01/2024 - Feeding AI, May 22nd

In 2016, Prof. Agrawal interviewed me for a spot in “The Next Founders” program. After listening patiently to my ramblings about how everyone needs one of our timelapse cameras to make fun videos of social gatherings and vanishing cheese platters, Prof. Agrawal responded with something like: “Michael, forget about the cheese platters! Don’t you see, your cameras are needed to feed into machine learning?”🤖

I think about that quite often. Partly because I still feel a little bit ashamed that I was given great advice and resources back then but did not end up performing as expected. That’s a different story though, and these days I am really grateful for the resources people like Prof. Agrawal invested in me back then. 🙏

“Feed into machine learning” – Prof. Agrawal was right, this is our opportunity. In the last two months alone, several AI companies have raised millions of dollars building on top of our technology, deploying hundreds of our devices already. 📈

It feels pretty amazing to enable these younger businesses to focus on what they do best while we get them the visuals and data they need. Maybe we are building something massive after all.

What else have we been up to:

Updates: We've updated the website, mostly adding new visuals and customer testimonials. It’s an ongoing process as we try to streamline the process for new customers to subscribe on our website and automatically receive a camera. It already works for simple orders.

GreenTech 2024: We will be at GreenTech 2024 🌱🪴 in Amsterdam. Very exciting to meet up with many of our clients building the best AI/Analytics/Disease Detection/Yield Prediction on top of our platform. This is our first time going to GreenTech, and I will be presenting horticam.com on June 11th at 13:50 at the "Meet The Xpert" stage.

New Product: "We need to look straight, but we also want to see what's behind the pole we're mounting it to." 🏗️ or "I want to look straight down into my broccoli with super high quality and also see what's going on far out in the field." 🥦🌾

Like that, our customers come to us with all kind of interesting challenges. These particular 2 use cases would usually come at the cost of two cameras.

But not if you can just add a sidekick, or ZEITKICK :)

💡 Monday: I posted about our new Zeitkick camera for the first time.

📦 Wednesday: We are shipping 27 of them. Lesson learned: If I want a quiet week, I should not post on LinkedIn about what we are working on. 😂

Zaman is back

After an internship with us in 2018, Zaman completed his machine learning studies and is back with us now, working on what I call “Locate Anything Through Time & Space.” I wonder what that is all about. 🔭

Open invite to join us for lunch

It’s been a while. Come over to our office (close to Mimico GO Station) on Tuesdays and join us for lunch on the patio. Please give me a heads-up with your ETA so we can plan accordingly. Looking forward to catching up. ☀️

03/2023 - To Infinity and Beyond, Sept 28th

I took the following photo in February already, hoping I could share it some day. You shouldn’t count your money until it’s in the bank, right?💰Well, since yesterday the money is literally in the bank and I am very pleased to share that we are supplying the US utility sector with secure vision systems. I have to thank our awesome supplier Jeff (Voltaic) for recommending us.

🏭 We are ramping up hardware production. Components we ordered 2 years ago started arriving but lead times in general are way down for us now anyway (< 3 months) and we are starting to fulfill larger orders from our order book.

🧠 Remember our Infinity camera? We racked our brains on what could possibly surpass it... And then it hit Stewart. In the spirit of Toy Story, we realized the only thing that comes after Infinity is... Beyond! So, brace yourselves for the launch of our brand new Beyond camera, taking you to infinity and... well, you know the rest!

While the Beyond looks very similar (it’s smaller, our 🍅 Horticulture clients love that), the interior is not the same at all. The electronics have been completely redesigned. Evan did a marvelous job incorporating everything we learned in the last 7 years.

🔋 We get 4 times the computing power at half the power consumption enabling us to tackle some use cases that we just couldn’t yet with the Infinity.

I can’t tell you about these use cases yet. Some rule about counting chickens 🐓 forbids me from that. Anyway, the Beyond is also much easier to manufacture since a few more supplier dependencies have been removed while some options have been added for us to assemble it a few different ways. Oh, it also works very well in a 🥶 freezer and it respects privacy 🥷.

❤️ Love getting photos "of" our cameras and not just "from" our cameras ;) This is the Alt Hotel @ University District in Calgary, AB. Thanks Nathan Rogers #timelapse #iot #sensors #construction #monitoring

02/2023 - The Infinite Game, May 4th

Writing to you from the 🚂 train on route to Montreal where our largest greenhouse installation in Canada is happening today. 🌱 But that's not the only exciting news:

🌎 Environment Canada is now one of our customers! The conversation started after our 2015 appearance at Maker Faire Ottawa. A visitor to our booth later passed on my contact information to a friend who they thought would be interested in using our cameras for work. This friend really did reach out to us because they found our technology intriguing. At the time, we had not yet shipped a single camera and what we were building was not yet what they needed. They shared some feedback, and over the years, I kept them updated on our progress, hoping that we would eventually meet all their requirements.

Over the years, more requirements emerged 😎, such as the need to respect privacy on the device itself before uploading any data, something we had considered early on. Now, I am excited to have a long-lasting partnership as we deploy our remote visual monitoring solutions from coast to coast to coast. We were in the right place at the right time back then in Ottawa.

☀️ Brookfield, one of the world's largest alternative investment management companies, has also started ordering from us to monitor their solar projects.

👉 We've just launched a new product: the Thermal + Depth Sensing Camera for Greenhouses 📷🍅 The first unit has already been sold, shipped, and nominated for the 🌿 GreenTech Innovation Award!

❓A customer using one of our cameras for a tourism project asked me if they could return their camera after 1y of using it. I bought it back since we can reuse most components and asked if there was something they did not like about the camera or our service. While the response you see below is humbling, I am still sad for them to needing to shutdown their project 🙁

💪 While our supply chain isn't optimal yet, we're working hard and expect to be able to accept larger orders by September.

Thanks, I look forward to your comments. I will read and respond to them on the 🚂 train back to Toronto later today :) I love long train rides!

01/2023 - Picking Up Momentum, Jan 19th

Remember the thermal camera I have been talking about? It’s already capturing data in a client’s 🍅 greenhouse in the Netherlands. This deployment and more are adding to the momentum we have been picking up recently:

New Hire: Stewart Russell used to work for one of our local suppliers as a General Manager and I have been picking his brain for years gaining confidence in his expertise in basically all the things we are working on (photography, math, solar, software & hardware). His hands-on experience managing supply, inventory and deploying sensors outdoors while working in the renewable energy sector have been a great help over the last few months already. Although it’s sad that this particular beloved local supplier is no more, I could not be happier to now have Stewart on my team. Welcome 🤗 Stewart!

Thermal Vision: Apparently by continuous visual monitoring of the 🍅 leaf temperature you can increase your yield. I did not know that but a smart client of ours pointed that out and it’s a real opportunity for us. If the leaf temperature of a plant is lower than normal, it indicates that the plant is not photosynthesizing at optimal levels and greenhouse operators need to know quickly so they can mitigate. We put a demo on a new “Agriculture / Thermal” page on our website and have a few more units ready to deploy. I would appreciate if you could share that page with someone you might know in the industry. 🙏 Thanks also to Stewart, Evan, Greg and our friends at FLIR / Teledyne for making this product possible.

