Jeff Dahlke, cofounder of Remote GeoSystems Inc. Courtesy Courtesy Remote Geosystems, Inc.

Remote GeoSystems works to get location-linked video off the ground

FORT COLLINS — Jeff Dahlke sees drones becoming a little bit like toasters. Everybody’s going to have one.

That’s why his Fort Collins-based startup, Remote GeoSystems Inc., is expanding its reach into the unmanned aerial vehicle space.

Since launching in 2011, Remote Geo has been focused on taking video imagery from cameras mounted on both aircraft and automobiles and syncing the video with a map to add geospatial and time components. In large part, the company’s hardware and software are used in industries that have long sets of linear aspects that need regular inspection, such as pipelines, power lines, roads, bridges and even wildlife. The only problem is there’s a limited number of aircraft flying around.

But earlier this month, the company launched a new line of software that can process and map the video being captured by DJI Inspire 1 drones – one of the biggest consumer and pro inspection lines. The plan is to keep updating the software to add compatibility with any number of drone brands to expand the company’s reach not only among industrial users but also, eventually, weekend users who, say, want to map their backcountry ski trip.

Adding drone compatibility “exponentially expands our opportunity to sell more, whether that’s cloud or software,” Remote Geo cofounder Dahlke said in a recent interview. “We’re kind of blazing a trail with what’s possible with video.”

Remote Geo has three main lines of products: a geospatial digital video recorder, desktop software and a cloud version of its software. The geoDVR generally is used to collect video shot from helicopters or vans and give that video location-based information. So a utility company might use it to fly along power lines to check for damage. When a broken line or other anomaly is spotted, the person flying can press a spot on the accompanying touchscreen and that point is then dropped into the video with GPS coordinates and any notation that is added about the damage.

“Post-mission inspection reports” then show the video on a map, as well as still images, Microsoft Word or PowerPoint presentations or other assets that add context to given locations.

“I think people are understanding that video without place is just an image,” Dahlke said. “But putting it on a map and knowing when and where that happened adds another dimension.”

The difference with bringing in drone compatibility is that there isn’t a need for the geoDVR because most drones have onboard recording already done either to a hard drive or SD card. Remote Geo’s software takes that video and meshes it with the drone’s GPS logs to create the post-flight reports so the video can be geographically navigated.

The geoDVRs, which range in price from $10,000 to $30,000 depending on features, are generally for large users who already have ultra high-end cameras mounted on an aircraft or vehicle. But the desktop software can range from just $500 to $1,300, with many different subscription options for the cloud offering, bringing the technology to a whole new realm of users.

“I think this is going to be the way that stuff gets inspected and surveyed in the future,” Dahlke said. “It’s definitely happening now, but as the FAA loosens the rules (for flying drones), they’re going to be flying a lot longer distances.”

Dahlke said a pilot launch of a consumer version of the software that has compatibility with products such as Garmin GPS cameras and even GoPro cameras will occur later this year. But the major focus right now is getting the drone offering off the ground – and raising money.

Dahlke – whose background is in technology and software and systems development – and an unnamed cofounder have bootstrapped the company to this point, taking on no outside investment. While the company doesn’t disclose revenue, he said Remote Geo  already is profitable. But the company is aiming to raise $5 million to $10 million to accelerate growth over the next 12 to 18 months.

Headquartered at 3307 S. College Ave., the company has six employees now but that figure could climb quickly if new funding helps to ramp up sales and marketing efforts. Aside from industrial users, Dahlke is hoping Remote Geo’s technology will be attractive to law enforcement and military users as well.

“Where our challenge lies is, there’s a lot of moving parts to what we’re doing,” Dahlke said. “So as we target different industries, we need to get the specialists onboard to tell the story and make the value proposition to the industry.”

FORT COLLINS — Jeff Dahlke sees drones becoming a little bit like toasters. Everybody’s going to have one.

That’s why his Fort Collins-based startup, Remote GeoSystems Inc., is expanding its reach into the unmanned aerial vehicle space.

Since launching in 2011, Remote Geo has been focused on taking video imagery from cameras mounted on both aircraft and automobiles and syncing the video with a map to add geospatial and time components. In large part, the company’s hardware and software are used in industries that have long sets of linear aspects that need regular inspection, such as pipelines, power lines, roads, bridges and even wildlife. The only problem is there’s a limited number of aircraft flying around.

But earlier this month, the company launched a new line of software that can process and map the video being captured by DJI Inspire 1 drones – one of the biggest consumer and pro inspection lines. The plan is to keep updating the software to add compatibility with any number of drone brands to expand the company’s reach not only among industrial users but also, eventually, weekend users who, say, want to map their backcountry ski trip.

Adding drone compatibility “exponentially expands our opportunity to sell more, whether that’s cloud or software,” Remote Geo cofounder Dahlke said in a recent interview. “We’re kind of blazing a trail with what’s possible with video.”

Remote Geo has three main lines of products: a geospatial digital video recorder, desktop software…