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Focus on innovation the key strategy to boost development

Xu Xiao
Updated: May 15,2015 10:17 AM     China Daily

Companies in Zhongguancun are focusing on tech innovation as a key strategy to boost further development.

Megvii is one of the most innovative high-tech companies involved in computer vision and deep learning.

Approaching the gate of the company, which provides vision resolutions, a computer recognizes whether a guest is a stranger or already registered.

The gate automatically opens for a “familiar” face, by using face recognition technology, one of the company’s strengths.

In October 2011, three Tsinghua University graduates, born in 1987, 1988 and 1989, founded Megvii.

The average age of the group’s more than 70 employees is only 27 and key staff include graduates from Tsinghua University and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.

“We are creating a next-generation visual recognition engine named ‘eye of machine’, which will provide easy-to-use functions for face recognition, image recognition and human detection for all commercial industries,” said Zhao Jun, general manager of the company’s security department.

“The ‘eye of machine’ project will help machines to be able to read and understand the world,” he added. In January, Megvii unveiled its new product called Face++Security, which can provide better service for the country’s public security departments, according to the company.

For example, the technology allows public security departments to recognize “dangerous” people’s faces from a large number of photos. According to the company’s latest test, from 30,000 sample photos the pass rate was 93 percent with only one error in every 10,000 photo samples.

In another test, in which high definition photos were used, the pass rate was 95 percent with only one error in every 100,000 samples. Zhao told reporters that the technology could not only be used in public security areas, but also in shopping malls to help management see which booths or corners more visitors cluster around and visit, and make business strategies accordingly.

The company said it signed a cooperation agreement with a big shopping mall in Beijing and the technology will soon be put into use. Zhao would not disclose the name of the mall.

The company has also established partnerships with Alipay, an online payment platform, Lenovo and several picture resolution apps including Meitu and Camera 360.

In March 2013, Megvii received $2 million in “A” round investment from Innovation Works.

In September 2014, it got a “B” round investment worth about $ 600 million from Alibaba Group.

The company unveiled another technology, Image++, which provides recognition of people, characters and goods, to achieve the company’s goal of “redefining the value of pictures.”

United Images Healthcare, a pioneer in professional 4D ultrasonic diagnostic equipment, is another Zhongguancun company focusing on tech innovation as a key strategy to boost further development. The company’s technology provides solutions for clinical diagnosis and prenatal screening, through which parents-to-be can see their future baby’s images on screen. The technology has been applied in several renowned hospitals in the country.