Service Based Pricing: We consolidated our offerings in: “Vision-As-A-Service” and “Timelapse-As-A-Service” and there is now a page where pricing shows depending on region 🇺🇸 🇨🇦 🇪🇺. We might lower prices in the future but so far this has been well accepted. Customers can still buy the hardware upfront if it makes sense to them but we prefer the rental model and wanted to emphasize that by headlining with prices that include rent. So far it seems to keep away the deal seekers 😉.

Supply Chain: Components I have ordered 2 years ago 🤯 have arrived! We will be able to grow a bit over the next few months but we will stay cautious and focused on renting out our precious hardware.

Happy Lunar New Year! 🥮 Everyone in electronics plans around Chinese New Year (CNY) but this year it’s overlapping with a fundamental COVID-19 policy change and while we expect some impact to our business there is also real tragedy that comes with it. Our hearts and thoughts are with you and your family Evan 💜.

03/2022 - Vision As A Service

After immigrating almost 12 years ago, staying mostly in cozy Toronto, I felt a bit more Canadian 🇨🇦 today walking next to the Yukon River in Whitehorse at what felt like -30 before sunrise :)

The a href="https://www.opendatasociety.ca/" Canadian Open Data Society | (I've been re-elected 🙏 as Director on the Board) organized the a href="https://opendatasummit.ca/" Canadian Open Data Summit | here and online this year. br/ | Coincidentally, John, the CTO of Microsoft Canada gave a keynote mentioning their Planetary Computer and we talked about our cameras deployed in the Czech Republic, studying the impact of climate change on hops 🍺. I've learned it was actually Microsoft who paid for our cameras which over a year later are still collecting valuable data in the field.

From the workbench: Our thermal camera has been a long time in development and quite a few unplanned challenges later we are getting close to shipping the first units to customers. Challenges, like our supplier of Germanium lenses cutting us off after the first shipment because of a war related export ban, caught us by surprise. Quite a bit of export policy studying and communications with US Gov. Departments happened since. br/ | But on the workbench it's looking very promising and we appreciate our clients already providing feedback since after all it's a remote visual sensing tool that they can log into already to measure leaf temperature with or help calibrate the sensor with the 3 ice cubes you see on the pictures below ;)

Suffering from component shortages has not stopped yet. It's very frustrating to tell clients who want to expand their camera fleet that they will have to wait 6-12 months to get from 5 to 100 cameras. br/ | I made a big mistake in March when I trusted a component distributor will deliver 6 months later just to find out they won't be able to deliver at all. Well, at least I got a refund and thanks to Craig 👋 I now get to work directly with the manufacturer. We continue to reduce dependencies, create new product lines and broaden our manufacturing capabilities which is expensive but these component shortages are far from over.

Scarcity of hardware accelerated the testing of a "Vision As A Service" business model where most newly manufactured hardware is rented out. The prices might be too high on the long run but with limited inventory we can only please a small market segment anyway. Also I believe we are responsible to recycle (refurbish, repair, reuse) and get the most utilization out of everything we manufacture. Having these sit on a shelf or go in the garbage is neither good for business or the environment.

Curious as I am (but also afraid of heights) I insist on setting up cameras myself when it's a local client with an exceptional project or view. Can you guess who is getting a new floor?

While visiting family in Austria in August I got to meet some existing and prospective customers in person and got some promising leads in agriculture that I can hopefully share more about soon.

I delay sending these updates when I believe I have some bigger news coming shortly. That might be a mistake since there is so much going on (either even bigger news coming soon or something fell apart) and I plan to just stick with a regular schedule for next year so updates don't get this long again. Any opinions about that would be appreciated :)

02/2022 - Good Things Happening

Things don't always work as planned and that's expected. But when things work that were not planned it comes as a surprise. And surprised I was when I noticed the following picture while doing some important 😜 procrastination on LinkedIn last week:

The photo shows a panel of 4 guys talking at a large international horticulture conference I have never heard of. Nothing unusual. But I recognized some of these guys. Hold on. 3 out of 4 are customers of ours. Well, I better be at that conference next year!

We must be doing something right, so let's keep going:

  • The second successful flowering 🍅 truss detection trail in the Netherlands has been completed. More to come with more of our new sensors.
  • I am onboarding a new Project Manager (Hi Fernanda 👋) to take some tasks off my plate so I can spend more time with new and existing customers.
  • New enclosures for the 16MP camera are smaller and shipping now, see above.
  • We have joined the a href="https://octia.ca/" Ontario Clean Technology Industry Association (OCTIA) and I become a Director on the Board of the a href="https://www.opendatasociety.ca" Canadian Open Data Society.

I hope you get to enjoy a nice summer. I will be hanging out on roof tops here in Toronto to mount cameras (I still like doing that myself when I can) and then spend some time in Europe with clients and family.

Little #3 likes running around with me while the others are in kindergarten as you can see above.

01/2022 - New Additions

Finally some additions to our product line and team can be publicly announced:

  • Our thermal camera is now working well (Thanks Greg & Evan) and we will start shipping orders to our clients in Agriculture shortly.
  • We can now offer a 16MP Autofocus 📷 camera which helps in many use cases, for example when there are plants 🌿 growing out of focus.
  • A CNC router was acquired to reduce dependencies, lead-times and inventory cost for enclosures as well as mounting gear (and their customization).
  • Keeping us up at night for a while will be a 4.46kg express delivery we got last week. Meet 🐣 #3. Everyone is happy & healthy.
  • I am sharing the below (a recent exchange with a client) as a reminder that some days might feel like there is no progress and then suddenly there is a breakthrough. Further, constraints can cause innovation (and sleepless nights)

Client:“Can we get twice the batteries for our ZEITDice camera in case we don't get a solar charge for a few months due to bad weather?”

Me:“Hard to get batteries, need bigger enclosure, not trivial, I will get back to you.”

Me, a couple days later:“I doubled your battery capacity, all done.”

Client:“But we did not receive any shipments?!?”

Me:“I reorganized some code, cutting the battery consumption in half, effectively doubling your battery capacity.”

Client:“So are you going to send us more batteries or not?” 


  • Conversation above is simplified. We obviously always tried to keep the battery consumption of the camera low and it was good enough (took 30 seconds from boot to shutdown, now 15 sec, soon maybe <10). I just can't help myself thinking we could do better. Suddenly I had a reason to try a new idea and it worked. ✅

Due to all the new additions we will have our hands full for a bit but I plan on reporting some of the benefits our clients are seeing 😆 with these new cameras in April.

04/2021 - Continuous Improvements

I hope you are enjoying autumn. Our kids have been home more than expected so H. (3yo) started working at the office and P. (almost 5) is drawing marketing material for Halloween, see below :)

Fortunately we have been able to create some camera inventory by navigating the component shortages carefully - or we just got lucky in the game of maxing out credit cards :) Anyhow, we finally got to fulfill a special order:

The six cameras on the photo below went to the Czech Republic to help one of the world's largest brewers understand the impact of climate change on hops. Making sure there will be beer in the future: You are welcome ;)🍻

You might notice that one camera is not the same as the others in the last photo. The ZD Infinity camera is maturing: Smaller, lighter, easier to assemble and less components to worry about.

