ikeGPS won the Innovative Hi-Tech Hardware Product award at the 2013 New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards dinner on Friday May 17, 2013. The event was held at the Sky City Convention Centre in Auckland with over 700 people in attendance. The 12-person judging panel included Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Craig Nevill-Manning, director of engineering for Google, and Cisco's senior vice president, Howard Charney.
Ron Elsis, VP Product Management, accepted the award on behalf of the great team at ikeGPS.
"This is testament to great progress across every function of the company over the past 12 months. At ikeGPS we strive to make beautiful revolutionary measurement solutions for our customers in the utilities and defense sectors. We are beginning to take a clear market leading position with these niche industry-focused solutions and applications. I am enormously proud that our work together has had such a positive impact", said Glenn Milnes, CEO, ikeGPS
The hi-tech industry is an integral part of New Zealand's economy and a key driver of economic growth. It is the third largest export earner in the country, generating over $7 billion in annual revenue, comprises more than 8,800 companies across the electronics, software, telecommunications, creative technology and biotechnology sectors, and employs more than 40,000 people. The hi-tech sector is growing at twice the rate of the NZ economy as a whole.
We enjoy sharing our success with you! Cheers, from the team at ikeGPS!
Brian L. Soliday, Sr. VP of Sales, ikeGPS
This is part one in a series where we will explore the software, both on the ikeGPS unit and on the desktop and explain the real-world applications with easy-to-understand diagrams. In part one, we will explain Target Position, just one of the ikeTools software provided on the ikeGPS unit.
It’s easy to be wowed with the hardware aspect of the ikeGPS. But when you think about how this one hand-held piece of equipment is doing the work of several others, including a digital camera, laser range finder, compass, and a GPS unit, you may begin to wonder, What does the ikeGPS do with all that data? It’s the brain behind the brawn that we’d like to focus on during this series in an attempt to answer that question.
Inside that rugged device is a mini-PC that comes loaded with ikeTools, the suite of measurement, location and asset management apps that give the ikeGPS its power to calculate measurements and collect the data while in complicated field situations. It’s the software that allows users to avoid dangerous roads and other physical hazards and to gain access to restricted areas during their data collection efforts.
Before we discuss ikeTools, it’s important to remember that the ikeTools can be incorporated into customized forms on your PC, within ikeDesktop, before going into the field. And when we return to the office, the data is then loaded back on to our PC via USB into the ikeDesktop and consumed by a variety of 3rd party applications.
In part one of this series, we are going to focus on Target Position. The Target Position tool allows users to collect the location of a remote asset, along with the location of the device at the time of collection with one click on the device interface. All data is then available for further analysis in the ikeDesktop application.
Additional standard data that is automatically collected with most ikeTools includes:
- Distance to the asset
- Image of Target
- Date/Time Of Collection
Let’s say we need to measure the location of some gas storage facilities located in an agricultural area. The problem is property access is restricted, so we can either call the property owner, schedule a time for access, waiting and burning man hours; or we can remotely measure the asset location, in this case over 1,000 feet away, with the ikeGPS. We use the form created in ikeDesktop to enter in additional attribute information.
We can then easily review the collection once back in the office. In this case the collection is viewed in Google Earth via the standard .kml file that can be generated in ikeDesktop. We are provided with a view of the image that was captured using Target Position, as well as the standard measurement information and unique attributes collected in the process.
In part two of this series, we will explore Three-Shot Height.
To see a recorded webinar that includes more in depth information about the hardware, the ikeTools, ikeSolutions, and demos of the desktop solutions, please visit the ikeGPS Webinar Series Archives.
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March has been good here at ikeGPS! First the GE Low Carbon ecomagination Challenge recognition, now the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards!
The NZ Hi-Tech Trust, a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting and advancing the high-tech sector in New Zealand, announced on Wednesday the finalists for the 2013 awards. And ikeGPS was a finalist in both Telecom Business Innovative Hi-Tech Mobile Product 2013 and Innovative Hi-Tech Hardware Product 2013. Among the panel of judges, Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple and Google Director of Engineering, Craig Nevill-Manning. Winners will be announced on 17 May 2013 in Auckland.
We here at ikeGPS are both humbled by and proud of the honor and recognition. On the other hand, 2013 marks a record number of finalists for the awards, so we know the competition is going to be tough.
Complete list of the finalists.
ikeGPS enjoying a beautiful day on the Wellington Waterfront.
Augmented Reality Technology Is Helping Utility Companies Reduce Emissions
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Mar 12, 2013) – ikeGPS, a maker of remote measurement and 3D modelling hardware and software solutions, has announced it has been shortlisted for the GE Australia & New Zealand Low Carbon ecomagination Challenge. The challengeis an open call to businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and students in Australia and New Zealand with breakthrough ideas for reducing our carbon footprint. Out of 191 entries, ikeGPS was selected to the shortlist of 35 finalists which will vie for five Innovation Awards of $100,000 and potential investment opportunities of up to $10 million from GE and its venture capital partners.
ikeGPS’s entry, ikeGPS Augmented Reality Network Management Solution, uses ikeGPS technology to make distribution network assets more efficient by enabling field crews to see network database information and models overlaid on the real-world assets, in real-time. ikeGPS has developed an end-to-end solution for electric utilities that combines the ikeGPS device (integrating laser rangefinder and camera technologies) with software for measuring and modeling pole infrastructure.
