view counter

Venture capitalPyreos, ultra‐low power consumption IR sensor specialist, secures $4 million investment

Published 5 November 2013

Edinburgh, Scotland-based Pyreos Limited, a specialist in ultra‐low power consumption infrared sensor technology, the other day announced plans for international expansion after securing a further funding round of $4 million. It is possible to use Pyreos sensor arrays in many applications, among them border security, where they can identify human movement at distances of several kilometers.

Edinburgh, Scotland-based Pyreos Limited, a specialist in ultra‐low power consumption infrared sensor technology, the other day announced plans for international expansion after securing a further funding round of $4 million. The investment was led by Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, Seraphim Capital, Siemens Technology Accelerator, and the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise.

Pyreos says that the company’s ultra‐low power consumption infrared sensors are making inroads into the global smartphone and tablet markets. Their recently launched gesture and proximity sensor products use just micro‐watts of power, making them more energy efficient than competing technologies. This can enable advanced features like “always‐on” gesture which has opened a myriad of applications to app developers for mobile devices. In addition, the sensor enables applications such as long range gesture, presence detection, and wake‐up functions for other consumer markets including PC, TV, Docking Stations, Tablet devices, and Smart Energy, which have attracted customer traction.

Pyreos says its technology has also established itself as an important player in the industrial gas and flames sensor market, and that it has a strong position in the emerging portable handheld spectroscopy market. Pyreos says its small, battery‐powered device provides rapid, accurate analysis of solids or liquids wherever and whenever required. This removes the wait for expensive lab‐based analysis and enables instant on-site results. The company says it has traction in a range of end markets including the dairy, winery, and lubricant industries as well as a number of open discussions with OEM partners for delivery of dedicated and customized solutions.

Claus Schmidt, managing director of Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH commented: “We are excited to support Pyreos to exploit existing and future licensing opportunities. Reducing power consumption by the magnitude achieved by Pyreos creates massive potential in mobile and handheld applications across both consumer and industrial markets. The new investment will fund growth in the team to enlarge its already established international customer base.”

The company’s small, sensitive IR sensor arrays can detect tiny amounts of human body radiation (heat), and do not require stabilization (uncooled detectors), to provide reliable performance. It is thus possible to use Pyreos sensor arrays in applications as diverse as border security where they can identify human movement at distances of several kilometers, counting people anonymously in and out of retail spaces, and even as traffic and highway management counting solutions, where the performance is close to radar-like counting systems.

The company notes that the range of detection distance is generally related to the quality of the infra-red lens used with the sensors, with longer range applications requiring costlier lenses.