Asqella, a spin-off of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, sells revolutionary passive THz imaging systems capable of remote detection of items concealed about the body. The company has received nearly one million euros funding from an angel syndicate, VTT Ventures and Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation.
The company sees major market potential in applications such as high-throughput screening in loss prevention, event security, and security in public places. The technology will become available to customers during 2014.
"Since our product involves no radiation, health concerns are absent. The financing will catalyse our product development and help in building the routes to market. The markets for the technology are global," says Asqella's Managing Director and co-founder Arttu Luukanen, former Research Professor of micro and nanosystems at VTT.
The product provides the customer with an absolutely safe capability for detecting concealed items on moving subjects at a stand-off range of between 5 and 15 metres. The system is passive, neither irradiating the person subject to screening nor revealing anatomical details.
Stand-off screening, the capacity to screen at a distance, has been of considerable interest for several years. Technical challenges have nonetheless limited the effectiveness of existing techniques.
"Asqella, after years of scientific research, can now provide customers with highly effective yet acceptable screening capability, well beyond any available today. Asqella is also using spectroscopic camera technology. You could compare that to switching from black-and-white to colour TV," says Luukanen.
Antti Sinisalo, the CEO of VTT Ventures, says: "We are pleased that the company was able to raise a substantial funding package to take this exciting technology to the industrialization and commercialization phase. The timing is just right for making a big impact on the people screening market."
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