Tracking Steps For Security? This Startup Is Making It Happen

Using your smartwatch or smartphone to capture your motion isn’t just for fitness anymore. An innovative startup in Oshawa, Ontario, has created a unique way to validate a person’s ID using gait motion.

Lambda Sense (or LDS for short) has developed non-intrusive, machine-learning gait verification technology to enhance asset security and verify employee identification using a smartphone or smartwatch.

While we’re accustomed to using ID cards, passwords, fingerprints, facial recognition or eye-scanning technology to prove our identity, these forms of authentification only confirm our identity at that particular point of entry but provide no information after that initial checkpoint. This is what makes Lambda Sense’s “Gait ID” different. Gait ID uses biometrics, the highest form of identification, to monitor a person’s identity for the entire time they use or enter a secure asset, meaning multiple security checks can be performed. For industries like government, ports, construction, property management and public utilities, where security is of the highest priority, Gait ID could be their next-generation ID authentification method.

Here’s how it works: the Gait Reader App, installed on a smartphone, collects an employee’s daily activities through their mobile device or smartwatch and LDS’ advanced machine-learning technology extracts that employee’s unique walking pattern to build a profile.  Once the employee walks, the system can validate the user’s identity, access time and duration. This ID verification can integrate into existing access control systems of buildings or offices. The dashboard provides real-time reporting of user activities, access to restricted areas, dates and times and more, allowing for effective remote monitoring, no matter where the secured site may be. 

As an added bonus, Gait ID can provide information about a change in an employee’s health or an environment, like slippery roads or uneven grounds, notifying management about accidents or potential hazards so that they can ensure or improve industrial safety.

LDS was created in Hong Kong seven years ago by Barry Leung, a seasoned IT professional who had worked worldwide in countries like Germany, the UK and China and for renowned companies like Microsoft, IBM and Yahoo. While working for an Industrial company, the idea for LDS was formed. Speaking with one of his customers, a Telco Operator, Leung learned that the company was having difficulty tracking whether its workers were arriving as scheduled, finishing their work by the deadline or had performed required maintenance on equipment. Also, to ensure employee safety, the company had to have at least two workers per task no matter how simple. These challenges inspired Leung to create a verification system built from machine learning and remote sensor technology. It wasn’t long before Gait ID was launched, and Leung set his sights on Canada for expansion.

In 2019 Leung travelled to Toronto, Ontario, to attend Collision, the largest tech conference in North America. His initial mission was to connect with a Toronto-based AI hub, but while walking the conference floors, Leung met an incubator with a strong reputation for accelerating tech and innovation. The more Leung learned about its services, the more inspired he became. That incubator was Oshawa-based Spark Centre.

“Lambda Sense was set up in Hong Kong, and after a year, we found it was hard to find skilled Machine Learning specialists and technology partners. It was also difficult to find investors with the same objective as us.” Leung says from his office at Spark Centre in Oshawa, Ontario. “After meeting Spark Centre, we participated in the Pioneer Program run by its sister company Synergy Lab, and then applied to Spark Centre through the Start-Up Visa program and became a client.”

The federal Start-Up Visa program is designed for foreign entrepreneurs wishing to establish a new, high-growth business in Canada. As a Start-Up Visa designate, Spark Centre first provides these international entrepreneurs with a Letter of Support and, once accepted, provides them specialized programming, resources and services to help them launch and scale in Canada.

Lambda Sense Canada was launched in 2021. Still in Hong Kong at the time, LDS conducted trials with the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) with the Hong Kong Government and the YICT Port of Hutchison Group in China.

At the same time, from Canada, Spark Centre was providing LDS with a more thorough understanding of North American operations to ensure that the startup could hit the ground running once it arrived.  

“As a new team in Canada, our top priority was to familiarize ourselves with local business practices, like privacy policy and data management.” Leung explains, “Becoming familiar with these policies takes time and can’t be accomplished alone. Spark Centre became our advisor and a stepping stone towards the Canadian market.”

Lambda Sense arrived in Canada and settled into the Spark Centre office in 2022, and then it was full steam ahead. Spark Centre helped LDS continue its momentum in Canada by initiating connections between LDS, potential partners and IT Associations and helping LDS effectively market Gait ID to potential customers within the industry. And there’s no sign of Lambda Sense slowing down any time soon.

“With successful trials in Hong Kong and China, we’re now excited to conduct trials in Canada,” says Leung, “We’re now looking for one or two customers, like a Container Port or a Service Department with the Canadian Government, with whom we can share our previous trial results and conduct a new Canadian trial program.”

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