The Stamp and Coin Place Blog: connecting the past and present of stamp and coin collecting, and looking to the future.

Innovation Starts Small

 

 

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Have you seen this meme floating around the internet? Some of the most revolutionary companies had the most quiet, ordinary beginnings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

unnamed-3The future doesn’t always announce itself with fanfare. The first telephone transmission was made in an old family home in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. Tech companies that revolutionized the late 20th and early 21st centuries started out in garages in unassuming suburban neighborhoods. And an unmarked warehouse a few miles south of the Canadian border in Washington holds a machine that is already changing the game for imaging and sorting.

 

 

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Capable of sorting over 80,000 coins in the course of an average workday (for more details on the machine’s capabilities, please click here), this machine uses computer vision and machine learning to quickly “see” and grade coins, sorting them according to the specifications set by the user. We can rapidly sort by date, mint mark, grade, value, and more, faster and more accurately than hand-sorting allows; the machine has sorted 2 million numismatic coins in 2 weeks. We may not be the most polished coin company in the world, but we’re agile and passionate, and excited to share our knowledge.

 

 

But it doesn’t stop with coins. We started there, because it was easier to teach a computer to see something that we ourselves know thoroughly. But a computer can be taught to see anything, even to make aesthetic judgments. Our technology has applications not only for sorting and identifying physical objects, but for improving accessibility for the disabled, creating a digital “fingerprint” for individual coins, preventing theft and fraud, and more.

 

Not every new invention is a game-changer, and not every game-changer comes from an established name or a well-known brand. Innovation often starts in a simple warehouse.

 

 

 

 

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