The work on our thermal camera has stalled again since some instability issues make it a pain to debug so we are taking a break from it instead of throwing it against the wall.

I am still investigating leasing models so our precious hardware does not sit around under-utilized. If you have ideas or experiences to share I would appreciate it.

Before the snow comes I got to visit a few local clients and their cameras. There is always something to be learned about how they use it in ways we could not have come up with ourselves.

Happy Halloween - Let's hope the future will be less spooky 👻. I will be in touch again in January.

03/2021 - Navigating Component Shortages

I hope you are having a fantastic summer. We have been spending way too much time and money procuring components for our proprietary PCB (Printed Circuit Board) that controls our camera. These electronics are essential to make our hardware operate efficiently on very little solar power.

A year ago we used to get everything we need overnight but are now facing 12 month lead times and 10x price increases for some components. Therefore the joy when components arrive is even bigger as my kids P & H can show you below (or it might just be the bubblewrap).

It's quite miserable to be manufacturing electronics these days: Basically everything is out of stock with 3-12 month lead times and if an alternative part is found then you better buy all you can before you start updating your BOM (Bill of Materials) because it will be sold out before you can do that anyway.

Fortunately, we have managed to procure enough parts to have 100 cameras currently in the final assembly stage and we got all the critical parts for another 100 already here with everything else ordered. We are planning the next batch but won't compete for parts like others willing to pay 100x for things.

The scarcity of our hardware forces us to use it most efficiently, therefore we are investigating a "lease model" to make sure none of our equipment sits around unused longer than necessary. If you have experience with hardware leasing maybe you have some advice to share, it would be appreciated.

It has been the best decision for us back in 2018 to focus on commercial applications that create recurring value rather than selling consumer electronics at volume.

Going forward we will keep increasing the value each camera creates on a recurring basis by adding more features in software and also customize our hardware when possible (add sensors for example).

What else is going on:

  • Thanks to T-Mobile the first couple cameras have been deployed in the US and EU and we are expanding our agricultural offerings.
  • Respecting privacy has been a challenge and we now have a good solution as our cameras can now blur out people BEFORE photos are stored or uploaded (it's TensorFlow Lite on the "edge"). It's not perfect yet but we can update the pattern recognition remotely so with more training data they are getting better. See below how the camera tried to protect our privacy on our way to the park. It needs tuning :)

Enjoy the end of the summer and expect an update again from me in a couple months hopefully including progress on our thermal camera.

02/2021 - Survival

I really hope you are doing well. Since my last email my wife got sick with COVID and while we did everything we could to isolate, our kids and I eventually got sick as well. Most importantly our kids are alright and my wife recovered well. I had no severe symptoms right away but am still suffering from some issues that limit my ability to work :( We are confident though that I will soon recover fully and appreciate your patience.

Based on that all the following can only be good news:

  • Umdasch, an innovative construction technology company, nominated us as a finalist for their Research Prize.
  • Autodesk published again about us.
  • New hires: Grant will help with hardware assembly and testing.
  • Component shortage I brought up last time is getting worse. I am glad that over the years I got to build good relationships with our most important suppliers and we will be able to keep going for a while. But the global situation is dire, facing 6-8 month lead time on critical IOT components.
  • T-Mobile (Deutsche Telekom) and Zeitdice Inc. signed a deal for the EU and the US.

For the months to come, please stay safe! I will be in touch again before the end of June.

01/2021 - Hurry Up and Wait

Hope you had a good start into the New Year. Since my last update we have managed to overcome some hardware challenges while having kids at home trying to flush camera components down the toilet (true story):

  • Autodesk announced the a href="https://redshift.autodesk.com/construction-technology-2021/" 5 Trends to Watch This Year | , mentioning ZEITDICE.

  • New clients (France, US, South America) bought ZD One cameras based on recommendations from existing clients. Including one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
  • A very early supporter of ours had his ZD One out during the holidays to create the following timelapse of snow falling. Courtesy of Blade W. Miller:
  • The global semiconductor market is experiencing a huge shortage of components. Suppliers tell us that every year, but here is a side story of what that means for us right now:
    We use an electronic component in our new camera that is sold out world wide until mid 2021. I have the last 225 at home. I only ship our factory in Texas a few dozen at a time because I can't risk having a larger amount lost in the mail. Total value of the components per shipment: ~$10, UPS overnight shipping: $80, keeping production running during component shortages: priceless!
  • New PCBA orders have been placed, we should finally be able to have wider deployments of ZD Infinity (our 4K/4G camera), including the EU and US, by March.
  • ZD Infinity can now run TensorFlow-Lite, therefore we can do privacy protecting measures (blurring) right on the device (“Edge”), before any photos get stored or uploaded. Having TensorFlow on our camera makes us very flexible for upcoming pattern recognition challenges.
  • Rodger from Australia, having a ZD One deployed with the company building his boat in BC (Canada) sent me the following Email. It’s always motivating to hear how our technology is making someone’s life easier.

  • For the last year we have been getting quite a bit of “Hurry Up and Wait” from potential new clients and while frustrating at times, the conversations keep going on and we look forward to a fruitful 2021.
  • Fun Fact: Saturday will be my 10th anniversary of immigrating to Canada.

For the months to come, please stay safe! I will be in touch again before the end of March.

06/2020 - Two steps forward, one step back

Hope you are well. Sorry I kept you waiting for this update as I was expecting more exciting news but that was a mistake. With all the volatility around these days, sticking to my regular schedule would have been better. Things have been not only slowly moving forward since my last update but also a little bit backwards at times and therefore the subject of this update is: Two steps forward, one step back.

  • Suffering from supply chain issues is common these days. On top of that though, we discovered that the most recent batch of our Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) in ZD Infinity cameras (4K, 4GLTE) we shipped had a component responsible for solar charging that did not act as expected in certain weather situations, causing the camera to eventually stop charging after some weeks. We are able to rework inventory PCBs just with a soldering iron and have already replaced all cameras for the affected clients. However, finding a solution distracted us from everything else. Seeking the positive part of this, I am glad we had supply chain issues and therefore not more clients were affected. The next photo, taken by one of our cameras, shows me and my emotions about this issue :)
  • Demand for our ZD Infinity cameras (inbound inquiries via email & phone, since we still don’t do outbound sales or marketing) suggests we should start manufacturing 100 ZD Infinity cameras / month already. While our current PCB is working (and not bad at all, just needs a bit of rework), we have a new version soon to be fabricated.
  • Our ZD One (5MP, WiFi) deployments in Agriculture in Europe have increased almost 25%.
  • International expansion plans for ZD Infinity cameras are progressing. Getting to know one of the larger European telcos over the last 18 months has me believe that we can together offer a very promising vision platform for Europe.
  • Autodesk announced our Integration. Our technology can now be found in their integration library and all our cameras seamlessly integrate into the Autodesk Construction Cloud.
  • CanBIM, Canada’s Largest Building Technology & Innovation Community nominated us for their Innovation Spotlight Award in the Digital Product category.
  • The Young Entrepreneur Association of Vienna (JWW) invited me as a special guest to their monthly meetup in October to talk about the businesses I started / sold and the differences between starting in Austria and Canada. Virtually and in German language, you can watch it here like 400 others so far.
  • Another talented Software Developer has joined us. Welcome Simon, taking over maintenance, feature enhancement and new feature implementation for our vision platform from myself so I can spend more time with customers.
  • While we could not access offices this summer, I worked out of our garage, see below. And with winter coming, I spent some time enhancing my basement office.

