Sherlock Holmes is the second most portrayed character in the history of cinema. The sleuth – brought to life, twice – by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – enjoys a cult following for his various book and on-screen versions. Every year on 22 May – Doyle’s Birthday – we celebrate Sherlock Holmes Day globally.
This year, we present to you 15 startups that would assist a modern-day Sherlock as much as Watson, or even better, with his investigations. From fingerprints to alibis to curious cases, we’ve got a new method to solve them all. Here’s one to the detective duo, and to the startups driving innovations.
Let’s take a look at these companies one-by-one, and how exactly will they help Sherlock solve crimes better.
To crack a case involving fraud
Behavox [2014, London, $200K]: Behavox provides solutions for compliance officers and forensics teams that help detect cases of market abuse, fraud, collusion, sensitive and reckless behaviour early and conduct investigations faster. By linking communication (phone calls, email, IB chat etc.) and trading data, their solutions allow users to discover, visualise and quantify relationships between people, organisations, transactions and content. Its key investors include Google, Promus Ventures, Hoxton Ventures and Level39.
To reveal the true identity of a disguise
ID Watchdog [2005, Denver, $18.97M]: ID Watchdog provides identity theft detection, protection and resolution services to enterprises. Its features include comprehensive monitoring, rapid alert notifications, and concierge-level identity resolution. It’s been recognized by the Consumer Federation of America as one of the most valuable identity theft protection services available. Its key investors include Costella Kirsch and Aspenwood Capital.
To monitor a suspect’s online activities
AccessData [1987, London, $45M]: AccessData delivers advanced digital forensic, e-discovery and incident response (IR) solutions. Products include “AD eDiscovery” which conduct enterprise-wide search, targeted collection, systemized preservation, litigation hold, processing, data assessment and complete legal review. Its key investors include Silicon Valley Bank and Sorenson Capital.
To investigate a case involving a cyber crime
BlackBag Tech [2002, San Jose]: BlackBag Technologie provides digital forensics software for criminal investigation and eDiscovery to law enforcement and private organizations. It relies on Blacklight ( its agnostic forensic analysis software) for analyzing internet artifacts such as backup files and windows registry. It counts Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Greater Manchester Police, and Australian Border Force among its clients. Its key investors include In-Q-Tel.
To tie a suspect to a handwritten ransom note
SearchInk [2015, Berlin, $4.5M]: SearchInk provides the solution for handwriting recognition. Company claims to use computer vision and deep neural network based technologies to create its handwritten text recognition (HTR) platform which can convert scanned handwriting into digital text. Its key investors include Investitionsbank Berlin.
To check the authenticity of a will
LawGeex [2014, Tel Aviv, $10.2M]: LawGeex technology reads, analyzes, reviews and compares contracts to other contracts using data driven alaysis.Contracts are compared with other contracts in the repository to analyse potential drawbacks , loopholes in legal contracts.Users also get simple English explanations, within 24 hours. LawGeex reviews over 17 contract types for consumers and businesses. The service is currently in Beta and it is offered for free. Its key investors include Lool Ventures, Lionbird and Recruit Holdings.
To track movements of suspects
IndoorAtlas [2012, Mountainview, $18.14M]: IndoorAtlas is the world’s first company to utilize Earth’s magnetic anomalies, radio waves, acoustic signals or other sensory information inside buildings through smartphones to pinpoint positions of objects and people indoors. The company was founded in 2012 as a spin-off company from the University of Oulu, Finland. Its key investors include European Union, Baidu, Plug and Play Tech Center, Lifeline Ventures, SK Planet, Mobility Ventures and KoppiCatch.
To communicate with Scotland Yard across busy locations in London
Soundhawk [2013, Palo Alto, $11.2M]: Soundhawk augments one’s ability to hear, communicate, and connect. With Soundhawk, one can hear soft sounds, converse over distance, and understand speech in noisy places so frustration is eliminated and hearing is enhanced. Soundhawk device consists of a scoop which snugly fits in your ear for better hearing, a wireless mic that transmits clear sound to the scoop and a mobile app that can be adjusted for different environments. Its key investors include True Ventures and Foxconn Electronics.
