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Digital Barriers: Pioneering edge intelligent solutions that improve people’s lives

Digital Barriers CEO Zak Doffman explains why his company is teaming up with Vodafone’s Tomorrow Street facility in Luxembourg and how its edge intelligent solutions can bring benefits all over the world.

What is Digital Barriers’ business and background?

We deliver edge intelligent solutions to the global security, defence and law enforcement sectors through a combination of ultra-low bandwidth streaming and artificial intelligence on edge devices. We are headquartered in London with customers in up to 50 countries across Europe, North America and Asia. Luxembourg will be our primary EU location. We have 120 employees and are on track to reach £30 million in revenue this year. Formerly part of a company established in 2010, Digital Barriers was spun out last year with backing from an investor, Volpi Capital. We are already profitable, which funds our ongoing growth, and we are looking into further areas of investment to accelerate this process.

« Most video capture is just in case, but we provide it just in time.»

What opportunities and challenges do IoT devices present today for your clients?

People use our technology for two reasons, the first being that they are unable to obtain live intelligent video from the edge. Intelligent solutions enable video to be triggered according to a particular configuration – for example instead of police officers having to wait for a car or at a border, a camera can notify them when someone is coming. We can also immediately identify the car’s number plate and if necessary, trigger an alarm depending on the result. The second reason is cost savings – even where the bandwidth exists, it is too expensive to stream HD video on a continuous basis. Our technology enables a reduction in the required bandwidth of up to 75%, saving time, money and energy. We get the video to where it is needed, when it is needed.

Is this technology of benefit to ordinary people?

It is, in several ways. Video as a security service is improving our lives: you can see it in action in autonomous vehicles, while police officers wear cameras that make them accountable for their actions. Soon people will be able to travel seamlessly through airports thanks to biometric authentication, or use an ATM without entering a password. Another important aspect is wider social benefits. Across the globe hundreds of millions of people lack access to services, but new technology will enable them to connect to the world. Of course, as with any new technology, people should remain alert to any possible issues. Together we must check if it is implemented appropriately. And if you equip your house with a video surveillance device, for example, it is important to choose the right equipment and ensure it is encrypted from end to end, since it will know your password and sit inside your firewall.

Why did you choose to join Tomorrow Street?

There is incredible demand right now for the kind of IoT capability we have developed. We believe this is the perfect time to join Tomorrow Street and Vodafone, bringing our unique technology together with their global reach right around the world. We really look forward to working with them and accelerating our international growth.

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