Sramana Mitra: You are primarily involved in the retail space, but what other industries are potentially big adapters of big data in regards to video analytics?
Derek Rodner: Any public sector area. I am talking about airports, train stations, subway stations, and so on. [Governments are actually using this] now in city and state parks. There is a lot of video analysis going on [under the larger umbrella of] big data.
SM: Are the main uses primarily security applications?
DR: Yes. As we mature in this space, things like video surveillance, video analytics, and big data have overlapping circles. They are no longer independent. The other places where I have seen adaptations are in production lines – any type of manufacturing, especially when you get into pharmaceutical manufacturing, whether it is medical devices or medication itself.
SM: What are some of the core startups or thought-leading companies that are emerging in your space?
DR: That I don’t have an answer to. There is a company called RapidEye, which is an open source analytics player. But the nice thing I know for us is that we are alone in this particular space. What I am really looking at is who could be entering the space, but there is nobody that fits that profile right now.
SM: What about open spaces? Where are opportunities that lack solutions? Where would you point entrepreneurs to dig in to find opportunities?
DR: When you talk pure big data, the primary users of big data are genomics or meteorology, for example. But there are a bunch of different areas that require a specialized approach. Retail operations are a specialty – a niche within a niche – for big data. There are underlying technologies that can be used for the people who are trying to get into the big data space. There are cloud services and powerful databases that are available today. It is about building the application itself to be specialized for a particular market. I think that is where the benefit is.
Process manufacturing versus discrete manufacturing – big data will play a major role there. There are too many people who are focused on social media. There is too much going on in that space, and there are not enough dollars to go around at the end of the day. When it comes to analyzing consumer behavior, while we are still young, there are still a lot of players in that space. That goes along with the social media field. I think those areas are saturated at this point. But there are a lot of other areas, like manufacturing or pharmaceutical manufacturing, where there is a need for big data and video solutions.