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Interview with Enzo Jia, CEO and co-founder of Longan Vision

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Enzo Jia, CEO and co-founder of Longan Vision talks to Software Hamilton about the Gatekeeper system, a thermal screening device developed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tell me about yourself

I am the chief executive officer and co-founder of Longan Vision Corp. I completed my Master’s degree from McMaster University in 2018 with a major in applied science and major mechanics. I worked at Skyjack Inc. and Magna International for two years to gain work experience, team management skills and to increase my understanding of product manufacturing.

I started Longan Vision because I want to use my skills to help firefighters. Firefighters rescue people from burning and collapsing buildings. To do this they have to overcome obstacles such as lack of communication and terrible visibility. As my graduation project was a Heads-up Display (HUD) optical device for drivers to get vehicles status on the screen, I believed that I could build a device for firefighters to reduce casualties and boost efficiency, by using thermal imaging and augmented reality technology.

What is Longan Vision and what does it do?

Based in Hamilton, Ontario, Longan Vision engineers products that keep people safe. Our firm specializes in applying thermal imaging hardware and optical technologies to provide robust, state-of-the-art solutions.

What is Gatekeeper and how did it come about?

Longan Vision’s Gatekeeper system is non-invasive and secure. It uses thermal technologies to assess and report skin temperatures. Its artificial intelligence (AI) platform is designed to eliminate false positives derived from other heat-generating objects. A plug-and-play solution, Gatekeeper is as easy to learn as it is to operate.

Our team made the decision that we need to be proactive during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are not a medical company. We are not doctors. We are not ventilator specialists. What we do have is a group of people who are innovative and determined to make a difference.

Longan Vision has the knowledge expertise on thermal cameras. Thermal cameras are being utilized around the world on different levels as a tool for pre-screening. It was a natural fit to move in this direction.

The pilot test of Gatekeeper was at Nations Grocery in Hamilton, Ontario. The device is setup at the front of the store to monitor all customers coming in. The store has its own process in place for human traffic control and our device helps support this process.

The pilot project helped Longan Vision gain knowledge related to optimal locations to place the device, user interface (UI) feedback, and how people interact with the device.

We have also setup our device at McMaster Innovation Park (MIP) to assist with their back-to-work initiative over the coming weeks.

Gatekeeper system at the McMaster Innovation Park

How is the data obtained through the Gatekeeper used?

Data and information collected through the Gatekeeper is only kept for a moment. The system is designed to delete the data. It is only used to communicate that there is a person with elevated skin temperature in the frame at that moment in time.

We can capture data for use in terms of storage by a client, however we will only engage in that endeavour based around the client, provided they meet all Government of Canada best practices related to data protection and security.

What are your future plans ?

We have begun work on the next generation version of Gatekeeper, employing more innovate techniques and components sourced from a Canadian manufacturer.

As our research and development progresses, we have diversified our supply chain. We are able to run our system off various kinds of technology, making our product nimble when the traditional supply chains are under a strain.

We have a road map to pivot our technology to commercial / industrial avenues. Our team has experience in large scale facilities in industrial, transportation and agricultural sectors. We determined based upon our experience, that our technology could be adapted for use in these facilities. Over the coming months you will be able to see what we have been up to.


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