Faces in Vision: Donal Waide of BitFlow
Get to know Donal Waide, Director of sales BitFlow Inc., in this month's Faces in Vision article.
Director of sales BitFlow Inc. Year founded and location: 1993, Woburn, MA, USA
What are three interesting things about you that people might not know?
I love to cook and entertain, and we often host people at our house. I am a strong advocate for education, and am an active member of the School Improvement Council at my son's school. I'm also a foodie, a passion that's helped by my worldly travels.
What are your top three favorite movies of all time?
The Blues Brothers, The Big Lebowski, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
What are your top three favorite TV shows of all time?
Big Bang Theory, The Daily Show (both versions), and most of Dick Wolfe's creations.
What are three of your favorite bands or musical acts?
The Stone Roses, U2, and Bloc Party.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Cook or go to a restaurant, read, and attend comedy shows.
How did you get into your field of expertise?
I was bartending at the time and got talking to a patron who was working in Intelligent Transportation Systems. Turned out he was looking for an engineer, and I was looking for a full-time gig.
Why did you choose your profession?
I am an engineer by education, so this was an easy one for me. I had been working in Quality Control for some time and wasn't happy.
What do you like about working in your field?
Machine vision is no longer a description of an event in a company. In many cases, it's a division of the engineering team and more. Large companies have dedicated machine vision engineering teams, and it's now an option on many curricula for colleges. What I love though is that we are at the cutting edge of technology and as such, I get to see all the projects where our boards are in use.
What is your company's core focus and mission?
BitFlow's focus is to continue to lead the industry in frame grabber customer and technical support. We have a great reputation for this already and receive customer compliments weekly. As the industry adopts new standards, we work two-fold on this, to influence the direction of the industry and to collaborate with others on making products that are both user friendly and affordable, yet highly innovative.
What are you most excited about at your company right now and why?
The dynamics of our company and the fact that we are continually producing new products shows that we are a leading trendsetter in the industry. BitFlow doesn't sit still and my time here had shown me this.
In what markets or applications do you see the most growth?
Several markets are starting to see vision as the best possible solution, including the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, security, medical, and military. Newer, larger sensors and faster speed interfaces such as CXP allow a lot more data to be gathered and analyzed in real time, leading to split second decisions. This will be one path of our industry's future.
How have market changes affected product development at your company?
Since the arrival of FireWire and GigE Vision, we have heard of the "end of the frame grabber companies," yet here we are 23 years after inception, still offering them. We always watch the industry and see what's next or new in standards, and how we can offer a comparable product. We are also aware that the frame grabber is more suited to certain areas of industrial applications, so we focus mainly on these.
What is one interesting way you've seen your product utilized recently?
With a lot of NDA's signed it is difficult to state some of the cooler aspects of deployment of our products, but having seen where we are in the Life Sciences market, and some of our military involvement, it's definitely easy to say, we are in some very interesting projects around the planet.