Written on Friday March 12, 2021
2020 was a unique year for everyone, and Loopbio was no different. To meet the needs of this new normal, we continued to extend and improve our products and are especially encouraged by how diversely they were used by scientists in homes and labs around the world.
The popularity of Loopy is continuously growing, with its use doubling over the previous year.
In 2020 Loopy was used:
Because Loopy is web based, it can be used from anywhere - a perfect tool for working from home during the various lockdowns and closures. The integrated group feature helped sharing data quickly between lab members and allowed collaborative analysis in real time - minimizing the loss of productivity from remote work.
In the figure below which shows the total number of users logging into Loopy (pooled across all online and on-site systems in all countries) you can see small effects of the first and second lockdows, but the strongest effect is the Christmas break - it seems everyone really needed a rest this year.
Let's review the year in order and highlight some of the moments we are most proud of:
Science in Home Office
Due to the pandemic the working life of many people changed and home office started to play a major role in our everyday lives. To support the increasing use of Loopy online (seen in the graph above) we decided to add more computers and GPUs to our loopy cloud to support those who are working on tracking, analysis, or deep-learning from home all around the world.
To meet demand we've just added more computers and GPUs to our loopy (https://t.co/mHVC4AnVcs) cloud to support those working on tracking, analysis, or deep-learning from #homeoffice. Stay safe everyone! pic.twitter.com/Gwnzg1sWIA— loopbio quantitative biology (@loopbiogmbh) March 13, 2020
Loopy on-site https://t.co/N7kJ6FiwWP is shared video tracking, coding, deep learning, & video processing infrastructure for the whole lab/group. Data remains secure on your storage, multiple users can work at once & #workfromhome. Below, a new 🖥️ system already heavily used 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/QqPgt8OqO4— loopbio quantitative biology (@loopbiogmbh) June 4, 2020
Loopy Continues to Improve
Throughout the year we didn’t stop working on Loopy - adding new features and updating the Software. The new features are immediately available to all existing users for free.
We improved the search feature by adding the ability to look for videos based on tags, labels and projects. By making it easier to navigate data, Loopy works better in large collaborative environments, such as when a loopy on-site server is shared by different research groups within a department - with all users uploading, processing yet working from home as was seen this year.
Another powerful new feature recently added to loopy; structured search, query (and saving) of videos and metadata. As more departments move to loopy, we have improved the ability to search videos based on tags, labels and projects ('lab book' feature: https://t.co/4SvGUCe7pB) pic.twitter.com/PSWyrFiC4c— loopbio quantitative biology (@loopbiogmbh) May 26, 2020
We added a lot of new audio and video processing functionality in Loopy. This included the generation of audio spectrograms, animated amplitude histograms and more. These can be used when scoring videos, allowing for mixed visual-audio scoring.
A lot of new audio+video processing functionality in loopy lately, including the generation of audio spectrograms, animated amplitude histograms, etc. Resulting videos can be used for deep learning classification and for mixed audio+video coding. https://t.co/c2rYR0nJ9k pic.twitter.com/ZQitMMIVEf— loopbio quantitative biology (@loopbiogmbh) May 20, 2020
Locust Virtual Reality
Another exciting highlight of 2020 was showcasing the world’s first virtual reality system for freely walking locusts. The system was commisioned by The Department of Collective Behavior at MPI-AB and the Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour.
We are very proud to present the world's first virtual reality system for freely walking locusts that we built for @CBehav and @CollectiveBehav https://t.co/IXE2qQDUxD— loopbio quantitative biology (@loopbiogmbh) October 20, 2020
It's also seen in a documentary tonight with @einatcouzin about the East African locust plague, Arte 4:55 CEST
Research on locusts received well-deserved attention in 2020 as huge locust swarms devastating Africa and Asia emerged. Answers on how such swarms emerge and what can break them apart are urgently needed. Several televised documentaries throughout the year featured the research done with the help of our locust virtual reality system to help answer these questions.
For more information please see our case study: Panoramic Virtual Reality System for Locusts.
Refining our Motif and Kastl Products
We extended the specifications of Kastl based on customer feedback. These included extending the specifications to meet the needs of scientists wanting high-throughput methods to study small animals with optional support of optogenetics and other automation possibilities.
Introducing our updated Kastl product https://t.co/n6QG8aQoRq - an automated all-in-one system for high throughput behavior. High 🎥 resolution and field of view. Options available incl. optogenetics, climate control/incubator and more. #EZM2020 #ZebrafishMeeting #Zebrafish pic.twitter.com/oEb0b2HKSf— loopbio quantitative biology (@loopbiogmbh) October 26, 2020
We also improved our range of cameras and lenses for Motif. In particular due to the increasing number of customers requesting multi-camera synchronized systems for 3D tracking.
It's beautiful to see such a perfect calibration 😍. Here we are testing a new ultra high quality 🎥 camera and lens combination for a Kastl system https://t.co/n6QG8aQoRq. Calibration using the 3D tools of Loopy https://t.co/pWcbPHdKun. Modelling by Pauli 🐟 pic.twitter.com/uuibRmHc2K— loopbio quantitative biology (@loopbiogmbh) July 27, 2020
Recently we released the Imaging Encyclopedia which describes how technical and operational aspects such as lighting, camera adjustment and scene composition are important for image quality.
With the Imaging Encyclopedia, we hope to help our customers as well as everybody who is interested in working with cameras, lenses and lighting to collect good quality imaging and video data. We continue to extend the Imaging Encyclopedia constantly, so check in every once in a while, and feel free to suggest more topics that we should cover.
If you work with cameras, lenses or lighting you might be interested in our new Imaging Encyclopedia https://t.co/wH9VGz7JQD - A comprehensive guide on how to collect good scientific quality video data 🎥🐟🦗🪰🧫🪱 pic.twitter.com/hYqIiwm5cN— loopbio quantitative biology (@loopbiogmbh) December 7, 2020