Future makers: "In this way we make the world a little more beautiful"

News | April 13, 2017

The public hangs on their every word as Gerrit Baarda, founder of high tech company ZiuZ in Gorredijk, and Bert Garlich CEO of ZiuZ, talk about how they use smart software to provide solutions for social issues. Major social issues, such as the prevention of child abuse. "A police officer came to me with two boxes full of hard disks and the question: how on earth do I get the pictures and videos on these hard disks viewed in time, so that we can prevent even more victims of child abuse?", says Baarda visibly affected. . He gives the only possible answer for him: "I'm going to help you". The result is a system of smart software with which large amounts of images and videos are screened by a computer for the correct characteristics. “In this case images of possible victims of child abuse. We have reduced the investigation time of months for this agent to a few days, with the result that the perpetrator could be arrested and therefore no longer able to abuse children."

Socially relevant

This social relevance is paramount for Baarda and Garlich. "Otherwise we won't do it," explains Garlich. "Of course we want to earn a living, but the most important thing in our work is that we can make the world a bit more beautiful." That's why they stopped a project for super night vision goggles. “The applications for this are mainly in defense. We do not want to participate in that.” Their IRIS is an example of a combination of existing technology with their smart software. Baarda: ,,This device scans pills before pharmacists or nurses give them to patients. The margin of error is less than 1 in a million, while with manual control 20 percent of the pills end up with the wrong patient.” That is the social relevance that Baarda and Garlich want to achieve with their products.

Help out

After the lecture, there will be a discussion with the audience about how you can use this technique for the better, for example to support doctors in making a diagnosis. It also appears relevant to secure airports, for example. According to Garlich, humans are simply bad at perceiving. “The amount of television screens that guards have to keep an eye on is only increasing. While the guard looks at the bottom left screen, he can't see what's happening on the top right screen. Moreover, his perception is colored by, for example, his upbringing, origin and education. A computer can help him objectify everything he sees and focus his attention.” Garlich explains that a smart camera scans the environment and presents only those images to the security that are of interest to him. “That saves a lot of time, is not boring and enables people to make decisions.” Because that's what Garlich and Baarda stand for with their technology: helping people so that they are better able to make decisions.