A startup called Alitheon wants to teach computers to recognize objects, and it’s attracted $2.8 million in funding to do it, according to a report filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The teaching technique is called machine perception technology. It’s meant to help computers identify objects and stop counterfeits using digital fingerprints, without having to rely on barcodes, watermarks or security tags..
We’ve reached out to Alitheon’s executives for comment and will update this item with anything we hear back.
According to the Bellevue, Wash.-based company’s website, the patented technology identifies points on an item’s surface and creates a set of metadata. Then it turns those metadata into a “Featureprint” and stores it to the cloud, where the recognition process resides. As the item moves through the supply chain or a delivery process – for example, airline baggage handling – a standard-issue smartphone can snap images and compare them to the Featureprint for authentication.
The SEC filing says Alitheon has raised $2.8 million of a larger round from 24 investors.
Alitheon, which has been operating in Washington state since 2015, has people from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Microsoft on the team. The company’s co-founders are Scot Land, David Ross and David Kim. Land serves as president, while Ross is the company’s chief scientist. Kim works with optics and data acquisition for Alitheon.
Elliott Jurgensen, Jr. is listed on the filing as a director. He’s also a board member of Tableau, a Seattle software company, and was a board member at Isilon Systems before its acquisition.
According to Alitheon’s patent, David Ross, Brian Elmenhurst, Mark Tocci, John Forbes, Heather Wheelock Ross are inventors of the technology. Others working at the startup include chief financial officer Lisa Fulle, business development director Justin Withrow and senior software engineer Rusty Gerard, who previously worked at Disney.
Job listings show that the company has eight open positions, including roles focusing on software engineering and cloud technology.