Sunday, December 10, 2006

Mobile Video Surveillance Company Expands

Anne Krishnan, Staff Writer, News Observer – December 8th, 2006

Integrian's video technology is getting smarter.

The Morrisville company, whose digital recorders are installed in New York City buses and Raleigh police cruisers, has acquired Signal Innovations Group, a Durham startup that develops video analysis software.

The combination means Integrian's recorders will be able to not only capture scenes, but also sound an alarm if they see something unexpected. For instance, the recorders could alert the Border Patrol to someone approaching, or make note when a passenger falls on a bus or train.
Integrian competes with electronic giants such as Panasonic and General Electric, but it will be the first to incorporate that degree of analysis into mobile recorders when its new products come out next year, CEO Pete Durand said.

"It is exciting," he said. "We really like what these guys do."

Integrian and SIG began working together more than a year ago on a project with the Air Force. That product, designed to detect unusual behavior on military bases, will be deployed next year, Durand said.

Much of SIG's work has been for military and homeland security projects. The company spun out of Duke University in 2004.

SIG and Integrian are "a very good match," said Larry Carin, a Duke engineering professor and one of the company's co-founders.

SIG's relationships open federal markets such as port security and military police for Integrian, which has been trying to develop that business for several years.

Integrian, founded in 1999, initially developed its digital video recorder technology for police and sheriff cars.

It now has thousands of units in hundreds of municipalities across the country and the world. SIG's technology will help law enforcement agencies with license plate recognition, facial recognition and passenger counting, Durand said.

Over the past year, Integrian also has developed a strong business in surveillance cameras for buses and trains. The company has contracts with transit authorities including New York, New Jersey and San Diego, and is bidding for several others, Durand said.

The SIG acquisition is Integrian's third in the past two years. Each has allowed the company to grow substantially, he said.

The acquisitions also will help Integrian expand its software products into new strategic areas, he said, declining to be more specific. One more acquisition or partnership next year should complete what the company needs to make that happen, Durand said.

"We feel we've got almost all the pieces of the puzzle we want," he said.

Integrian acquired SIG with cash and stock, but Durand wouldn't give any further financial details of the transaction for competitive reasons. SIG will operate as a subsidiary of Integrian and all 22 employees will remain with the company.

Integrian, which has raised $55 million in venture capital, will have almost $40 million in sales this year. Including SIG, it now has nearly 200 employees.

Durand said in February that the company would have its first full year of profitability in 2006. Integrian's financial results are "on plan," he said Friday.