Videosoft's adaptive low bandwidth video streaming technology has been selected and installed on the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS), in order to help relay high-quality footage of the ship’s various missions, back to humans on land. On its maiden voyage this spring, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship will trace the route of the famous 1620 Mayflower ship, sailing from Plymouth, in the United Kingdom to Plymouth, in Massachusetts, USA. Only this time, there will be no human captain or crew on board, as the 15 metres, lightweight, hybrid-electric powered trimaran (multi-hull vessel) crosses the Atlantic Ocean. Real-time feedback and visuals Videosoft’s technology will help capture footage from the Mayflower's six onboard cameras at sea. Using satellite connectivity and compression technologies, footage will be transmitted back to AI developers and research scientists, providing them real-time feedback and visuals, during the mission. It will also be used to provide the media and public with updates about interesting events that occur during the ship’s ocean adventures. “The ability to receive live video feed from the ship using minimal communication bandwidth is a game changer for us,” said Don Scott, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship for Marine AI. Reliable monitoring of the live situation Videosoft provides real-time telepresence, allowing us to reliably monitor the live situation" Don Scott adds, “Videosoft provides real-time telepresence, allowing us to reliably monitor the live situation and give us confidence in the vehicle’s operation at sea. It has already been an invaluable tool during sea trials and we look forward to having the live feed during the voyage itself.” The international grassroots project is led by marine research organisation, ProMare, alongside IBM, which is acting as both lead technology partner and lead scientific partner, with other key design and construction partners, including MSubs, Aluship (Aluship Technology) and Marine AI. AI Captain with computer vision technology With an AI Captain at the helm, MAS is able to operate for long distances and durations at sea collecting critical data about the ocean. Powered by IBM’s computer vision, automation and machine learning technologies, the AI Captain maintains constant situational awareness and makes decisions about what to do next in line with collision regulations. Small, lightweight edge devices from NVIDIA provide local computer power for operational independence, relying on IBM Cloud connectivity when available. Cutting-edge video streaming solution Videosoft was selected for its cutting-edge video streaming solution and its ability to reliably stream video from onboard cameras and computer vision systems, which scan the horizon for hazards, as the Mayflower Autonomous Ship sails. Videosoft's software runs on IBM's platform, which skippers the vessel and is linked via satellite. Videosoft's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Stewart McCone said, “This project is designed to transform humanity’s relationship with the ocean. To say we're totally thrilled to be involved in the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project would be an understatement.” Stewart McCone adds, “By working alongside innovative and specialist companies, who are experts in their field and have an intimate knowledge of what they are doing, Videosoft is enabling the ambitions of this multi-million-pound project. Streaming live video from ocean-going vessels is not straightforward and you really need to know what you're doing to pull it off successfully.” Intelligent transmission protocol An intelligent transmission protocol is required to maintain connectivity" He further stated, “An intelligent transmission protocol is required to maintain connectivity. In addition to switching between satellite and cellular networks, variable signal strength, the topography of network masts, atmospheric conditions, satellite capabilities, speed, and variables all impact the available bandwidth.” Stewart McCone said, “Videosoft, which has developed software specifically for the satellite and cellular industry, to negate the typical issues that arise when using such networks, has made it possible to have eyes on the ocean 24/7. The unique protocols that the Videosoft team has built into our software mean that any video delay from the Mayflower will be dramatically reduced, with any streamed video automatically adapting to the amount of available bandwidth, while retaining good quality.” Real-time situational awareness Stewart continues, “Even in our knowledge-rich industry, not many people realise that this can be done, but it can and is relatively simple to put in place, thanks to our easy-to-use software platform. As with CCTV, IoT and surveillance applications, Videosoft's ability to provide reliable video streams creates a real-time situational awareness that is critical to the operational success of projects, such as the Mayflower Autonomous Ship.” He further adds, “The Videosoft vision has always been to get involved in pioneering projects, such as the Mayflower and serves to underpin Videosoft's mission statement of deploying technology to solve real-world problems at the highest global level, using video and remote services, to make the world be a better, safer place. We're showing that this specialist tech does exist and that we can enable all Internet of Things (IoT) applications for the common good. If that interests you, come and talk to us.”
