www.vision-systems.com VISION SYSTEMS DESIGN July/August 2017 39
faces in vision
What are three interesting things about
you that people might not know? I grew
up in Northern Germany, near the Danish
border. So even though I am German, I have a
lot of Scandinavian traits in my character. At
some point in my career I had to choose my
leadership role model between Mr. Spock, the
intellectual, Scotty, the tech guy, or Capt. Kirk.
I finally choose Capt. Kirk because he is bold
and not afraid to make decisions, while being
humorous and relaxed. The third thing is that,
when I was a teenager, I wanted to be a rebel,
even though my parents were very relaxed. So,
my girlfriend persuaded me to get my ear
pierced. So I did that, and when I came home,
my mom looked at me and said: “Oh, you are
a pirate now.” That was it. The rebellion just
drowned because there was no resistance.
What are your top three favorite movies
of all time? 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dead
Poets Society, and Once Upon A Time
What are your top three favorite TV
shows of all time? I don’t really watch TV.
My kids keep me occupied. I prefer to read
books. I love Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
I also really liked Sophie’s World, it’s a Norwegian novel, which is like philosophy for beginners. That said, I do like the old Star Trek
series from the 1970s, and The Streets of San
Francisco with Michael Douglas.
What are three of your favorite bands or
musical acts? I love Amy Winehouse. It is
so sad that she died at only 27. I also like Sunrise Avenue and Samu Haber.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to spend time outside. I do a lot of sailing
and I like hiking in the mountains. We often
go to Norway for hiking and skiing. And sometimes we would drive south to the Alps.
Why did you choose your profession?
My father inspired me to study electronics and
I also took economics as the second focus.
When I had my first internship, I worked for
seven months at a project. When we presented
it, we missed a couple targets, and we were
told to start over. When I asked who wrote the
targets for us, I was told that the product manager talked to customers, and developed the
requirements. I thought, that’s what I want to
do: talk to people and figure out trends, so I
went into marketing.
Eventually, I saw an advertisement from
Basler that said “we give machines the power
of sight,” which I found cool. Also, Basler is in
northern Germany, so I could sail there. So I
came to Basler and have been here for
What are you most excited about at
your company right now and why?
Many years ago when I would tell my friends
that I work with machine vision cameras, it
was hard to explain what I do. Today, when I
tell them how machines see with our cam-
eras, about the self-driving cars that scan
their surroundings and things like this, they
get really excited.
In what markets do you see the most
growth? So machine vision as we know has
been usually connected with the factory floor.
Now, we see more and more applications in
the medical and life sciences field, in retail
and more. The gap between factory automation and consumer application starts to close.
This is where we see the most growth.
What is one particularly interesting way
you’ve seen your product deployed
recently? One project that we are working
on is a refrigerator camera. The idea is that
you can pull out your phone in the supermarket and check if you have enough milk. In a
couple of years, most fridges will have cameras in them.
Another project is interactive advertising.
For example, the man on the poster starts
talking to you and then the camera determines that you are there with kids, and so the
virtual person tells you that this car has
enough room for kids. At the Vision show in
Stuttgart we showed how it can work, when a
camera determines your gender and age. And
this is just the beginning.
Chief Marketing Officer, Basler.
Year and location founded: 1988, Lübeck, Germany