For the months to come, please stay safe! I will be in touch again before the end of 2020 or early in 2021.

05/2020 - BIM 360 with the flip of a switch.

Today, ZEITDICE INC. announced an integration between its high resolution (4K), self-sustainable, sub $600, smart timelapse camera and Autodesk® BIM 360®, construction management software that connects project teams and data throughout the entire building lifecycle from design through operations.

The integration enables users to see the most recent photos and videos from their ZEITDICE cameras directly on their Project Home dashboard via the ZEITDICE Partner Card in BIM 360. Customers can now view and analyze a wealth of information about their project on the dashboard alongside the reality captured in ZEITDICE’s imagery from the jobsite.

“The integration between ZEITDICE and BIM 360 enables integrated, remote monitoring to create higher awareness of progress and early detection of potentially expensive mistakes by all stakeholders involved in the project,” said Michael Schwanzer, founder and CEO of ZEITDICE. Through the integration with ZEITDICE cameras, BIM 360 users now have instant access to their photos right alongside critical data to create a more complete and accurate depiction of any given project.”

“Construction firms’ need for strong and remote reality capture is continuing to increase,” said James Cook, head of integrations for Autodesk Construction Solutions. “Analyzing and collaborating on the captured content is also now critical, and ZEITDICE’s new BIM 360 Partner Card makes that process even more simple for our customers.”

The majority of existing timelapse systems are expensive, complicated to install due to high energy demands and are not built to upload images directly to the cloud.

ZEITDICE cameras, however, can be deployed in minutes without having to deal with wires, memory cards or network connectivity. They ship pre-configured to allow for a fast and easy setup experience – customers simply mount their cameras and switch them on to begin uploading photos to the cloud via built-in 4GLTE connectivity. Founded in 2015 and based in Toronto, ZEITDICE INC. enables machines to see our world and provide insights for better decision making. So far over 600 ZEITDICE cameras have been deployed internationally, primarily for use in greenhouses and on construction sites.

To learn more about this new integration, please visit: a href="http://construction.autodesk.com/integrations/zeitdice" ZEITDICE Integration at Autodesk Construction Cloud

Contact: Michael Schwanzer, +1 647 865 0172, michael@zeitdice.com, a href="https://www.zeitdice.com" https://www.zeitdice.com

Autodesk, BIM 360 and Autodesk Construction Cloud are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders

04/2020 - More Manufacturing


Hope you are well and are enjoying the summer. A few delays but also successes to report:

Instead of 25 ZD Infinity cameras we only deployed 6 in the Greater Toronto Area so far. We broke some while trying to improve our solar charging circuit and it will take another 4 weeks to get the next 100 circuit boards. However, the 6 out there are working very well now. More firmware and software updates are planned to add features (like GPS Location) and to decrease power consumption even further.

Most components for a 100 unit assembly run at the end of August have been ordered. Our Bill of Materials (BOM) has been optimized to reduce supplier dependencies. Below you see some of the custom solar brackets we had made and the IP67 enclosures customized at the factory for us.

Timelapse Videos made with our cameras have been published by our construction client Hullmark (almost 10K views in LinkedIn) and Animator Kevin Parry (260K views on Instagram), see below:

VIENO (Association of Innovative Electronics Engineers of Lower Austria) is providing us with an innovation support grant. We are very grateful for this since it will help us speed up the development of our computer vision technologies.

View this post on Instagram

A time-lapse of 80 Atlantic’s main lobby . . . . . 🎥 by @zeitdice 📷 by @jennifervytran #hullmark #citybuilding #citybuilder #community #libertyvillage #CRE #realestate #toronto #torontorealestate #timberframe #lobby #construction #WIP #yyz #westend

A post shared by hullmark (@hullmarkto) on

View this post on Instagram

Timelapse of turning myself in an animated stencil. w/ @andreakevinmaple

A post shared by Kevin Parry (@kevinbparry) on

We made no progress with the thermal camera. Instead we worked on a proposal for the Canadian Government to create a solution based on our computer vision and adapted cameras for the a href="https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/101.nsf/eng/00112.html" target="_blank" "Detection of food borne pathogenic bacteria using field deployable instruments". | Since we already have deployments in greenhouses around the world we believe our technology can have more positive impact in Agriculture. The Government of Canada estimates that there are about 4 million cases of foodborne illness in Canada every year, leading to 11,500 hospitalizations and 240 deaths.

Please take care, stay safe and have some ice cream! I will be in touch again towards the end of September.

Thanks for reading, as always, I look forward to your comments, br | Michael

03/2020 - First ZD Infinity Shipped


Hope you are well. We made some good progress over the last 2 months despite delays in our supply chain or trying to get work done with small children at home:

The first ZD Infinity camera shipped this week. We will assemble and ship another 25 over the next couple of weeks and then ramp up production. Demand seems to be growing due to increased Remote Monitoring requirements on construction sites. These are self-sustainable (solar powered, 4GLTE connected) 12.3MP cameras that feed photos on a schedule into ZEITCloud. Easy to setup: Mount and flip the switch, no SD/SIM card to deal with. Within ZEITCloud we do object recognition / data extraction and can also render 4K timelapse videos.

Autodesk® enabled our Branded Partner Card in BIM 360®. Autodesk clients see the most recent photos and videos on their dashboard. More integrations to come.

Our client Marlin Spring shared their construction progress as timelapse video made with our ZD Dev Kit (predecessor of ZD Infinity).

We made little progress with the thermal camera I mentioned last time regarding health monitoring. I decided to make this an open source / hardware project a href="https://github.com/zeitdice/OpenHealthCam" OpenHealthCam | and have invited some smart engineers to collaborate. The goal is to create a privacy-conscious, easy to assemble, deploy, maintain, operate and procure parts for thermal camera for health monitoring.

Autodesk made this cool photo overlay of me working at their shop in Toronto.

Please take care and stay safe. All the best and good luck!

Thanks for reading, as always, I look forward to your comments, br | Michael

Update 02/2020 - Thermal Vision


With all the uncertainty around us I decided not to postpone sending this regular issue #02/2020 of my founder newsletter today. I am leading this company in good times and bad ...

