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Thursday, Sep. 29, 2016

Cutting edge technology drives 1Look's vision

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Genesis Project is bringing new businesses to Purdy. Representatives of two new businesses operating under the umbrella of Ed Mareth's program are shown above. Matt Brinkman, seated, and Matt Mays, at left, are the computer programmers who have formed 1Look, a security program with facial recognition features. Coby Utter, at right, has the Pixelscopic video gaming company. All the companies have offices in the historic Purdy hotel. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
Security remains a top concern in today's business world. Concerns about limiting access to the wrong people extends from the local school to office buildings nationwide. Finding a way to improve security affordability is like inventing a better mousetrap.

A new company in Purdy, 1Look, one of the firms operating under Ed Mareth's Genesis Project, may have that better mousetrap.

Two University of Missouri students, Matt Brinkman and Matt Mays, run 1Look. They moved into the office suite at the historic Purdy hotel on May 27.

1Look's product is a guest management system, a computer-based product that quickly scans an identification card and takes a photo of each subject. Unlike any other similar system on the market, 1Look uses facial recognition software. A face entered into the system can be matched with any new face, no matter what name is given.

The 1Look program has a special card reader for identification like a driver's license. All the information on the card is immediately scanned and placed into the computer program's categories, creating a file for each person. A connected camera the size of a baseball takes an unobtrusive photo that is added to the file. A badge is then printed for the guest.

Brinkman said the program can compare subjects from any database. For demonstration purposes, 1Look has linked to the state sex offenders list and can quickly identify a visitor from that or any other warning list.

"The beauty of the system is that it doesn't tell you what to do," Brinkman said. "It gives you more information to make a more informed decision."

The program has wide application and could be used by schools, corporate offices or even check cashing franchises, which can face repeated attempts by fraudulent customers. Information can be shared across companies or modified by the user to red flag any person of concern. The program taps an off-site database, leaving no apparent sign to the guest. No confidential information like Social Security numbers is retained so the program offers nothing for a hacker to steal, only a service for its users.

"This was a bare bones product before we got ahold of it," Brinkman said. "We've taken a thin version and made it into a selling product."

1Look came into existence through the entrepreneurial efforts of Mareth, who was looking for potential businesses that could bring jobs to Purdy. Brinkman said Mareth found him. Once presented with the possibility of creating a company and marketing a product, Brinkman, who lived in Jefferson City, found Mays, who lived in St. Louis.

"Ed said, 'I have this project. I invested in a company that went bankrupt, and there's a chance to develop this product.' We signed on," Brinkman said.

Mays and Brinkman have chosen to concentrate initially on marketing their product to schools initially. They are in the process of setting up a demonstration to show how their program works to Purdy School District officials.

As the two programmers developed their product, they have brainstormed with Mareth on marketing ideas. Mays said he has had no background in sales and finds the Genesis Project offices in Purdy to be a "comfort zone" as they incubate their strategy.

"Ed is an ideas man," Brinkman said. "If he believes in it, he'll work for it."

Brinkman and Mays plan to be back in college in Columbia after the summer ends. Their computers are portable so they can operate 1Look from anywhere. They plan to operate out of Purdy for at least three years.

1Look is one of three businesses operating under the Genesis Project. Under the agreement with Mareth, 30 percent of 1Look's profits go back into the Genesis Project. Office space is provided. The goal is to make the new company self-sufficient within three years and to generate both commerce and jobs for the Purdy community.

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