Oculyze GmbH is e German SaaS company that has managed to successfully develop an artificial intelligence that can analyze different microscope images. The technology, combining pattern recognition and deep learning, has numerous potential applications and is currently used by companies all over the world to speed up tedious lab work, while also eliminating human error. 

Interview with Dr. Katja Schulze, CSO & co-CEO at Oculyze GmbH.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Katja Schulze: Oculyze provides image recognition software and cloud infrastructure for data analysis and storage for anyone, anywhere, and can build custom solutions for various types of business industries. 

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

K.S: We’re constantly working with our prospective clients on new use cases and customized solutions for their needs – from water monitoring and insect identification to sperm and blood counts, bacteria detection, emulsion analysis, and asbestos fiber detection. 

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

K.S: Currently, our two main products are:

  • The Oculyze BB 2.0 (Better Brewing) Yeast Cell Counter App + Hardware
  • The Oculyze FW (Fermentation Wine) Yeast Cell Counter App + Hardware

The apps + the Oculyze microscope, are being used by breweries and wineries all over the world for automated yeast cell counting, determining yeast viability, and monitoring fermentation. 

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

K.S: The market is relatively young, and at least in terms of yeast cell counting, we are proud to have developed one of the most innovative software-hardware combinations that has consolidated our position as the world’s premier platform for mobile image analysis. 

A few important features separate us from our competition, such as using the cloud for data storage (as opposed to saving the data on the device), using high-end image recognition algorithms that deal extremely well with cell clusters, and also the ease of access to the data from anywhere. Last but not least, the Oculyze microscope has a 400x magnification, which is comparable to a high-end lab microscope, and it is very compact, currently being the lightest automatic cell counter available. 

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

K.S: At least in the industries we’re currently most active in via our products – namely beer & winemaking – there is an ever-growing interest in using technology to optimize lab work. The competition is fierce and if a piece of high-tech can help you save time, eliminate human error and offer you the means to obtain a consistent product, then it must become part of your standard equipment. And brewers and winemakers seem now, more than ever, to be aware of that. They’ve automatized their yeast cell counting, they’re pitching by cell counts and they monitor the health of their yeast at all times. 

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

K.S: In 2018, Oculyze has launched the next generation Better Brewing Device (BB2) at the BrauBeviale trade fair. The new device is compatible with most USB C and Micro USB OTG capable android devices, it integrates the latest technology and provides the possibility of automatic documentation and data backup. 

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2022?

K.S: We have witnessed a steady increase in sales since the beginning of this year, with a growing customer reach across dozens of countries. Our plan for 2022 is to continue to grow the business by constantly improving and adding new features to our current products and by expanding the Oculyze portfolio with additional innovative products.