Maybe the following will give you some positive distraction in the wake of this pandemic:

We are investigating if our thermal cameras can be used to visually detect fever. You might have seen high-end commercial systems in airports that flag people with elevated body temperatures in large crowds. Our goal is to create a low cost, open source / open hardware alternative that will sure not have the same range as the commercial options but could be widely deployable because of the lower build cost (< $500). Notice in the image below my hand-heat-print on the chair? Still a lot of work ahead of us to even proof that this would work with the components available to us.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) fell even more over the last 2 months as I predicted in my last update. It's even worse now with quite a few new projects being put on hold while others got shut down prematurely. It helps right now that we also still have cashflow from selling ZD One cameras from inventory.

Below you see what a ZD Dev Kit captured in front of 101 College St (MaRS, Toronto) comparing Monday March 2nd and 23rd. Way less vehicles and people. a href="https://d33onyjek027b4.cloudfront.net/static_files/website/ecoupdates/CollegeStreet_graph_small.jpg" Click for higher resolution img src="https://d33onyjek027b4.cloudfront.net/static_files/website/ecoupdates/022020_CollegeStreet.png"

Our new ZD Infinity printed and assembled circuit boards (PCBAs, see below) should arrive here in the next 3 weeks from the US. Our supply chain isn't broken yet. A few design / manufacturing / partner choices we made in the past are now playing in our favour. There are still risks but we are hopeful. Have to be, right?

Please take care and stay safe. All the best and good luck!

Thanks for reading, as always, I look forward to your comments, br | Michael

Update 01/2020 - Not always good news


Hope you had an energetic start into 2020. Unfortunately, we began with a big set back regarding the ZD Infinity camera and are currently also facing seasonal challenges:

The ZD Infinity was supposed to be our new flag ship hardware, including 2x13MP imaging sensors, LTE and enough computing power for sophisticated pattern recognition with neural networks on the camera (edge). The computing power comes from a System-on-Module (SOM), a single board computer that we plug into our own carrier PCB (I shared photos of these over the last months).
While our carrier PCBs work fine we could not get the SOM to behave reliably enough. Overheating, bad documentation and most recently the manufacturer got acquired. These issues and the uncertainty got us to decided to go with a different SOM. While it’s going to cost us 4 - 6 weeks to update, manufacture and test new carrier PCBs, there are also some benefits:The new SOM is 75% cheaper, runs the same operating system as our Dev Kits and we are already taking 16MP RAW photos with it in a test setup.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is declining. A whole fleet of cameras stopped working in Alberta after facing almost -40 °C/°F and in general more construction sites than we expected are taking a break until it warms up again. We anticipate MRR to go down even further until we can start shipping the ZD Infinity cameras with the new SOM.
However, it’s not that dire, revenue from cameras in greenhouses and on a few construction sites that keep working during winter will keep us afloat. We still have ZD One inventory and without any effort promoting it, people keep buying it, so there is income, just MRR is not growing like it used to.

In December I was invited to present our technology at a CleanTech North event in Toronto and discuss the opportunities with a panel. That was fun:

This illustrates why we are so eager to expand what our cameras can seebeyond the light spectrum visible to humans. How far are we with that? Well, below you see me on an exercise bike with hot air coming out above a door behind me. Resolution is not high enough and we are far from seeing methane, but it’s a start.

In times of doubt it always helps getting calls and emails from existing / potential clients. Like this one from Dave who works for a California based public outreach and high-tech communications firm:

Or to see how popular stop motion animator Kevin Parry (781K Instagram Followers) recommends the ZEITDice One:

Not our first set backs and won’t be our last. I will be in touch again towards the end of March and by then we hopefully have some ZD Infinity cameras deployed already.

Thanks for reading, as always, I look forward to your comments, br | Michael

Update 06/2019 - Good news


A lot of good things have happened since my last update two months ago:

Our lead camera engineer, Evan, got his permanent residency application approved. A big relief after 3 years of hard work (including lots of paperwork). The following news is good too, but this made us the happiest.

As mentioned in my last email, OMV (Austrian Mineral Oil Administration, EUR 12.5bn market cap, 20k employees) selected us as finalists in their pitch competition. I pitched via skype and well, we won the whole thing! 8,000 Euro award money and conversations regarding potential implementation in their facilities have started.

10 ZEITDice Infinity PCBAs have arrived. Most other components (13MP camera modules, enclosures) are here now as well, final tests of the PCBAs are happening. Still a few more weeks of software development ahead of us before we can deploy them for outdoor tests.

Despite the colder temperatures, more ZEITDice Dev Kits have been deployed, most recently with Great Gulf and Marlin Spring. Automatically documenting construction progress and generating shareable videos like this:

Jaco Joubert used ZEITDice One cameras to visually study vacancy rates of condos in Toronto, getting attention from the Toronto Star, CBC and local politicians.

Unexpected things happening: Never would I have thought that my first ever swim in lake Ontario will be in October. October 1st to be precise, just after I sent my last update, our Chief Scientist Dr. Steve Mann and I went in. Steve does this on a regular basis, for me it was just a quick dip :)

Enjoy the season and have a good start into the new year. You will hear from me again in January.

Thanks for reading, as always, I look forward to your comments,

Update 05/2019 - 4th Incorporation Anniversary


Summer is over and even snow has been seen by some of our cameras already. Just a quick update:

Last week I was invited by the Society for Construction Solutions to present our technology at their Toronto Meetup at Autodesk. Over 40 industry leaders, students and professionals bought tickets to see what I had to show Wednesday evening. Lot's of questions were asked after my live demo of a camera that can simply be turned on and just works. I made a new demo page for the occasion, you can find it here.

ZD Dev Kits have been deployed from coast to coast now, hence the sighting of snow in Alberta a couple days ago. We lost a few cameras out east in the storm caused by Hurricane Dorian. Mounting strength was increased by using a different enclosure that allows us to attach an aluminum bar that we put a few threaded holes into.

The ZD Infinity is taking photos now, but they are not good enough yet to share. We ran into an overheating issue and need another iteration on the PCBA’s to fix it. Above you see the mechanical assembly, very simple, goes into an off-the-shelf enclosure until we make our own enclosures.

OMV (Austrian Mineral Oil Administration, EUR 12.5bn market cap, 20k employees) selected us as finalists in their pitch competition to hear about innovative technology. Our AI based remote monitoring solution could really help them keep their people safe and reduce unnecessary trips just to look at, measure, report on things.

MRR still growing.

On the 21st of September was the 4th Incorporation Anniversary of ZEITDICE INC. 4 years and we are still in business :)

Unexpected things happening: ZEITDice client Erik offered to send US$20K over to help with engineering costs. Amazing, thanks Erik :)

Enjoy autumn.

Thanks for reading, as always, I look forward to your comments,

Update 04/2019 - 8X MRR Increase


Hope you are enjoying the summer. Today marks the end of our fiscal year and therefore I wanted to give you an update:

Our monthly recurring revenue (MRR) this month was 8.1 times as much as in July last year. We are heading in the right direction :)

We started 3D printing enclosures for the ZEITDice Infinity. Does it look a bit too human, or just human enough?

We are now an Authorized Reseller of Rogers™ here in Canada. This means our clients don't have to worry about providing internet connectivity themselves to connect our cameras to the cloud. Similar deals with telcos in Europe and the US are in the works.

