Silk: Powering a New Generation of Intelligent Devices
In January, Silk CEO Andreas Gal gave Inc. his predictions for the impact of AI in 2017 and beyond, noting:
“Humans perceive their environment principally with their eyes and ears. For machines to interact with us, to understand us, and to be easier understood by us, they will start relying more and more on the same senses we use to understand our surroundings. As an example, today, fire detectors use a radioactive isotope to detect smoke particles in the air. In the future, the same fire detector will likely have several cameras that use AI trained on detecting the sight of fire. This will lead to earlier detection and a safer world for humans.”
At Silk, we are defining a new generation of intelligent connected devices with digital “eyes and ears,” enabling them to better understand their environment and create a safer world for us to live in. One of the first applications of this technology is our collaboration with Mattel and Qualcomm on Aristotle, a first-of-its-kind intelligent baby monitor and hub. Aristotle, which is available for pre-order today, is just the beginning of Silk’s much larger vision of the future of AI. We believe there are tremendous opportunities to bring this new level of intelligence to all types of connected products, from home security cameras that watch over your loved ones to surveillance cameras that solve critical business functions such as how many customers have entered your retail store and how long they are engaging with a certain product.
The rapid price decrease of camera sensors along with many other components (driven primarily by the volume in the smartphone supply chain) is creating opportunity for OEMs to add “vision sensors” to all types of products. Today, most connected products with a camera look like a camera; in the near future, vision sensors will be table stakes in launching any compelling product to market. In addition to the proliferation of vision sensors, the cost of compute is also dramatically decreasing with each new generation of chipset driven by the number of smartphones manufactured. As a result, intelligence inferred by any connected product can and should be done on the device itself. With local intelligence, pain points such as connectivity issues, network latency, and bandwidth costs are no longer hurdles in offering an experience users and business have come to expect.
We’ve spent the last year talking to countless product companies across a variety of industries to understand their audience and the key use cases they would love to support. At the same time, we’ve built a comprehensive intelligence platform founded on the following principles:
- We have built every aspect of our platform for extensibility and modularity, which enables us to quickly scale and adapt as the growth of connected products explode.
- Core to every employee at Silk, we empathize with users’ needs and understand the fundamentals of why privacy and security matter.
- Building products people actually use is important to us. We intently focus on the details that matter to the core experience and empower companies to commercialize and create meaningful products for their customers.
Our platform is broken down into three main areas:
- Custom on-device neural network engine optimized for mobile/embedded chipsets.
- Training infrastructure + pre-trained intelligence models that continuously learn and improve.
- Device platform + cloud services that offer a full set of components which enable any OEM/ODM to quickly manufacture and bring connected products to market. Services include account management, device configuration and OTA updates, video streaming/storage, iOS/Android app SDK, and more.
Connected products as we know them will soon mean more than just having a smartphone app that lets you control basic functionality. Together with product manufacturers, we look forward to bridging the semantic gap between human intelligence and device intelligence to make the products we use and rely on every day both smarter and much more valuable.
About Silk: Silk’s mission is to bring human intelligence to connected products. Founded in 2015 by Andreas Gal (former CTO of Mozilla) and Michael Vines (formerly of Qualcomm), Silk is a machine learning company that provides an on-device AI platform enabling real-time visual and audio recognition. Using the latest advances in deep neural networks, we empower businesses to build the next generation of intelligent connected devices.