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Clockworks, a deep learning software startup based in Rotterdam, will receive an investment of €300,000 from the South Holland proof-of-concept fund, UNIIQ. The funding will be used to advance the technology of its software solution, which automatically reads all the water, gas and electricity meters with the camera of mobile phone. It employs the deep learning technology to read the brand, model number and meter mapped. Further, Clockworks intends to make a meter more customer-friendly, error-free and fraud-proof.
With a background of deep learning and other recognition techniques, Noelle Fischer and Victor Westerwoudt, the founders of Clockworks, have financed their own product development with consultancy projects. Noëlle, who is quite motivated by the investment from UNIIQ, iterated that this is going to accelerate not only the development of product but also solve common meter problems.
Clockworks & the deep learning technology
The meters often hang (deep) in dark boxes or pits that are often dirty, dusty or damaged, and figures are also half-readable. Clockworks has developed a software solution that helps the user take a clear picture of the meter with the mobile phone. To do this, the startup has made use of artificial intelligence (AI) to overcome the limitations of optical character recognition (OCR). Further, the deep learning technology, which has stemmed from AI, comes to play and helps to learn and cope with conditions, such as any possible rotation angle, different lighting conditions and various zoom levels.
The reading of water/gas/electricity meters is said to have a 5-10% of time error. Not only it costs the consumer extra time and is a frustrating experience, but also posts additional costs to the operators. The AI-enabled image recognition software by Clockworks can offer operators respite from the above-mentioned issues.
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