We are improving our custom Machine Learning pipeline. Currently training a neural network with images of last year's tomatoes from my backyard. This year my tomatoes are not looking that well :(

Unexpected things happen: ZEITDice user William Pase was documenting 'apple rust' on a cedar tree. Unknowingly, he also documented how the branches of the tree rest while it 'sleeps'. There is some research about it and thanks to our cameras, more will be done. Video courtesy of William Pase, thanks for sending this in!

Another revision of ZEITDice Infinity circuit boards was manufactured, but there are still a few minor issues and we will need another revision (probably taking another 6-8 weeks) until we can start manufacturing the first 100 unit batch for deployments.

Enjoy the rest of the summer.

Thanks for reading, as always, I look forward to your comments,

Update 03/2019 - Image Processing Pipeline


Hope you had a nice start into the summer. Since my last email we made some good progress regarding our Image Processing Pipeline.

Thanks to Mubtaseem Zaman, who joined us for the summer from University of Toronto, we are now able to automatically remove raindrops and shadows from our images:

Furthermore we are experimenting with 3D images. With the ZD Infinity having stereo vision, this seems very exciting for our clients but as you can see, this is still very experimental and partly done manually:

More ZD Dev Kits have been deployed, increasing our MRR, however, we expect a slowdown over the summer since customers are on vacation and/or are waiting for the ZD Infinity to place new orders.

ZEITDice Infinity: PCB Revision #2 of our PCB is in assembly as I am writing this. They should ship on Monday and we are super excited to put our software on it. It might need another revision to get it right but we are getting closer.

Enjoy the summer and I hope next time I will be able to show some images taken by a ZD Infinity already.

Thanks for reading, as always, I look forward to your comments,

Update 02/2019 - Dev Kit and Cellular Data Deals


Hope you are doing well. My updates haven't been as regular as last year. I used to send them monthly (you can find them all here) but this year I plan to only bother you every other month when there is exciting news, like in February when we joined Autodesk, or now:

First Dev Kit Deployed, unlocking more MRR
The first ZEITDice Dev Kit camera has been deployed (uploading via LTE to ZEITCloud, 8MP camera) with one of our clients and we are preparing to deploy a few hundred or potentially even 1,000 of these before the end of the year. They generate $100 MRR each on average (depending on subscription level).

Thanks Autodesk, it was really helpful to laser cut some mounting plates for tests.

ZEITDice Infinity
It was a strategic decision to make the Dev Kit available (based on off-the-shelf components and our own operating system) to bridge the gap in our hardware offering until the superior, fully self-sustainable ZEITDice Infinity (2x14MP, stereoscopic, multispectral camera with integrated energy harvesting via solar and LTE connectivity) is shipping, which could be another 4-6 months. The operating system built for the Dev Kit will run on the Infinity as well, so we get to see how that performs in the real world before the Infinity is ready. The enclosures are designed in Autodesk Fusion 360.

ZEITCloud MRR - Monthly Recurring Revenue
MRR growth slowed down Jan/Feb since we had no inventory ready to ship (manufacturing / supply chain issues got resolved since). MRR started growing again by itself as we are still not spending $s on marketing. This is all just returning clients, word-of-mouth and people finding us online.

Cellular Data Deals
While home in Vienna last month I got to meet up with T-Mobile and happy to announce that they will become our cellular carrier for Europe. For Canada we are about to sign a contract but for the US we don't have a partner yet.

On the photo you see me on a roof top taking down a camera after a 2 year project. I wanted to do that myself since it was a special, our first, deployment that provided us with MRR. That client renewed their subscription for cameras in different places, but I won't forget that roof top, since I am afraid of heights ;)

Thanks for reading, as always, I look forward to your comments,

Update 01/2019 - Joining Autodesk


I am excited to let you know that we are joining Autodesk for the next 6 months in their Toronto based Technology Center at MaRS.

They have this incredible residency program where we get to use all their tools (some of the best software and fabrication machines the world has to offer) and embed ourselves in their community of engineers, researchers and creative minds.

Autodesk started with 2D design software, then came 3D and if you believe the 4th dimension is time, then there should be great things to come from this.

We are looking forward launching our self-sustainable / autonomous camera (the ZEITDice Infinity) already within the next 6 months since we now got access to extra resources.

In the first image above you see the ugly cases we are currently using for the ZEITDice Dev Kits but with the help of Autodesk we should soon have some highly functional enclosure design that integrates the solar cells directly. The last image shows our new PCBA, it did not work 100% right away but that was expected. More testing and debugging is needed. This board will host 2 cameras and LTE connectivity.

My next update will come soon with more details. If you just joined my mailing list or if you think you missed some of my updates you can find them all here.

Thanks for reading, as always, I look forward to your comments,

Update 11/2018 - More Hardware with Neural Networks


Is a camera that doesn't take pictures, but captures measurable data instead, still a camera?

Meet the ZEITDice Infinity Dev Kit, solving some of the biggest problems our clients have: 

  • Get valuable data and insight for decision making, not just images
  • Fully autonomous, thanks to solar power and LTE connectivity 
  • Low cellular data cost due to on device neural network based data extraction (also resolving potential privacy issues since no images need to be stored or sent to the cloud)

The Dev Kit is based on off the shelf components and will start shipping to our business clients in January. Our proprietary and mass production ready version will ship mid 2019. The prototype PCBAs for the carrier board are about to be manufactured. It will be able to host two 12MP camera modules for multispectral imaging, a GPU for efficient use of Machine Learning & Neural Networks and LTE connectivity. Below you see what the PCBs will look like:

In other news

  • ZEITCloud Membership Pricing has been published and our first customers have signed up for business accounts with the start of December:
  • MRR keeps growing on its own but it slowed down a bit, however it's expected to pick up fast again with the new ZEITCloud business memberships.
  • Two more engineers joined our team (Zaman and Nadine) to work on ZEITDice Infinity. 
  • We congratulate our head engineer Evan for becoming a father today! 

That's it for today. We wish you a joyful holiday season!My next update will come at the end of January as I will skip December to enjoy time with my family. Thanks for reading, as always, I look forward to your comments,

Update 10/2018 - Shipping More Cameras


Happy Halloween! I hope you had a great October!

Since many new people were added to this mailing list this month I decided to make this very page available so that new people can catch up on all the progress we made so far. Please have a look and let me know what other info would be of interest to you.

Here's what's going on:


As you can see on the left, MRR on ZEITCloud keeps growing by itself. As mentioned last month, we are finalizing our business subscription plans. However, we got sidetracked this month by the following:

  • We shipped more cameras this month than in any other month before! If you have been following my updates, you will be happy to hear that these extra diaper cartons are coming in handy ;)
  • Our largest client in agriculture has now deployed ZEITDice cameras and ZEITCloud services in their greenhouses in the Netherlands, Spain, Greece and Russia with more deployments planned as soon as our cellular connected camera is ready. This will make a nice case study to attract more clients in agriculture.
  • If demand keeps growing like it currently does, we will have to start manufacturing batch #6 before the end of the year. However, focus is still on growing MRR with the least amount of hardware deployed.