“We are delighted to have been chosen by GE for the Ecomagination Challenge shortlist. As a company, ikeGPS is committed to making a difference to reduce carbon emissions locally and globally. We are excited to be part of GE’s very important initiative.” Said Glenn Milnes, CEO of ikeGPS, headquartered in Wellington.
ikeGPS has grown from an idea of a New Zealand engineer surveying radio sites in Kenya to a company delivering mobile geospatial solutions across the globe, quickly becoming a global player in the utility and defense segments with laser-camera-GPS technology and measurement and 3D modeling software solutions.
The ikeGPS team is committed to producing innovative solutions for customers in a wide range of industries. Its technology is used by utilities, defense forces, intelligence groups, energy companies, state and local governments, police, and federal authorities.
ikeGPS has headquarters in Wellington, New Zealand and operates offices in the U.S. and the U.K.
Download a PDF and/or Word document.
I'm Jeremy Gold - I’ve been managing the engineering department here at ikeGPS for nearly 10 years now, and I’ve been very careful whenever I’m recruiting to bring on board people who are not only technically outstanding, but who also have an inherent love of technology and cool gadgets in general.
A slightly unexpected, but very welcome side effect of this is that we have a room full of people who like making cool technology so much that several of us stay in after work for “Mad Inventing” a few nights a week, which generally involves a fair bit of gossip about the latest crazy Quadrocopter stunts, Android phone hacks, or 3D printing exploits that we’ve seen on the web, followed by a bunch of work on our latest inventions.
You may have already seen the blog post / video about our Digital foosball table – We’re still working on that, and planning to take it down to an event in Wellington on April the 27th called “Makertorium”: http://makertorium.co.nz/.
Also in the pipeline for Makertorium is my Tesseract Zoetrope, which consists of a series of 4 dimensional Hypercubes that have been mathematically projected down into 3 dimensions, and then 3D printed (many thanks to the awesome guys up at Co-lab for their support with the printing!) The cubes have then been placed on an over sized record player with some electronics that fire a strobe whenever the next hypercube passes by to give a stop motion effect.
Here's a rendition of the idea that I've created using Python scripts within a 3D modeling tool called Blender:
Animated Tesseract Demo from Jeremy Gold on Vimeo.
And here’s a quick video showing progress so far:
Animated Tesseract - Prototype 1 from Jeremy Gold on Vimeo.
This project’s been heaps of fun – I’ve learned a whole lot about python scripting in blender, coding for constructive solid geometry in openSCAD, 3D printing work flow using slic3r, netfabb, and pronterface, and of course cutting big circles in MDF using a router (thanks Chris)!
Stay tuned for further updates...
Once again it's great to be in the news. We love the utilities industry. The following is from a recent article in T&D World. Thanks!
HENKELS & MCCOY COMPLETES JOINT ATTACHMENT POLE AUDITS WITH IKEGPS
Dec 1, 2012 12:00 PM
Henkels & McCoy (H&M) has been conducting a joint attachment pole audit and detailed equipment condition review for the city of Riverside, California, U.S. The first phase of the joint attachment audit for 3,000 poles needed to be completed within 26 weeks. In order to complete this initial phase on schedule, the engineering and construction firm needed to collect data faster, and their existing combination of equipment — an inventory map, GPS, laser rangefinder, measuring tape and digital camera — would not get the job done. So H&M purchased ikeSolutions Poles.
This mobile GIS solution enables all pole attachment measurements to be made from a single ikeGPS photograph. ikeSolutions Poles enables fast, accurate and safe measurements, and provides a digital photo-verifiable record for each pole and the related joint attachments. Pictures and associated data are captured together and, therefore, can be viewed and managed from one source. Data is entered using customizable forms that are easily created and deployed with drag and drop workflow software. Additionally, since all the data is digitally recorded, there is no risk of transcription errors.
Previously, H&M was able collect data for about 20 poles per day. Using ikeSolutions Poles, this increased to 45 poles per day, and H&M reduced its time to complete the 3,000-pole project from more than 30 weeks to less than 14 weeks.
Want even more information, click below to find out how Henkels and McCoy are realizing their return on investment.
At ikeGPS we take pleasure in providing our customers with easy-to-use location-based measurement solutions. To this end we recently published our ikeGPS Fieldcraft Guide.
The Fieldcraft Guide is a 22 page booklet that is included with every ikeGPS unit. The Fieldcraft Guide provides simple instructions that help you get the best measurements. Below is an example of the format you can expect.
We encourage all our customers to download a copy of this guide as it is a great tool to help train users on the super powers of ikeGPS.
