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About Cubic | MotionDSP

Our Company

MotionDSP is a newly acquired product line of Cubic Mission Solutions, Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance business unit, which delivers solutions that support expeditionary and tactical needs of the United States (US) military and allied forces as well as cutting edge capabilities that allow special US Special Operations Forces (SOF) to train efficiently, deploy more quickly and communicate more effectively.

The MotionDSP product line includes industry leading tools for advanced image processing and computer vision software for public safety, security, government, and defense applications. Since initial product launch over 12 years ago, MotionDSP has helped customers extract critical information from video across a wide variety of industries including law enforcement, military, oil and gas, forestry, inspection services, energy, transportation, and more.

History of MotionDSP

MotionDSP was founded in 2005 with software image processing technology spun out of the University of California. Angel funding was raised in 2006, with the initial intent to use the technology to automatically improve the quality of mobile phone video for YouTube. TechCrunch broke the news of our first product launch, and that got the attention of the United States (US) intelligence community and law enforcement customers who realized our algorithms automated the kind of work that took a human expert hours or days to do. This feedback resulted in the first version of our Ikena Forensic software, a work program with In-Q-Tel, and our first sale to the US Secret Service.

We also learned that resolution improvement and lighting correction weren’t enough to solve the video challenges of our customers. Improving video quality is like playing “whack-a-mole” – you fix one problem or two problems and more problems emerge. We needed a full suite of algorithms to address all the problems with different kinds of video and to enable those algorithms to run in real-time. Our customers had hours of video to process so it had to work and it had to work fast. Around that time in 2007, NVIDIA released their first G80 chip which included the CUDA libraries that allowed developers to tap into the processing power of graphics chips. These same chips were used to produce the graphics for video games.

Porting to CUDA, we realized our algorithms could run in real-time, on live video feeds. This would be a game-changer as this sort of capability didn’t exist outside of esoteric, custom-tuned FPGAs and DSPs. This led to a strategic investment from NVIDIA and years of work with their hardware engineers tweaking our software to get the most out of NVIDIA GPUs. This work is ongoing today as NVIDIA continues to innovate with new GPUs.

The ability to improve the quality of real-time video attracted the attention of the US Special Operations community and US Air Force, resulting in federal contracts in 2009 and 2010 to apply MotionDSP’s commercial software, Ikena ISR, to live feeds from manned and unmanned platforms (drones). Success with those customers led to being awarded three DoD Rapid Innovation Award contracts to connect the software to DoD systems.

In addition to improving the quality of live video, our customers requested other capabilities – to better understand what was going on in their video, and where things were happening. In 2009, leveraging our expertise in real-time image processing, we started research into advanced detection and tracking and geospatial processing. Today’s Intelligence Software Suite has all of these capabilities, wrapped in a fast, responsive user interface (UI) that is custom designed for a human analyst to get the most out of their video while simplifying their viewing and reporting workflow.

As customer needs were refined, we released our Forensic and Spotlight software applications, to deliver enhancement and redaction capabilities for video and audio from any file type. These have been widely adopted by law enforcement and Digital Media Forensic Investigators and consultants, as powerful, easy-to-use tools that enhance and/or redact video for export in minutes – rather than hours, days, or weeks.

February 2018 Acquisition

Our 2018 acquisition by Cubic Corporation has propelled our flagship product line, Ikena forward into the next generation of development. We are proud to announce the transition of MotionDSP from small company to a software product line within Cubic’s Mission Solutions business unit, which boasts mission critical, end-to-end Command, Control, Communications, and Reconnaissance products and integrations for Defense and Commercial Customers, including: Defense Information Systems Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, SIGDEF, Federal Bureau of Investigation, AT&T, and more.