  • We are still working on the circuit boards for our solar powered, cellular connected cameras. They will be able to use neural networks for pattern recognition on the device and can be re-trained for recognizing almost any pattern of interest. As always, it's taking longer than expected.


  • I attended the a href="http://cixsummit.com/2018/" CIX Summit | (we are a CIX Top 20 alumni) which coincidentally took place at a hotel on Bay Street where the day before I finished half the Scotiabank Toronto Marathon for the 5th year in a row.

Thanks for reading, as always, I look forward to your comments,

Update 09/2018 - Meet Harvey


Pardon the delay of this update, as I mentioned last month, my wife and I were expecting our son Harvey to arrive. He was 8 days late but is healthy and happy, this is the first timelapse of him: 

That's 1 hour of Harvey compressed into a few seconds, as you can see, he isn't moving much yet :) Here's what's going on at ZEITDICE: 


  • MRR on ZEITCloud keeps growing by itself while we haven't even launched our new subscription tiers yet. I've talked to all our B2B clients to figure out how to get the pricing right. Most likely we will launch a business subscription plan (US$150/month) that includes just the basic ZEITCloud features (Cloud Storage, API, OTA Updates) and offer industry specific ZEITVision add-ons (Plant Health, Creative Content Creation, Trainable Object Recognition). Any comments on that pricing strategy? 
  • Some photographers started using our platform to generate recurring income by managing fleets of ZEITDice cameras while using ZEITCloud to automatically provide content (value) to their clients. It's quite exciting to enable people to make a living with our platform. We will explore this further. 
  • More cameras are deployed in greenhouse in the Netherlands and finally also in Ontario, thanks to the Cannabis boom. 
  • ZEITDice batch #5 should be ready to ship in 2 weeks, it's already 60% sold, manufacturing of batch #6 will start shortly. We are no longer aiming to deploy 1,000 units before the end of the year since we are focusing on growing MRR with the least amount of our hardware deployed. The idea is that we should further prove the ongoing value of ZEITCloud + ZEITVision to our customers without shipping ZEITDice to sub optimal use cases (where no or little ongoing value is provided). What do you think? Is this a good idea?


  • "Access Portals" have been added to ZEITCloud to enable easy and quick image sharing with project stakeholders in a fully customizable interface. This was the last feature we needed to start converting customers into the new subscription plans.
  • Firmware 1.2.3 was released and fixes an image exposure issue that some users have been seeing and enables a feature to have images automatically deleted from local camera memory after successful ZEITCloud upload. 
  • In parallel to our efforts to build a cellular connected, fully autonomous version of our camera from scratch, we started investigating a custom Android smartphone based solution that would allow us to get to market much quicker. Our customers really want a fully autonomous version of our camera that does not require providing WiFi or connecting a solar panel. 

Thanks for reading, as always, I look forward to your comments,

Update 08/2018 - Growing MRR


Hope you are enjoying the last days of summer.

We have been busy shipping bulk orders (in diaper boxes, as always, a perfect fit for 24 units): 

The good news is that there will soon be a lot more diaper boxes available since my wife and I expect our second child to arrive in the next few weeks. My September update might be delayed therefore, depending on how crazy things will get here :)   

In other news

  • MRR (Monthly recurring revenue) has been growing steadily since the beginning of the year and we are about to launch a few new ZEITCloud value-added services (apps) that will provide higher value to our commercial clients on top of the basic service subscription.
  • Deployments in greenhouses in Spain and Greece are underway. I can't share what that looks like, but it's pretty cool and there are a lot more greenhouses in the world that will need our technology. 
  • Production of batch #5 is about to start, the last 50 we had in inventory are almost gone. What's exciting is that each unit going to commercial clients creates enough $'s within its first 3 months of service to produce 2 more, and that number is expected to go up as value-added services on ZEITCloud launch. 
  • Prototyping of our next generation camera (with cellular connectivity and on edge (device) object recognition) is on its way, we expect the first PCBA's (Printed Circuit Board Assemblies) here by the end of September and after testing them we will get an idea about how close we are to launch. It's a highly anticipated product by clients and potential clients since the requirement of providing WiFi to upload to ZEITCloud will be gone. 

As always, I look forward to your comments and advice.

Thanks for following along our mission of enabling machines to see and understand our world so they can provide insights humans need for smarter decision making, Michael

Update 07/2018 - Mission Progress


Thanks for following along our mission of | enabling machines to see and understand our world so they can provide insights humans need for smarter decision making.

Our progress so far

  • We are in production with our ZEITDice timelapse camera which makes long-term visual data collection virtually effortless - "No Wires, One Button, Infinite Opportunities."
  • We launched the ZEITCloud computer vision platform that ingests images and extracts data from them, rendering | mesmerizing timelapse videos as a by-product.
  • Our technology is currently deployed in construction, agriculture and parking but we receive inquiries from more industries which have problems we can solve for them. We have not been very active in marketing yet since word-of-mouth keeps filling our sales funnel.  

What we are working on now

  • While we will keep training our AI in the cloud we want to address privacy issues by analyzing images on the edge (the camera) so only meta data will be sent to the cloud and the images can be destroyed on the device. We believe the opportunity for this is growing fast since policy makers around the world are becoming active while bigger public projects like Smart Cities are still hungry for data. 
  • Prototyping for the camera needed to analyze images on the edge has started. It will include cellular connectivity so deployment will get even easier.  

If you believe in our mission and know someone who could help us achieve it, please get in touch (we are starting to look for funding to speed things up). 

As always, I look forward to your comments and advice. Thanks in advance, Michael

Update 06/2018 - More of Everything


Hope you are having a fantastic summer. We experienced growth in all areas since my last email:

  • More Cameras: Our lead hardware engineer Evan has started working on our next camera model which will enable long term data extraction on the device (edge) with cellular connectivity so we can relief more of our client's pain.
  • More Service: We released OTA (Over-The-Air) camera configuration through ZEITCloud. Very important for clients managing growing fleets of cameras.
  • More Revenue: Customers keep coming back for more. June had the highest revenue so far and it has been growing month over month. 235 devices have started uploading data, almost 30% have converted into paid tiers.
  • More IP: The patent application Dr. Steve Mann and I have been working on since 2015 (Recompressive Sensing & Resparsified Sampling) has entered the national phase in the US.
  • More Talent: Greg Blair, who has been involved in developing IMAX and cameras used in aerospace, has joined our engineering team! His expertise will greatly accelerate the development of our propitiatory vision technology. Welcome Greg!

Next, we will introduce a ZEITCloud interface where existing clients can order pre-configured cameras and have them shipped directly to their deployment site, so it will be faster and easier for them to add cameras to their fleet. We will also start manufacturing batch #5, maybe with 200 units this time.

Since my last email a few people already contacted me about the seed round, if you want to hear more, please let me know.

Looking for something to do this weekend in Toronto? Visit us at the Maker Festival at the Reference Library. Always a great event for us to meet local talent and talk to a diverse crowd of potential clients who are attracted by this kind of event. Last year we ran into Peter Jennings who was an angel investor in Apple. We will be on the second floor, booth #223, bring the kids, it will be fun.