If you have any suggestions as to how we can improve your location-based measuring experience please do not hesitate to contact our sales or support teams.
ikeGPS has been working with utility customers around the world and more recently also became involved with GE's ecomagination initiative targeting network efficiency. Please visit our solution summary at the GE ecomagination website and login to support the ikeGPS solution.
We became involved in this initiative because we know that network inefficiencies are a major driver of carbon production. In addition, network maintenance costs for a mid-size utility can exceed $100M per year. Considering the amount of utility poles around the world, over 160 million in the US alone, network maintenance is a formidable task indeed.
ikeSolutions Poles increases network efficiency by significantly improving how well network assets such as distribution poles are managed. With our augmented reality added to the overall network management system, field workers see actual database information overlaid on what they see in front of them. This makes abnormal conditions, faults, improper components and incorrect system data instantly apparent.
A field worker can now make easy, fast and accurate visual assessments:
• Is this network asset abnormal and need attention?
• Does our network management system reflect what is actually in the field?
A back office expert can now easily and quickly:
• Allocate resources appropriately to optimize network efficiency
• Assess, measure and model any asset photographed
• Verify, via geo-referenced models, photos, and data, that network information is accurate and integral, and therefore that the network is as carbon efficient as possible
Please visit our entry at the GE ecomagination website and login to support ikeGPS. Thanks!
Each year, CN Utility Consulting (CNUC) surveys thousands of miles of utility lines and vegetation. Their utility arborists require high performance tools to obtain data for tree inventories, work planning, storm damage assessment, and more.
“For electric utilities and other contractors, labor is always the highest cost in field data collection,” said Derek Vannice, CNUC’s vice president of operations. “We were interested in exploring more productive and accurate solutions for data collection to see what effect they might have on that cost and other factors.”
CNUC performed an analysis of right of way tree assessments to determine the return on investment of the ikeGPS. CNUC compared using the ikeGPS to using the traditional combination of data collection devices, including a laser range finder, software, a digital camera, GPS and a 3D digital compass.
An industry standard process was followed to collect the data, including determining GPS location and measuring tree height, diameter at breast height, missing line, crown width, conductor height, and span distance.
CNUC purchased ikeSolutions UVM from the ikeGPS distributor for North American utilities and vegetation management contractors, Terra Spectrum Technologies. ikeSolutions UVM includes an ike300, the Tree Assessment tool, missing line, span height, and ikeDesktop which is used to easily create custom forms that represent any workflow. Accurate field assessments and measurements are recorded and time-stamped, allowing for data verification and validation at any given point. All of the data captured can be exported into multiple data file types that integrate into other mapping and office applications.
In the analysis CNUC conducted, they found that the time to conduct a tree assessment was greatly reduced with ikeGPS in comparison with the traditional combination of devices. Based on the field study, utilizing the ikeGPS in that one specific data collection task improved field production by more than 50 percent. An industry standard cost per labor hour calculation shows the increased productivity would result in nearly $100,000 in savings over the course of three years.
Additional benefits of the ikeGPS include greater precision and accuracy when compared to traditional data collection tools. Safety is also improved, as the ikeGPS user can be located in a more distant location while still collecting accurate data. Combining five features in one device, the ikeGPS is also less cumbersome in the field.
Download the full case study here.
We’ve been listening to you, our customers, about what could make your ikeGPS® experience even better and it is with pleasure that we announce two new software updates to the ikeGPS product family; ikeDesktop™ 1.1 and ikeOS™ 5.1.
ikeDesktop is the new name for ikeConfig Center. ikeDesktop provides all the same custom form features you are used to while adding a powerful new Report generation capability. Some of the new options available from the Reports tab are:
Importing data from your ikeGPS is now simplified, simply connect your ikeGPS to your computer and click the “Import” button. Gone are the days of searching for the data on your ikeGPS.
You can now create GeoMark® files to easily import into your GeoPDF’s®
Settings are available to setup the Data Folder and provide a selection of other Reports to be generated
In an effort to get the latest and greatest software to our users quicker, ikeDesktop now also provides an automated notification when updates are available. Look for Updates Available to appear next to the Reports tab, simply click and go.
With ikeOS 5.1 we have significantly improved some data capture and measurement capability. New features of ikeOS 5.1 include:
Improved Span Height tool. Now when the point below the wire is obscured simply choose another point in the area at the same base height and the reading will be automatically generated correctly. Check out this short video, http://www.ikegps.com/ikegps/iketools/span-height/
Exposure Lock gives you the ability to compensate for strong backlight situations e.g. when capturing images facing into the sun. This is great new capability for capturing clear, detailed images of the top of poles under any light condition.
Target Position Data Review Screen provides a review screen that lets you review the raw location and instrumentation details for a Target Position before you commit the changes
Camera Boot Time has been dramatically sped up, so you’ll spend much less time waiting to capture photos
In order to enjoy these new features you must upgrade your ikeGPS fleet to ikeOS 5.1 first. Visit http://www.ikegps.com/support-downloads/download-ikeos-v51/ to get started!
Enjoy this exciting new software. We’d love to hear what you think.
Season’s Greetings from the ikeGPS team!