Q&A With Chris Piche, Founder of Smarter AI

Chris Piche
Chris Piche

We sat down with Chris Piche, the founder of Smarter AI, a leader in software-defined AI cameras and enablement software. Piche tells us how AI models can enable camera networks to improve public safety.

  1. Describe what your company does in 256 characters (a Tweet’s length)

Chris Piche: “Smarter AI is the leader in AI cameras and enablement software. Smarter AI software-defined cameras program AI-like apps on a phone and are supported by AI Store, our ecosystem of AI models and developers, to scale AI camera use cases.”

  1. How did you get involved in this industry?

Chris Piche: “I have a background in P2P, streaming, and computer vision technologies. I started college early, at age 12, studied computer science, and I was involved in public ICT policy, representing Canada in the APEC ICT Forum. Before founding Smarter AI, I developed connected video services including AT&T Video, BlackBerry OS, and Poly Video.”

  1. What made you think of the idea/what inspired you to create your technology?

Chris Piche: “In the early 2010s, I was running Eyeball Networks, the leader in NAT traversal and real-time communications software. We ended up as part of BlackBerry OS and spent one year building the first BlackBerry smartphones. Unfortunately, BlackBerry was too late and in the span of that year, its market share declined from almost 40% to less than 10%, while Android and iOS market share increased from almost nothing to 90%. This was a firsthand lesson in the speed at which a technology transformation can trigger market disruption.”

“A few years ago, I foresaw a similar technology transformation in CCTV cameras and was inspired to found Smarter AI to enable AI cameras in the same way that Android and iOS enable smartphones.”

  1. How is this going to benefit people/society?

Chris Piche: “Because they can be programmed to detect objects, people, and actions, AI cameras support many new form factors and use cases, including bio thermal cameras, bodycams, and dashcams for increased public safety, the development of smart cities, and enhanced road and driver safety.”

  1. What’s innovative about your company and technology?

Chris Piche: “Because each camera use case requires unique AI models and programming, Smarter AI software-defined cameras scale camera use cases by separating the video, AI, and application planes, and enable users to program AI like apps on a phone. Smarter AI software-defined cameras are supported by AI Store, the company’s growing ecosystem of AI models and developers.”

  1. What has COVID done to your company/industry? Has it been affected? Does your solution assist with the pandemic?

Chris Piche: “COVID has accelerated the demand for and adoption of AI cameras across industries including:

  • Public safety. The reopening of society accelerated demand for public safety solutions, including Smarter AI Bio Thermal Cameras, which enable mass temperature screening, social distancing, and contact tracing for safe reopening.  Early on in the pandemic, many facility operators measured customer temperatures with legacy temperature guns. However, these are susceptible to ambient conditions and are not reliable. Smarter AI Bio Thermal Cameras take a precision approach with thermal and optical sensor fusion for trusted measurements and decisions. Because of their thermal and optical sensors, Smarter AI Bio Thermal Cameras can also detect telltale signs of infection, such as coughing and sneezing, and mitigate transmission by enforcing mask and safe social distancing policies and enabling contact tracing.

  • Regulatory measures are bringing more technology into fleets. The tremendous growth in e-commerce is also bolstering last-mile deliveries and associated drivers, many without previous commercial driving experience. All these factors are driving demand for Smarter AI Dashcams with driver assistance (ADAS) and driver monitoring (DMS) features.”
  1. Describe the future of your industry. What does the future hold? What is society going to look like?

Chris Piche: “AI is transforming CCTV and enabling camera solutions for public safety, smart cities, transportation, and more. ABI Research reported in “Deep Learning-Based Machine Vision in Smart Cities” that the installed base of AI cameras will reach 350 million by 2025, including bodycams, dashcams, drone cameras, security cameras, and more.”

  1. What plans do you have coming up?

Chris Piche: “Smarter AI is committed to delivering precision AI to every camera use case for trusted data and decisions.  To do this, we’ll continue to grow the AI Store™, our growing ecosystem of AI developers and models, which enables customers to program AI on Smarter AI cameras like apps on a phone.”



Chris Piche

Chris Piche is a Canadian computer scientist and technology entrepreneur. He is an expert in computer vision, P2P, and scalable video technologies, having created services including AT&T TV, BBM Video, Poly Video, and STUN/TURN/ICE. Piche has been awarded Best of Internet World, Canada’s Top Young Leader, and Top 40 under 40. Piche is the Founder of Smarter AI, the leader in software-defined AI cameras and enablement software.