To analyze a crime scene better to form his hypothesis
To analyze a crime scene better, Holmes would rely on this technology so that upon entering a crime scene, he would pull information readily and overlay it on his surroundings.
Magic Leap [2011, Miami, $1.39B]: Magic Leap is developing the next generation of Augmented reality computing platform. The platform relies heavily on the Unity3D gaming engine to render 3D virtual objects. Haven’t released the product as of Apr’2017. Its key investors include Google, Fidelity Investments, Andreessen Horowitz, Morgan Stanley, Qualcomm Ventures, KPCB, J.P. Morgan, KKR & Co. L.P, Obvious Ventures, Alibaba Group, Warner Bros etc
To intercept threats from the dark net that pose a formidable challenge to Scotland Yard
Norse [2010, Clayton, $24.95M]: Dark net monitoring based threat Intelligence System that identifies the threats on the web by gathering behavior trends of malicious software, using its threat sensors. Norse Corp makes use of Big Data analytics to produce an IPQ score to help prioritize risk. Norse’s live global threat intelligence platform is a patent-pending infrastructure-based system that continuously collects and analyzes live high-risk Internet traffic, identifying the sources of cyber attacks and fraud. Its key investors include KPMG, Western Technology Investment, Oak Investment Partners and Capital Innovators.
To interact with a crime scene and verify his hypothesis
Nod [2013, Mountainview, $16M]: Gesture recognition and motion tracking hardware that allows people to touchlessly and gesturally communicate with the world around them. Currently supports Google Cardboard, Oculus DK2, OSVR HMD, Samsung Gear VR and ZEISS VR One for VR; and have the ability to control your 3DR, DJI and Parrot Drones. Its key investors include Menlo Ventures, Walden International, Atlantic Bridge Capital, Nautilus Ventures, PointGuard Ventures and Walden Riverwood Ventures.
To immediately recognize suspects who match with Scotland Yard’s criminal database
Megvii [2011, Beijing, $145M]: Megvii is a developer of facial recognition technology that can be used across multiple applications. Its technology identifies facial features – detects age, race, and expression – and provides facial recognition, which can be used to verify identity and search for people. Clients include various financial services companies such as Ant Financial, Xiaomi Financial, Minsheng Bank, Jiangsu Bank, etc. Its key investors include Sinovation Ventures, Qiming Ventures, Foxconn Electronics, Legend Star, Ant Financial, Comet Labs.
To recreate the crime scene sitting at home
Evomotion [2015, Shenzhen]: Evomotion develops computer vision and AR/VR technologies. The company designs virtual camera technology and SLAM (simultaneous localization & mapping) technology to provide depth information for capturing a 360-degree view. It also develops 3D reconstruction solution that is used in AR. Its key investor includes Northern Light Venture Capital.
To be able to interact with the crime scene to confirm his hypothesis about the way a crime may have been committed
uSens [2013, San Jose, $29.97M]: uSens provides inside-out 3D hand tracking as well as head position tracking for both mobile and tethered AR/VR systems. Products include Fingo and Power Fingo. Claims that Fingo is first mobile AR/VR hand tracking that reads 26 degrees of freedom, one of first to provide head position tracking for mobile using RGB/SLAM as well as using IR with markers/objects/markerless. PowerFingo includes 26DOF skeletal hand tracking, 6DOF position tracking, and video see-through augmented reality. It key investors includes IDG Capital Partners, Morningside Group, Stone Point Capital, Chord Capital, Fulcrum, Han Hai Investment etc.
To deploy surveillance products to catch the criminal in action for his next move
Umbo [2014, Taipei, $2.80M]: Umbo is developing next generation AI and deep learning based surveillance products/cameras for the enterprise market such as school, factories, retails chains, restaurant chains. Their product is aimed at solving real-world surveillance deficiencies through analyzed usable contents. Its key investors include Appworks, Phison Electronics Corporation, Wistron and Mesh Ventures.
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