RemoteReality receives $7.3 million in VC funding

Published 18 December 2006

Battelle Ventures and Chart Venture partners pick up the tab; company a DoD favorite for its 360-degree video analytics technology; USS Cole and USS Greenville incidents drive demand for on-board surveillance and monitoring

Seeing is believing. Westborough, Massachusetts-based RemoteReality is in the business of taking a complete view of matters, and not coincidently so is Princeton, New Jersey-based Battelle Ventures, which along with Chart Venture Parnters has agreed to provide the intelligent-video system firm with $7.3 million in venture capital financing. This is Battelle’s second recent investment in the homeland security industry. The firm recently joined a $10 million investment project with L Capital Partners to finance Rockville, Maryland-based Hi-G-Tek, a a developer of active-RFID products for monitoring high-value physical assets, especially in the cargo industry.

RemoteReality is best known for its continuous 360-degree surveillance, imaging, and analysis capabilities. Its proprietary technology uses high-resolution 360-degree mirrors, optics, sensors, and intelligent processing — the key advantage being longer and clearer images than those produced by fish-eye lenses and other artificial methods of 360-degree imaging. Said company CEO James Ionson:

“We incorporate precision single or double mirrors with our unique lenses, which interact with the latest intelligent-video sensors. Using mirrors and a lens is superior to using only lenses, which must constantly compensate for light refraction. This is why highly sophisticated telescopes, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, utilize lenses and mirrors rather than lens-only refractor telescopes. We could call RemoteReality ‘the Hubble of intelligent omni-imaging.”

The company has a long relationship with the federal government, dating back at least to the destruction of the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen. At that time, company spokesman Mike Zwolinski told us, the Navy approached RemoteReality looking for help in developing a 360 degree on-board video surveillance capability. A similar disaster, the sinking of a Japanese fishing boat by the USS Greenville in 2001 led to a similar project to create a 360-degree periscope system. All in all, Zwolinski tells us, the company has managed apprioximately 60 contracts for the federal government and has received approximetly $6 million in government grants.

By the way: Why invest in RemoteReality? Battelle Ventures general partner Ralph Taylor-Smith echoes what Professor Cehppalla says (see story above): “Current intelligent-video-surveillance products are not robust enough to meet requirements for persistent situational awareness, protection of critical assets and efficient communication of essential information. But, through its patented imaging technology integrating hardware and proprietary software, RemoteReality has solved key technical limitations, including those on video quality, and has reduced the high costs associated with systems that are predominantly in use today.” RemoteReality’s technology would offer important benefits