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Renaissance Man

Octopi, established in 2020, is a tech company specialising in a vast majority of areas ranging from IoT based projects to app and web development. Octopi thrives in finding a feasible and cost effective solution to all of our clients' needs.

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Number plate recognition:
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the method whereby one identifies each character within an image containing text. The concept traces back to the 1910’s in which Emanuel Goldberg developed a machine which could read characters and convert them into telegraph code.
The project entailed making use of OCR to correctly identify vehicle number plates. Once a vehicle was correctly identified a gate would automatically open to grant access to the approved vehicle. This system was implemented in a remote area where access to the gate was problematic and costly.
BLE staff tracking:
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) forms a key part in the modern world as we know it. The development of this radio technology, by Dr. Nils Rydbeck in 1989, was as a direct result of the plea for a wireless headset. Beacons are responsible for the transmitting of data packets. These data packets contain information regarding the beacons Major, Minor, Universally Unique Identifier (UUID), Media Access Control (MAC), Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) and Transmitting (Tx) Power.
The project entailed making use of BLE tags as well as strategically placed scanners which were responsible for listening and echoing data packets to a MQTT server if certain parameters were met. Once received, data packets were processed and appended to a database. Daily, weekly and monthly reports, relating to staff behaviour, were then generated through the use of Amazon Web Services (AWS) lambda functions.
LoRa utility control:
LoRa, NB-IoT and Sigfox are all Low-Power, Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) technologies. LoRa is a newcomer when it comes to wireless communication and was released June 2015. The system operates on one of three frequencies, 433 MHz, 868 MHz and 915 MHz. In South Africa frequencies of 433.05 MHz – 434.79 MHz (Channel Plan EU 433) and 865 MHz – 868.6 MHz (Channel Plan EU 863-870) are allowed according to the LoRa Alliance.
The project involved sending and receiving notifications without any cost involved, in real time and over a long distance. A LoRa peer-to-peer connection was established allowing for all the requirements. The system was also battery operated allowing for a standalone solution requiring little to no maintenance as well as minimal effort to install.
Farm process automation:
Global System for Mobile (GSM), used to send Short Message Service (SMS), traces back as far as 1975 in which Henry Kieffer suggested a new mobile spectrum at 900 MHz. It was, however, only in 1987 that a GSM technical specification was agreed upon. The first SMS on the other hand was only sent in 1992 by Neil Papworth to Richard Jarvis. A GSM module connected via the Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter (UART) and interface via serial using Attention (AT) commands is the most popular way in which a SMS can be sent automatically from a Single Board Computer (SBC).
The project entailed notifying a user, via SMS, of any change in the surrounding environment. These changes included the opening and closing of doors, removing and returning of equipment and even the increase or decrease of sensor readings.
Tailored advertising using facial recognition:
In the 1960s Woodrow Wilson Bledsoe, the mastermind behind facial recognition, developed a system that could classify photos of faces using what is known as a RAND tablet. Input in the form of vertical and horizontal coordinates of key elements were supplied. Once completed, a new picture of an individual could be related to one in the database that best matched.
The project involved recognising the human attributes of a person without uniquely identifying them. These attributes were then used to classify a customer and expose them to targeted advertising based off of these attributes. Through the use of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Rekognition as well immense image processing a system was developed which could distinguish between age-range, gender, emotions and many more attributes.
Smart home automation:
Although fairly new, the term “Smart Home” dates back as far as 1984, first being mentioned by the American Association of House Builders. A smart home refers to controlling the lighting, climate, entertainment systems and/or appliances of your home electronically.
Throughout numerous smart home installations, it was found that the most common devices to be automated include the lighting and geysers of a home. These devices were connected to the home Wi-Fi allowing users to gain full access to their control through their mobile devices. A great feature was that although the elements within the home were made “smart” the original functionality of a light switch, for example, still remained.

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