One of the UK's foremost figures in public space safety and street crime prevention has joined Videosoft as the company rolls out its next generation of CCTV and security video streaming products and services. Andy Stocker, the former 'Street Czar' of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF), and CCTV, local authority, and public space security expert brings 20 years’ experience to his new role as Videosoft's Principal Public Sector Manager. Appointment Andy's appointment comes at a unique time in the security sector's history - where Future Tech such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Blockchain are being used with new developments in CCTV and video streaming. Public welfare, terrorism, social disorder, security issues and financial restructuring are at the forefront of local, national and international policy. A perfect fit In welcoming Andy to the Videosoft management team, Stewart McCone, CEO of Videosoft, said: "Andy is a perfect fit for Videosoft. His people skills, industry, public sector knowledge, and professionalism are, quite literally, second to none.” "Ask anyone who's watched Channel 5's Criminals: Caught on Camera* - they will be aware that public space CCTV is a subject close to Andy's heart. Andy knows the local authority and public sector inside out and is already bringing that deep and thorough knowledge and understanding to Videosoft as we introduce our next generation of video streaming technology.” "As Street Czar at Hammersmith & Fulham, Andy was the single point of contact for residents and businesses, bringing his brilliant people skills to bear with a no-nonsense approach that championed issues through council departments and ensured the efficient, effective resolution of a host of public safety and crime issues ranging from security to fly-tipping." Experience For someone with such good people rapport, Andy's career started in a decidedly Tech heavy and data-driven way with ten years as an operations analyst in corporate IT in the banking and transport sector before starting with the LBHF in 2000. It was at LBHF that he first got a taste of creating solutions for people subjected to antisocial behaviour and low-level crime and which has been the hallmark of his career ever since. Andy proved to be the very effective introduction of a deployable CCTV system to deter and detect offences Gradually taking on more responsibility, Andy had operational management of the Borough's in-house security, then the management of the public space CCTV service; he oversaw the merger with, and joint management of, the Royal Borough of Kensington CCTV and LBHF CCTV. This combination provided considerable financial savings to the Boroughs and a significant increase in arrests and convictions and a reduction in street crime. In 2017, his role expanded to include responsibility for everything at street level for the Council - from crime to litter, becoming their Street Czar, working for two years with residents and business in the Borough, including what proved to be the very effective introduction of a deployable CCTV system to deter and detect offences. Andy’s comments "I'm incredibly excited to be joining Videosoft at such an important time for public space and CCTV security," said Andy, "and to be working with Stewart and the Videosoft management team, who are clearly now the leading players in the provision of live video streaming technology for the CCTV and security sector.” "My role is very much underpinned by the need to ensure Tech provides real-life improvements and added security to people's lives while working with public sector organisations, local authorities, the police and emergency services.” "Streaming live video isn't easy, but it's at the very heart of the current street crime reduction requirements and vitally important in the provision of mission-critical live streaming - lose live feed at a critical moment and you've potentially lost a life." New role For Andy, his new role at Videosoft is also about leveraging the advantages thrown up by marrying Future Tech such as AI to CCTV and video streaming. "I'll be aiming to help non-Tech people understand what Tech can do and can't do and the potential benefits of things like AI, supporting clients to get most out of what they purchase." Andy's understanding of local authority and public sector funding will also be an asset to clients who need to increase service levels but may have budget pressures and reduced staffing levels. "Local authorities have very complex funding structures, but at the same time, they need to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour in a fiscal atmosphere of declining resources and tight budgets. I expect to be helping them to work smarter and access funding streams they may not have considered, which may indirectly benefit other cash strapped emergency services, including the police.” "When it comes down to it, I want to be in a situation where I can help people and help improve the world, we live in. I want to be able to do something different, where I can 'write the rule book - not follow the rule book'.” "At Videosoft I'll be able to do just that!"
Videosoft is going global with its range of adaptive low bandwidth video streaming products. The Videosoft suite of cutting-edge video streaming products, including the brand new FireBird F-100, delivers high quality, low latency live video over unreliable or congested networks, including 4G mobile and satellite. Video streaming expert Videosoft is headed up by the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Stewart McCone, one of the security industry's renowned video streaming experts, who brings more than 20 years of industry experience to the Videosoft business. Mr. McCone said, “Videosoft is about easy to use low bandwidth, low latency, reliable and secure video delivery over low bandwidth and unreliable networks, including mobile and satellite.” Stewart McCone is backed up by a team of expert developers and programmers, all with many years of industry experience in the streaming and video arena. Delivering quality real-time and reliable video streams Even at low bandwidths, Videosoft products deliver quality real-time, reliable video streams across a network" Stewart McCone adds, “Even at low bandwidths, from as little as 6 kbps upwards, Videosoft products deliver quality real-time, reliable video streams across a network. Because of the unique protocols that our team has built into the software, latency is down to milliseconds and the video automatically adapts to the amount of bandwidth available on the network. This is critical in maintaining responsive and real-time streaming in any environment." For Stewart McCone, Videosoft's raison d'etre is inextricably linked to the positive influence of Future Tech. Positive influences of Future Tech Mr. McCone said, “I'm a firm believer that Future Tech can provide real-world improvement. Standard Tech just doesn't suit todays ever changing environments, but with specialised tech, including things such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), Machine Learning and Block Chain, operational barriers can be removed or lowered. Tech like ours can deliver real-world change and using video and remote services to help make the world be a better, safer place.” For the company's Business Development Manager (BDM), Iain Janes, the Videosoft story is a global, but plain and simple one, which involves listening to the market and providing what the market wants. Overcoming limitations to bandwidth Ian Janes said, “Bandwidth is ‘the elephant in the room’ that people are only just beginning to fully appreciate that there are limitations to bandwidth when streaming video, even 5G can be problematic. We know it's a massive issue, which is why we've done something about it.” Many users assume that with 4G and 5G, their CCTV problems are solved, but that's not the case" “Many users assume that with 4G and 5G, their CCTV problems are solved, but that's not the case,” argues Ian Janes, adding “In fact, a CCTV camera running multi MBps video will often be the first thing to drop off the network.” He further said, “With Videosoft, you can run live video with minimal latency and good quality, even at much lower bitrates than standard equipment - we think that's something worth talking about.” The market does too, and Videosoft is receiving significant interest from around the globe. Security & Policing 2021 show “Jointly, the team have years of unique experience and know precisely what the market needs. We know that reliable real-time situational awareness is critical to operational success and life and death events,” adds Ian Janes. The company, Videosoft will debut the FireBird F-100 at the upcoming Security & Policing 2021 virtual show, taking place from March 9 to March 11, 2021. The Firebird F-100 is just one of several exciting new products that Stewart McCone and the Videosoft team have in the pipeline for release over the next coming months.