LiDAR Pre-Processing with Outsight and Metrolla

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For those who are not already familiar with Outsight.  Outsight is headquartered in Paris France and is a leader in the Lidar Pre-Processing World the company develops real-time 3D LiDAR perception solutions. They make a product called the Augmented LiDAR Box or ALB for short. Outsight recognized the difficulties in using applying machine learning to complex sensor data and has curated a use-case-oriented software for their ALB for a simple plug-and-play solution for companies without specialized engineering teams. 

According to Outsight, its mission is to make LiDAR-based Spatial Intelligence become Plug & Play, so it can be used by application developers and integrators in any market. Using any LiDAR with its pre-processing capabilities allows Smart Machines and Smart Cities to achieve an unprecedented level of situational awareness.

Outsight much like Metrolla believes that accelerating the adoption of LiDAR technology with easy-to-use and scalable pre-processing will highly contribute to creating transformative solutions and products that will make a Smarter and Safer World.

Outsights technical solutions are being applied in a wide variety of industries including Automotive, Smart Cities,  AirPorts, and most recently Forestry. Outsight is working closely with Ouster LiDAR in many of these projects but the top 5 LiDAR providers like Velodyne and Hesai are working closely to ensure rapid usability of their sensors in emerging markets using next-generation technologies. 

The ALB has a wide variety of technical capabilities. Starting off with the physical capabilities you can connect any lidar to it and use it by simply powering it on. The ALB can also power the LiDAR sensors. Once attached the LiDAR sensor outputs streams of data that are augmented with machine learning. 

Various algorithms are applied like Simultaneous location and mapping also known as SLAM which enables robotics to learn and navigate their own environment. Other algorithms like object detection and tracking of objects can be applied this can be useful for security and safety applications as well as logistics analytics. Volume computation is another valuable algorithm 

Outsights Augmented LiDAR Box has in its toolbelt. This algorithm is very useful for storage and warehouse industries as well as Mining. Allowing managers and employees to keep an incredibly high accuracy of volume-based inventory in seconds. 

Furthering Outsights technology they have created a standard for their data output to be read by a connected computer. Functioning like an API this network interface allows the user to interact with their hardware box and select from a selection of algorithms. 


Outsight’s ALB is available for purchase from outsight directly and available for customer use today.  Over the last few years, LiDAR has been getting a lot of attention from the Autonomous Vehicle industry. However, its adoption in adjacent industries like Mining and Airports has gained traction. A few companies are working with it today to help Air Planes Park more efficiently and increase the safety of the ground crew or improve the flow of foot traffic in terminals.

The increase of smart city applications to address Vision Zero Initiatives are being helped by companies like Blue City and others to measure and improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. Cities have a wide variety of sensor networks most notably traffic cameras. LiDAR is very similar to how cameras function but has the added benefit of anonymity, speed, and distance. While a small number of cities are addressing speed and spatial data for select uses like adaptive street signals and more it is only a matter of time before it takes off as early adopter cities show as an example to other cities. Outsight and Ouster have been working on closing in PeachTree corners to develop a next-generation go-to-market strategy thus opening the door to LiDAR in highly focused smart city applications. Needless to say, the industry is heating up and computer vision companies who are supporting LiDAR will have a wave of business opportunities created by today's innovations

According to a recent press release: “LiDAR technology is a strong emerging trend in the Computer Vision landscape: over $3 billion have been invested in the Hardware aspect of LiDAR technology since 2019 and only the top five American LiDAR Hardware Manufacturers are expected to grow from less than $150 million sales in total in 2020 to over $4 billion in 2024.

However, effectively using LiDAR data in real-time is a complex, expensive, and long endeavor even for the best 3D expert engineers. Assessing and selecting the right hardware among the profusion of dozens of manufacturers without any standard makes it even more challenging and threatens to slow down market adoption.

In that context, software for LiDAR is expected to account for at least 50% of the value and over 65%1 of gross profit across many markets: integrators and solution providers that are not 3D experts require a processing solution that solves the complexity of using LiDAR data regardless of the hardware supplier.” 

We at Metrolla have been observing these trends over the last few years and are poised to take advantage of the new trend. 

Metrolla was founded in Seattle in 2020 as a result of technological advances in Autonomous Vehicles. With a focus on adaptable machine learning-based metrics, targeted data collection, and continuous improvement of computer vision algorithms. We observed the industry trends and understood that even with systems like Outsights ALB the data would still need to be collected and sent somewhere.

Stakeholders using LiDAR, Video, or RADAR are able to deploy a full end-to-end solution for their computer vision needs. With a dashboard solution to track and manage deployed hardware and IoT Computers and the data coming off sensors deployed. Metrolla utilizes proprietary networking technology to allow for completely distributed and wireless applications along with traditional networking for localized deployments. 

Much like Outsight, Metrolla has a plug-and-play solution for computer vision. Our LitEdge product has a highly adaptable set of deployable tools. Furthermore, Metrolla allows a customer to put any type of machine learning algorithm on their deployed solution from the comfort of their desk. Metrolla aims to make complex projects in computer vision simple and affordable. 

Unlike others in our space, we also accommodate more than just LiDAR. Designed with an open architecture and a dynamic set of resources that enable video cameras and RADAR as well. 

With a set of communication systems to enable the retrieval of information from the edge, our customers can also group devices and manage data and metrics more efficiently. Additionally, third-party companies can access a live feed from deployed systems enhancing the situational spatial awareness from perception data. 

With natively wireless networking capabilities we can take advantage of traditionally networked systems like Outsight’s ALB and make them simpler to integrate into complex projects and allow for greater scale. Naturally, small-scale projects are between four and eight sensors our technology enables projects in the thousands of sensors.

For most customers how a project is deployed is not the primary driving factor. For Automotive it would be saving costs on storing data they collect from vehicles in the field. With Cities, it is regular reporting and aggregating data reports from locations and groups of locations or measuring changes made through the city. 

Industrial manufacturing looks at how well processes are being controlled or how much inventory is being held at any given time. Some of these customers need to use business analytics tools like Tableau or Microsoft BI. Our dashboard and reporting tools natively work with all these use cases. 

Early in our formation, we looked to the automotive industry as data collection soared above 1.9 Petabytes every 24 hours. An obvious challenge to address. However, realizing the complexity of sensor networks on Vehicles Metrolla developed the means to simplify data collection and sensor networks acting as a central hub of sensor data found on cars like LiDAR, Camera, and RADAR. 

With a current focus on Smart City applications, the current problem we discovered is that data already being created is disconnected and delivery of reporting is delayed or not impactful for comparison. We are working to address this problem with cities by using existing traffic cameras to measure changes made throughout the city. Some call this digital twin, while partially true we are focused on ensuring cities can make informed decisions with old and future public works projects.

Some applications like safety and security make the best use of LiDAR by being able to track people in 3D space. By using GPS technology and some math you can actively keep tabs on the exact location of people and vehicles as they move through environments. In the case of cameras, this is not as easy to accomplish. By being able to apply the right process with the right computer vision technology Metrolla is seeing opportunities in many industries.

As startups go being first to market is very important but being early is even better. While others are working hard to build the market, we are working to lay the framework for next-generation sensors like LiDAR. We predict in the next 6months to year the desire for LiDAR in municipalities will be double the market today. If you are thinking about implementing LiDAR or machine learning on your existing infrastructure, now is the best time to contact us. 

Disclosure: Metrolla has a working relationship with both Ouster LiDAR and Outsight. If you would like to curate relationships with Ouster or Outsight we can help with introductions.