FiberSense launches tech that tells the ‘vibe’ of a Smart City
FiberSense, a startup based in Australia, has turned a unique technology into a service that turns fiber optic networks into a kind of biometric nervous system for cities that takes the vibrations generated from the surrounding environment and turns it into data that can be used for everything from traffic management to construction event notification.
The company’s technology is called VIDAR, which stands for vibration detection and ranging. It works by measuring vibrations that occur around fiber network assets. The technology is described as having a combination of characteristics, combining “the range of RADAR with the classification ability of SONAR” according the company.
“FiberSense is aiming at delivering real time awareness across the total footprint of cities in a completely new way. The applications are vast and are fed by a proprietary real time data feed of substantially all objects and events in cities,” according to the company’s LinkedIn description. Uses include detection of water leaks or unauthorized digging near utility assets such as gas and water mains. Other Smart City capabilities include high-resolution traffic flows down to start and stop of trips and continuous speed profiles per car 24×7 everywhere in sensing area, seed profiles on a per vehicle basis, traffic incident detection and response, driver assistance applications in car and pedestrian assistance, and autonomous vehicle operation and monitoring.
Unlike biometric identification systems built around facial recognition, for example, data created by the FiberSense system does not identify individuals by default – it does not record sensitive personal data like individual faces or voices.
The company’s claims are founded in research and smarts from founder and CEO Dr. Mark Englund, whose background includes time at the Australian Defense Science and Technology as head of research for the optical fiber sensor lab, not to mention a PhD in physics covering the same topic.
The technology is offered as a service which is based on the SuperSoniQ platform. The company already has paying customers using the service to monitor the submarine cables that deliver data across oceans between the continents.
The company, which currently has 13 employees, says it has deployed test systems in San Francisco, London, Singapore and Sydney.