The global spread of COVID-19 is one of the greatest challenges our world has faced in decades. It’s impacted almost every industry conceivable, severely disrupted daily life, and caused widespread unemployment and underemployment. One thing that the pandemic has not managed to negatively impact, however, is innovation. To the contrary, innovation has been amplified to historic levels.
Each day, new technologies are emerging that are aimed at mitigating challenges imposed on our society by the COVID-19 virus. For example, we’re seeing applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and medical imaging techniques that are revolutionizing the way in which we detect, prevent, monitor, and diagnose illness. At the front of the line is a Toronto-based AI software company known as Predictiv AI, (TSX.V: PAI) (OTC: INOTF).
I recently had the good fortune of sitting down with President & CEO of Predictiv AI, Michael Lende – a highly motivated entrepreneur and business start-up expert with a track record of success. In 2006, he launched the ZipCar car sharing service in Canada and grew the Toronto-area membership from zero to over 42,000.
One thing that became clear in the interview, is that this company is gaining momentum as they’ve caught the attention of key decision makers, have built a massive pipeline and are currently entering new sales channels. This is definitely one company that you’re going to want to keep your eye on.
An AI approach to problem solving
Formerly known as The Internet of Things Inc., Predictiv AI advances artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to solve complex challenges while empowering customers to make data-based decisions. The company has two subsidiaries: Weather Telematics Inc. and AI Labs Inc.
Weather Telematics Inc., (WTX) is an IoT/AI data science company that provides weather-related intelligence. The company leverages Artificial Intelligence and IoT sensor technology to support industries including government, insurance, agriculture, public safety, and fleet management with up to 72-hours of advanced predictive weather data.
Technology by the name of Alert Fleet leverages patented sensors to provide vehicle-based road temperature, weather and air quality data with unmatched accuracy and resolution at a fraction of the cost of ground station competitors. It also supplies real-time alerts of hazardous road conditions to drivers from 200 meters up to hundreds of kms.
A booming thermal imaging market
In light of our current pandemic crisis, Predictiv AI’s research & development arm, AI Labs Inc. is gaining serious traction. This arm of the company is focused on developing patented thermal imaging sensors that are becoming indispensable for detecting and preventing the spread of COVID-19.
The pandemic has triggered a boom in the thermal imaging technology market, and according to industry analysts, thermal imagers will become a $7.6 billion market. Across the globe, leadership teams in hospitals, schools and businesses are implementing comprehensive health and wellness screening protocols for anyone entering their facilities, which typically includes a temperature check. In the early stages of the pandemic, manual checks were mostly performed which proved slow and cumbersome.
In response to this, through a joint venture (JV) with Commersive Solutions, named SMRT Labs Inc., Predictiv AI developed ThermalPass, an advanced medical grade fever detection system. ThermalPass is a safe, privacy-respecting system that identifies potential risk carriers by detecting body temperature through 24 touchless, infrared, thermal medical grade sensors. It rapidly scans an individual’s temperature as they pass through the device, without having to slow their walking pace. It also respects social distancing rules.
Built specifically for public spaces, ThermalPass is mobile, easy to assemble, and has a long battery life. It’s capable of capturing 400 temperature readings per second and detects body temperature with an accuracy of +/- 0.2°C, making it one of the most reliable and accurate fever detection systems on the market today.
ThermalPass is a safe, privacy-respecting system that detects body temperature through 24 touchless, infrared, thermal medical grade sensors. It rapidly scans individuals’ temperatures as they pass through the device, without having to slow their walking pace.
In spring of last year, Predictiv AI was granted interim marketing and sales permission by Health Canada for ThermalPass and the company expects that the enhanced functionality will position the product to generate recurring monthly revenue through a multitude of enterprise scenarios. Furthermore, the U.S. government’s recent ban on Chinese thermal cameras adds to this product’s appeal because it respects privacy, is less expensive and easier to use than thermal cameras.
In a short time, Predictiv AI has managed to close C$2.75 million in non-brokered private placement financings which will be used to fund product development and roll out in addition to general working capital. Additionally, the Company announced that its board of directors has approved the grant of 1.7 million incentive stock options to its officers and directors. The options will have an exercise price of $0.205 per share and will vest quarterly over 18 months from the grant date, with a term of three years.
Advanced technology that’s safe, secure and selling quickly
During my sit down with Michael Lende, President & CEO, he explained: “Unlike some other technologies out there, ThermalPass gives people comfort and confidence because it’s not camera-based and it anonymously collects data so that privacy is always respected. It’s also 100% safe with no health risks or emissions of any kind.”
Sales are quickly advancing and the technology is now being used in hospitals, schools, communities, stadiums and businesses across the U.S. and Canada. In the latest press release, Predictiv AI announced that they’ve sold a total of 62 units in only eight weeks. The latest order, consisting of 34 units, included initial purchases from prisons and aboriginal communities across Canada as well as new orders from hospitals and public schools in the U.S.
“We’re expecting a great final quarter,” said Michael Lende. “It’s an optimal position to be in because not only are we winning as a company, but we’re helping society win by accurately detecting the number one symptom of COVID-19 in a safe and non-intrusive manner.”
Predictiv AI has been working closely with several exclusive resellers including KleinCity Group, who is focusing on Québec and Atlantic Canada. KleinCity Group is a cleaning and sanitation company that specializes in cutting-edge electrostatic technology and proprietary disinfectant products to sterilize indoor spaces. To date, they’ve successfully secured orders for the delivery of units to hospitals and long-term care facilities in Québec.
Predictiv AI is also working with channel reseller TFG Concepts Inc. to drive sales across the country. TFG has more than three decades of experience representing over 20 international manufacturers and brands throughout North America in the retail, commercial, hospitality and food services industries.
The company will continue to actively onboard resellers with established channels throughout Canada, the U.S., and Europe. Over the coming months, it’s expected that these channel partners will greatly accelerate unit orders and adoption of the ThermalPass system in their respective jurisdictions and to various markets including retail, financial institutions, professional sports teams, leagues and organizations, cruise lines and a wide spectrum of corporations and manufacturers.
With sales continuing on an upward trend and a packed pipeline, Predictiv AI is actively in the process of hiring a dedicated Sales Channel Manager as well as scoping out new potential partnerships. “Every week, we’re entering new sales channels,” said Michael Lende. “We’re creating a massive pipeline so stay tuned because soon, we will be providing updates on our sales and revenue generation activities, and things are looking very positive.”
Just to recap, within only nine months, Predictiv AI established AI Labs as a wholly owned subsidiary, designed and developed ThermalPass from scratch, created two SKUs for the product – the ThermalPass Portable and ThermalPass Pro, established SMRT Labs Inc. as a joint venture to commercialize ThermalPass, gained approval from Health Canada, and successfully brought the product to market, selling 62 units in eight weeks time. Needless to say, it’s exciting to see where this company will go next.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Andrew O’Donnell have been paid for this article and own shares.
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