Terminus Group Fostering Innovation And Forging Partnerships In The Middle East

Channel Post MEA spoke with Victor Ai, the founder and CEO of Terminus Group and Dr Ling Shao, Chief Scientist of Terminus Group and president of Terminus International, about their business plans, technology, and competitive landscape as the company inaugurates its international headquarters in Dubai to service the Middle East region.

Why did Terminus Group establish its international headquarters in Dubai, and what is your roadmap?
Terminus Group established its international headquarters in Dubai due to strategic partnerships and opportunities arising from its involvement in Expo 2020 Dubai. As an Official Premier Partner, Terminus supplied 152 robots to the event, notably the Opti model, symbolizing Expo 2020’s innovation. Building on this success, Terminus initiated a Smart Building initiative in collaboration with Expo City Dubai, focusing on Smart Communities, Buildings, Energy Management, and Mobility.

This venture is pivotal in Terminus’ global expansion, leveraging Dubai’s status as a hub for technological evolution and smart city initiatives. Operating as Terminus International, the Dubai branch is the overseas headquarters, positioning Terminus at the forefront of the Middle East’s technological landscape. With established operations in Southeast Asia and Australia, Terminus aims to expand further into key markets like Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Central to its roadmap is advancing the AI CITY concept, integrating AI and IoT to create smarter, sustainable urban environments worldwide. Terminus is committed to fostering innovation and forging partnerships across the UAE and beyond, envisioning a future of technologically advanced, intelligent urban living on a global scale.

How do you view the potential future cooperation between China and the Middle East?
The potential future cooperation between China and the Middle East in technology and innovation holds significant promise. Both regions have shown a strong commitment to technological advancement, creating fertile ground for collaboration. China’s leadership in AI and IoT aligns well with the Middle East’s strides in smart city initiatives, particularly exemplified by the UAE. This convergence presents an ideal environment for mutually beneficial collaboration.

Terminus has a history of engagement with the Middle East, predating Expo 2020 Dubai. Initiatives such as establishing a private equity US fund in Bahrain in 2016 and securing investments exceeding $100 million from a Middle Eastern investor in 2017 underscore our commitment to fostering relationships in the region.

Our collaboration with Expo 2020 Dubai further solidified ties, particularly in AIoT and robotics. Looking ahead, we envision joint research and development efforts between China and the Middle East, leveraging the expertise of both regions to drive groundbreaking innovations with global impact.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative also set the stage for increased economic and infrastructural cooperation with the Middle East, facilitating advancements in smart city development, AI, and sustainable technologies.

In summary, the potential for collaboration between China and the Middle East is vast. Terminus Group and Terminus International eagerly embrace this opportunity, leveraging our AIoT expertise to foster a partnership that drives technological progress and cultivates cultural and economic harmony between the two regions.

What are the most common challenges you face in the Middle Eastern markets, and how do you deal with them?
Based in Dubai, Terminus International faces unique challenges in the Middle Eastern market due to its Chinese parentage. Establishing a robust local presence demands strategic dedication. To navigate this landscape, we prioritize forging strong partnerships with key stakeholders like Nakheel, Emaar, and Majid Al Futtaim. These collaborations extend beyond business ventures, contributing to regional infrastructure and technology while providing crucial market insights.

Simultaneously, leveraging affiliations with Chinese giants like Huawei and Alibaba Cloud allows us to introduce innovative solutions effectively. Our approach emphasizes integration, collaboration, and mutual growth, ensuring responsiveness to local dynamics while bringing in global expertise.

Could you elaborate so we can better understand Terminus’s Smart Building solution?
Terminus’s Smart Building solution represents a sophisticated integration of AIoT technologies aimed at enhancing building efficiency, safety, and sustainability. This concept revolves around seamlessly connecting devices and systems through artificial intelligence to manage various building operations like energy usage, security, lighting, and climate control.

At the core of this solution is TacOS (Terminus AI Operating System), serving as the central platform controlling all IoT devices. TacOS enables the deployment of AI applications, facilitating functionalities such as lighting management, temperature regulation, security enhancements, and robotic system integration within smart buildings.

Terminus has initiated notable projects in Dubai, including a pilot program for a Smart Building in Expo City. This initiative aims to manage all devices within a building, with plans for broader implementation. Leveraging experience from AI City projects in China, Terminus seeks to advance smart city infrastructure in the UAE and neighbouring Middle Eastern nations. The success of this endeavour in Dubai not only validates Terminus’s products but also solidifies its position as a leader in the global AIoT arena.

How would you describe the competitive landscape of artificial intelligence, and what advantages do you offer?
Terminus International distinguishes itself through a blend of innovation and expertise in the competitive landscape of artificial intelligence (AI), dominated by powerhouses like the US and China. While these superpowers set a high benchmark, the Middle Eastern and GCC regions offer a unique opportunity for Terminus to shine with less intense competition.

Terminus’s strength lies in its forward-thinking team, dedicated to developing cutting-edge AI models tailored for various languages, including English, Chinese, and Arabic. Terminus emphasizes multi-modal models, integrating diverse data types such as language, audio, video, images, and IoT data, marking its identity as an AIoT pioneer. This strategic focus on AIoT models, an underexplored domain, positions Terminus for success in a Middle Eastern market ripe for advanced AI solutions.

In the convergence of AI and IoT, Terminus boasts over eight years of dedication, reflected in its portfolio of over 1,600 patents worldwide. This depth of expertise is rare and vital in global competition. Terminus doesn’t just create isolated AI models or IoT solutions but serves as a bridge between the two domains. Their objective is to create systems where IoT acts as the sensory extension of AI, generating digital twins that interact with the physical world seamlessly.

By establishing Terminus International in Dubai and embracing local talent and solutions, Terminus introduces this innovative paradigm to the Middle East. Their presence signifies more than expansion; it represents a commitment to tailoring AIoT solutions to local requirements. This localized approach, combined with their distinct AIoT expertise, gives Terminus a competitive edge not only in the Middle East but also on a global scale.