaging and AI in security and surveillance applications.
That’s definitely an impactful use of thermal imaging. Can you tell us more about the benefits of using thermal imaging in security and surveillance applications?
One of the biggest benefits of using AI to analyze thermal imaging in security and surveillance applications is that it generates a lot fewer false alarms compared to traditional CCTV systems. The AI can be trained to be extremely accurate, only triggering actions when it is really needed. This can save a lot of time and resources that would otherwise be wasted on false alarms.
Also, thermal imaging can detect and track people in complete darkness, making it ideal for use in low-light environments. I believe possibly one of the greatest advantages is protecting people’s identity and privacy and this will be a key factor in the success of thermal AI systems, as it will ensure that the technology is accepted and trusted by the public, especially with the restrictions coming up with the EU AI Act.
Can you tell us about your predictions for the use of thermal AI technologies in 2023?
I believe thermal imaging with AI analysis will be the eyes and ears of the future, detecting and preventing unseen dangers and unlocking new possibilities for all industries. In the area of security and surveillance, thermal imaging systems will be increasingly used to detect and track people, prevent crimes and improve overall security. Thermal AI technology may also become a key commodity used in warfare for reconnaissance and targeting but also securing perimeters for example trenches while soldiers are sleeping.
In industrial and manufacturing, I believe thermal imaging will continue to play a key role in improving safety and efficiency. This has already been a proven success in detecting potential hazards and monitoring workers’ movements, however as technology improves I believe there will be a lot more focus on driving Industry 4.0. At least – that is where we are aiming at.
The field of autonomous vehicles, but perhaps even conventional vehicles, may also see AI thermal imaging starting to become a standard safety feature to reliably detect and track people and objects in real-time, which can help prevent accidents.
Recently I found out how few search and rescue teams do in fact have thermal imaging equipment – which definitely needs to change in 2023. This should become the standard tool for rescue teams especially in harsher winter climated. The ease of detecting heat signatures of people or animals in real-time even without any AI processing can save countless lives.
Agriculture is another industry where AI thermal imaging may see massive growth potential. There have already been some applications using this technology to detect the temperature of crops, which can help farmers optimize crop growth, detect disease, and improve crop yields. We also see more and more automation of heavy agricultural equipment like combine harvesters – which also warrants the development of better safety features to protect humans and animals – and this definitely is a field we would like to see AI thermal imaging to play a key role in.
In healthcare, thermal imaging will be used even more to detect and monitor patients’ body temperature which can be an early indicator of fever, a symptom of many infectious diseases. What will improve is the scale of monitoring. We in fact did some projects in this regard – and the amount of people you can effectively monitor at the same time – and might I add, accurately, is just astounding.
Smart buildings will continue to become more popular and when using thermal AI to detect and monitor human behavior, can help building managers understand how the building is being used and make adjustments to improve energy efficiency and comfort. Thermal imaging can be used to detect if a person has fallen down and needs care or in case of larger emergency situations detect and track people, which can help building managers and first responders quickly locate and evacuate people from the building.
We did a project a while back for a client in the retail industry installing thermal sensors and processing customer movement in the form of heatmaps. Needless to say, this is something that worked very well to capture shopper behavior and lead to adjustments in the store’s exhibits and even floor plans to improve the overall customer experience. Thermal imaging far outperforms conventional CCTV-based and motion sensors – and I believe in the time of insane pressure that retailers are experiencing to increase sales – thermal AI solutions will become very popular.
Those are all interesting predictions, and now to summarize – what would you say is the single most important benefit that this technology will bring to the future.
Thermal imaging with AI analysis will be the future’s guardian of privacy and security, detecting unseen dangers without compromising personal identity. The fact that it does not capture people’s identity will be key to adoption.
If you are interested in learning more about how InfraSenses can benefit your industry or organization, we encourage you to reach out to us. Our experts would be happy to discuss your specific needs and how our thermal AI technology can help. You can fill out the form below to schedule a consultation. You may also want to look at other examples of how Pragmile is expanding it’s AI capabilities.
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