Thank you for reading this, if you have any advice or questions please let me know.

Thanks in advance, Michael

Update 05/2018 - Manufacturing Batch #4


Just a short update about this month:

  • Several clients started ordering multiples of their initial orders.
  • API for ZEITCloud caused revenue to almost double, 198 devices have started using ZEITCloud, 29% already converted into paid tiers.
  • Manufacturing of batch #4 has started (we make 100 cameras each time) and is expected to be ready for shipping before the end of June. Thanks everyone who contributed here to get our quality assurance back on track.
  • Opportunities in agriculture: Our cameras are now used in several greenhouses internationally to document plant health. Also, I started my own little vegetable garden, click for full timelapse :)
  • We are planning to raise a seed round to accelerate the development of the cellular version of our camera. It will lower the entry barrier to bring our technology into every greenhouse, parking lot, mining and construction site.
  • Our website was updated, click to have a look

Thank you for reading this, if you have any advice or questions please let me know.

Thanks in advance, Michael

Update 04/2018 - Small Wins


This month we achieved a few small wins:

  • Customers who bought cameras from the 1st batch are coming back for more.
  • MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) on ZEITCloud doubled since February. 156 devices have started using it, 31% already converted into paid tiers.
  • 2nd month in a row we made more money than we spent. Don't get too excited though, there are some heavy costs coming to release our next generation hardware, more about that, down below.

Current challenges holding us back

  • We are not receiving consistent quality from our suppliers. Most painful are out of focus camera modules that are causing increased QA (Quality Assurance) efforts, shipping delays and some annoyed customers. We are trying to resolve this with our current supplier but are also looking for alternatives.
  • WIFI with the quality needed by the ZEITDice to upload to ZEITCloud is not as available as we expected. All B2B customers are asking to pay more to get a cellular version of our camera. Huge pain relieve potential since no WIFI extenders or mobile cellular to WIFI hotspots have to be deployed.

Technical Progress

  • Newest Firmware (FW 1.1.5) has a viewfinder making it much more convenient to set up ZEITDice cameras.
  • ZEITCloud now automatically creates and sends weekly timelapse videos to our B2B clients. I used to have to manually trigger that.
  • API (Application Programming Interface) was added to ZEITCloud for B2B clients to integrate the visual data we collect into their systems.
  • Users can now share their videos on ZEITCloud with the public. Click the GIF below to have a look. B2B clients so far keep their videos internal.

Market Data

  • The global smart camera market in 2017 was estimated to be US$5 Bn with an expected CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 18.7% until 2027, to reach US$28 Bn. Source

What's Next

  • We learned that by adding cellular connectivity to the ZEITDice we can decrease the pain of getting visual data to our B2B clients even further and create more value. We are testing the main components already for such a camera and hope to release it later this year as ZEITDice Infinity. This will eliminate the need for WIFI (and power) in the capturing areas and pave the way to deploy the cameras in all construction projects, parking lots, greenhouses and mining operations where our B2B clients want to collect visual data in.
  • Potential investors who know these industries have contacted us to help speed up the development of ZEITDice Infinity. It's much clearer these days what's needed to grow this business than a year ago, let me know if you want to hear more.

Thanks for reading this, if you have any advice or questions please let me know.

Thanks in advance, Michael

Update 03/2018 - Technical Upgrades


This month went by fast. With 200 of our own cameras out there and many more using our cloud service, customer inquiries of all sorts start coming in. 

But there are also malfunctioning cameras that have to be dealt with. So we had to slow down a bit and resolve technical issues this month before getting back to shipping more units.


  • We released new firmware that enables camera configuration from smartphones and resolves some issues people reported
  • Quality Control measures had to be implemented before shipping continues 
  • Prototyping started on ZEITDice Infinity(with LTE and cold weather capabilities) due to the high amount of requests for such a version of our camera


Thanks for reading this, if you have any advice or questions please let me know.

Thanks in advance, Michael

Update 02/2018 - Focus on B2B


Over a month has passed since my last update so it's time get in touch again. If you don't want to receive these emails, please click the unsubscribe link at the very bottom.

In Short

  • Demand for our easy-to-use smart timelapse platform is good, coming from various industries in need of data. A few features are still missing to close bigger deals. Real Estate (incl. construction), Agriculture and Parking are the industries we get the most inquiries from. While consumers still buy our cameras we are focusing on the recurring value we can provide in B2B. 


  • 2 camera batches have shipped, the 3rd batch starts shipping next week (we manufacture 100 cameras per batch). The goal is to ship 1,000 cameras this year and we are on track.
  • One of the world's largest vegetable breeding and seed production companies is currently testing our computer vision platform. They have a lot of greenhouses to collect visual data from. Very exciting. 
  • 117 devices started uploading data into ZEITCloud, for example one of them uses our ZEITVision AIservice to automatically create usage reports of a parking lot, as shown here: 
  • Our hardware is still pretty young and it will take a few more months to improve the user experience (through over-the-air firmware updates) and to smoothen out our manufacturing and quality control processes.

Partnerships / Team

  • A deal is in the works with an ambitious startup in the parking industry with the goal to bring computer vision into every parking lot. Stay tuned.
  • Since we finally have a product we can ship we have strong marketing expertise join our team with a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickwstein/" Nick Stein to help prioritize and funnel all the incoming leads in B2B. 

Smart Camera Market

  • New products from the big players with Clips(Google) for consumers and AWS DeepLens(Amazon) for developers are around. 
  • Amazon bought Blink(home security camera) and Ring(doorbell camera, $1bn) to increase their camera portfolio. 

Fun Facts

  • 30 ZEITDiceboxes fit in a diaper carton (shipping to partners)
  • The velvet storage bag is great for cleaning a camera lens
  • Just 1 sunny day in Toronto can solar recharge our battery for another 3 months of capturing 

Thanks for reading this, if you have any advice or questions please let me know.

Thanks in advance, Michael

Update 01/2018 - Yes, we are still around


It has been a while and I hope you are doing well. I just wanted to give you a brief update on what’s happening at ZEITDICE:

  • The first 100 cameras shipped in December to consumers and businesses in various industries, and the feedback is good: “This is absolutely brilliant” - Ryan Nelson, Manager, Commercial Real Estate, Hullmark Developments Ltd.
  • We have partnered with a company known for timelapse controllers that attach to GoPro cameras. They resell our hardware in the construction industry and updated their controllers to upload into our computer vision platform.
    This partnership will bring our technology to thousands of construction sites internationally and valuable data and insights to the construction companies using it.
  • Our computer vision platform is getting better every day at extracting data from images.

In the next month we will

  • Evaluate additional industries our technology is being tested in (retail, media, hospitality, insurance, agriculture, parking, mining) to decide where to launch next.

A few lessons learned

  • Growing is much easier with partners!
  • Hardware is a hard but necessary evil. If it wouldn’t be for the value of the data we can easily extract from the real world thanks to our unique hardware, we would have had to close shop long ago. Data is the new oil.

If you have any advice or questions please let me know.

Thanks in advance, Michael