It’s True, You Can Love Your Job!
As a business owner there are not a lot of times that I seriously love my job. All too often great plans turn into less desirable efforts and for me that is often business management and process related. Most of 2017 so far though has been amazing since I have been able to really dig into a new challenge that could very well feed the next evolution of Tomahawk.
As they say… “Do what you love and never work a day in your life..”
OCR (Object Character Recognition) has been around for at least 15 years, and I remember when I was first introduced to it. I recall wondering about how a scanner and a computer could turn a picture of letters into a word. Fast forward 15 years and we have things like Google Translate where you can point your camera at a sign while travelling and have it replace the sign text with a language of your choosing pretty much in real-time. A less surprising more current technology is license plate recognition (LPR), and again something that has been around for quite some time.
This is where things overlap for me… with our OperationsCommander parking and security management platform it made perfect sense for Tomahawk to start investigating LPR technology as an integrated solution. Since heading down this road I have been amazed at the interest that even the roughest of technology has generated for our product. Earlier this year I wrote an article about using a RaspberyPI and and Huawei wireless device and how these items could be used together to help with LPR data management.
What’s Been Created
Things really came together and Tomahawk is now offering 3 different LPR type solutions to clients and other interested parties. This has been great for the business but also great for my well being since getting to that point involved a pile of challenges, code, and hardware; all things I love to play with.. what could be better!! 🙂
- Android LPR by just taking a picture (video below)
- Vehicle mounted LPR (this one uses the RaspberryPI and Huawei 3G/4G modem)
- Static LPR cameras mounted at entrances/exits (boring but still one of our solutions 😉
If you get a chance, check out our LPR offerings on the license plate recognition page on the OperationsCommander web site. There are some videos on the site that highlight the new offerings which are still in beta development but proceeding exceptionally well.
Here’s the device that came from my earlier RaspberryPI effort (added the golf ball for context).
The red box and connected 3G/4G modem shown above effectively replace the hardware below.
For the Android “LPR : As easy as taking a picture” software which does not involve the LPR proxy hardware, the OpenALPR open source engine was utilized.
You can see a preview of that work and how it integrates to our Android software in the video below.
When you have a job like this, who needs a hobby! 😎