Sensat | Story

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The greatest step-change since the internet; the digitisation of the physical world

This is a story of adventure, curiosity and exploration - as much as it is about technology. But it doesn’t start in the campuses of Silicon Valley. It begins in a leafy borough of north London in 2015, where a duo called Harry Atkinson and James Dean were working late nights from a kitchen that doubled up as a bedroom. 

Their idea, a prototype platform that transformed large Structure from Motion (SfM) datasets into representations of the physical world as binary numbers, put the real world into a computers language for the first time ever.


Soon after, the project was named SenSat, and the product became Mapp®. Over the next few months, SenSat caught the attention of not only the academic community, but London’s tech investors as well. In May 2017 the pair met Andreas Meissner, Managing Director for Swiss fund Pubal Consult, who invested £300,000. With this investment, the newly incorporated team made the upgrade from their Islington kitchen to their first office - a 6 person suite at Moor Place, London. 


Even in the beginning, things were unconventional. James once played (and lost) a client at ping-pong for a contract and an unlimited stream of music set the rhythm for those early days and late nights. The team would have sit down lunches twice a week, taking the time to get to know one another outside of the tasks at hand. Over the next year the company expanded rapidly – hiring engineers, building a sales team and introducing the first company dog, Jasper.


SenSat outgrew the 6 person suite and eventually moved to its current headquarters (aka ‘SenSat HQ’) in Shoreditch, London. The spirit of doing things differently made the move. So did Jasper. 

SenSat’s mission is to build the third platform, an intelligent eco-system following the web and social media that translates the real world into a version understandable to AI. This technology will help us to build a more sustainable future, using the wealth of new insight to help people make better decisions.


The relentless search for better answers continues to be at the core of everything we do. Today, more than 30 employees work tirelessly to make the world more understandable. SenSat’s Mapp® platform has supported over £10.5bn in infrastructure builds and helps over 30 tier 1 contractors, clients and consultants automate and digitise previously manual and physical decision making. 


Although we’ve grown, our passion for building technology for everyone has stayed with us – from the bedroom/kitchen to this very day.


The real world is offline; it cannot connect with computers or other devices.

This poses a considerable hurdle when developing Artificial Intelligence for real world use, something that can help us to live our lives more sustainably.

And as global growth surges, it is important to acknowledge, understand and react to the strains industry places on our environment – an impossible task without the help of computer-aided analysis.


By 2040, the global population will grow by almost 2 billion people, requiring a combined $94 trillion of new Infrastructure investment.


As an inherently physical industry, Infrastructure, like many of its peers, lacks the automation and transparency that has transformed online industries. This has left it as the only sector to see no productivity increase since the dawn of the digital age and contributor of a staggering 61% of total UK waste. 


Allowing computers and AI to analyse the real world’s innumerable daily interactions in order to help us grow more sustainably may be the most important challenge ever faced by humanity.

Why Infrastructure?

Around the world, well-functioning, modern Infrastructure is central to economic development and quality of life. From the roads and railways needed to transport people and goods, to the power plants and communications networks that underpin economic and household activities, to the basic human need for clean water – Infrastructure matters to people and businesses everywhere.

Infrastructure itself is the bedrock of economic growth and productivity, with new investment forecast to reach $94 trillion by 2040, and a further $3.5 trillion required to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.


Despite this, the way we plan and deliver Infrastructure is antiquated in context of the automation and transparency that has transformed online industries. Indeed, this is endemic of all offline industries that have so far remained beyond the grasp of meaningful computer analysis, unable to convert digital insight into efficient automation. The result is an estimated $5.2 trillion direct economic loss per year.


Combined with the environmental degradation and resource waste linked to unsustainable growth, a particularly compelling case can be made for introducing AI and digital automation to physical sectors.


Fixing this problem will unlock tremendous value in fundamentally important offline sectors, and enable many emerging technologies to create a future of sustainable growth.

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