Nuarda Challenge Finalist 2017

May 25, 2017

Nuarda QUT bluebox Challenge Finalist 2017

For business owners, understanding who their customers are can be a major challenge. Nuarda is a new cloud based technology that can help retail business gather customer analytics easily!

Q&A with Steven Martin one of the Founders of Nuarda People Analytics

Who is Nuarda?

The Nuarda team is made up of three roboticists, Steven Martin a QUT Mechatronics alumus, PhD student and staff member of The Centre for Robotic Vision at QUT, Gavin Suddrey and QUT Professor Peter Corke.

As staff member of the Centre for Robotics Vision Steven admits, the support from the Centre has been invaluable,
“The Centre has been really supportive throughout the development of all of this and the technology behind Nuarda has been created with the Centre, we definitely appreciate the opportunity to be able to take this further!”  Steven said.

What is Nuarda?

Nuarda is an innovative device that provides businesses, such retail chains, with near-real-time data on foot traffic numbers and distributions within their stores and businesses.

Named after the Irish god of clouds, Nuarda is a small tool that packs a punch when it comes to gathering customer analytics.

Steve explains, “the device captures information about people in your space. We are applying this, for example to retail businesses to give them information about when there's people in their store, how long they spend there, along with their ages and gender. This is useful particularly targeting small-to-medium sized businesses interested in marketing via social media better. If you do a lot of Facebook marketing the three main categories you have to put in is location, age and gender,” Steven explains.

The novel idea came to the team as they work with robotics and see many new technologies that do not reach everyday users.

“We see a lot of really cool stuff in the computer vision and robotic vision space, the difficulty is that it doesn’t always translate into real world use. The reason behind this, is that it’s complex and not everyone can understand the software implement it, and deploy it,”

“That’s where we have the skills so we’ve been working on a cloud service through the Australia Centre for Robotic Vision for the past year, and Nuarda is the first product using that service.

Biggest challenge with starting up Nuarda

“Our biggest challenge is probably working out exactly what problem to focus first, the opportunities a cloud-service that does computer vision are almost endless!” Steven explains.

Nuarda is a result of some questions we had while working on the Robotics Accelerator (QUT bluebox robotics Accelerator), one of the capabilities required was to assess how many people are in front of a computer, their age and gender; we've taken this a bit further to put this capability in a small portable discreet device  that can sit in your space. We see this being really useful for small to medium businesses particularly in the retail industry,” Steven said.

Greatest success to date

Humble in success, Steven notes becoming a finalist in the Challenge is a great success for Nuarda, “This is a really new idea for us and something we think is a great idea. But having feedback from our initial users that it is really useful data, is a success. It's really good to see that other people think it's a great idea as well.”

Speaking about influential entrepreneurs

Speaking on startups Steven mentions the entrepreneurial spirit is something that runs in the family, “My parents run a small business back into Toowoomba so I think they're probably my inspiration for wanting to do something that is my own.”

The crowd vote for the QUT bluebox Challenge is now OPEN! Vote for Nuarda here!

Find out more Nuarda here

On the QUT bluebox challenge

“The Challenge has been a great opportunity for us to articulate our ideas, our vision and see if anybody else also thought this was a good idea. The Challenge has really helped us focus and push harder and good motivation and reinforcement that there is a need for this, so we hope to deliver!”

“QUT and QUT bluebox offer many great opportunities and it's important to take advantage of this”

“I know it's not always the easiest thing to step out of your comfort zone in research but I think that if you do, you'll be surprised how much support you get. And how much of how many opportunities there are out there are available to you.”

For more information

Contact: Liliana Campos


Phone: +61 7 3138 9413