Authentic Signatures with Matthew Gibson, President, CEO, & Co-founder of Syngrafii

Steve interviews Matthew Gibson of Syngrafii
Transcript

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FEATURING: Matthew Gibson of Syngrafii

In this episode, I speak with Matthew Gibson, President, CEO, & Co-founder of Syngrafii.

Matthew discusses the evolution of eSignature, the importance of authenticity in digital transactions, and how his company is innovating in remote signing. He shares how his company is deploying identity verification in the Syngrafii iinked™ platform. Matthew also covers how biometric technologies can be leveraged to prevent fraud and non-repudiation of high-risk or high-value transactions.

RESOURCES:

Connecting with Matthew Gibson

Matthew Gibson’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewmgibson/

Syngrafii website: https://syngrafii.com/

Syngrafii company email: info@syngrafii.com

Companies & Resources Discussed

PEAK IDV EXECUTIVE SERIES is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Steve Craig:

Welcome to the PEAK IDV EXECUTIVE SERIES video podcast, where I speak with executives, leaders, founders, and change makers in the digital identity space. I'm your host, Steve Craig, Founder and Chief Enablement Officer at PEAK IDV. For our audience, this is a video-first series, so if you're enjoying the audio version, please check out the video recording on executiveseries.peakidv.com where you can watch the full episode, you could read the transcript and you can access any of the resources or links discussed in today's episode.

I'm excited to kick off this episode with Matthew Gibson, President, CEO and Co-founder of Syngrafii. Syngrafii provides a suite of next-generation eSignature tools and this past November they announced additional enhancements to their identity verification capabilities.

Matthew has been in the company since its incorporation in 2004. Initially, he was an idea management consultant and is currently responsible for managing the forward momentum of Syngrafii’s products, encompassing intellectual property development, strategic partner negotiations, IP licensing, and overall corporate mandate adherence.

Matthew is an inventor of record, in 11 patent families with 45 granted in patent and pending applications. Welcome, Matthew. Thank you so much for taking the time to be on the podcast.

Matthew Gibson:

Steve, it's a pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me.

Steve: Well, let's jump in and get started. Can you share a little bit more about Syngrafii? Like what's your typical elevator pitch that you share about the company?

Matthew: Elevator pitch, an advanced eSignature platform, that has been purpose-built in ways other eSignature solutions have not been to ensure best practice for non-repudiation, for security, for identity certainty in a sort of growing digital adoption world. We are completely different in the sense that you've referenced our patents, so we have services, products, and features that other eSignature providers do not have. We came to eSignatures in a roundabout way, that other eSignature could not have considered given the available technology at the time. And we offer a consumption-based pricing that is not seat-based for advantages of eDiscovery and allowing your entire organization to take advantage of advances.

Steve: That's great. That's great. And I think most of the business professional professionals watch this podcast, majority of consumers, they've experienced that signature process, or the eSignature process. There are a few really big companies that dominate from the signer side, how does your technology differentiate?

What might be different to a person going through that process?

Matthew: Well, it really comes down to how all of those companies came to eSignature, and how did they land on “we're going to be an eSignature company,” and when did they do that? The same can be held true for our organization. How did we come to eSignature as a business?

And the answer to both those questions is we as a company, known as the Signature Company, didn't intend on getting into the business in eSignature. We were challenged back, it depends on the age of your listeners, at a time when technology was no where near as advanced as it is today.

20 years ago, roughly 2003, 2004. We have to keep in mind for those of us who were there and actively involved in technology, computer, Internet, that there were no smartphones. There were no capacitive touch screens there. Really, the advancements that were available at that point was at-home computing, a growing Internet, a keyboard and a mouse.

And so when you take a look at some of the leading companies in eSignatures today, you'll note, and we'll get into this discussion as part of identity certainty, the way in which they have you sign documents is using type to sign or click to sign and all of that stems from a commitment 20 years ago to available technology. So we look at that as a signature proxy. We look at it as some indication of your identity, but it really isn't your signature. We were tasked in a very different field in the publishing industry, believe it or not, on coming up with hardware that would faithfully reproduce biometrically accurate signature on physical documents.

And we were tasked to come up with that particular solution by a very well-known international author who wanted to be able to meet with their readers over video, which again, back at that time was hardware based. We didn't have the convenience of what we're doing today on software, on laptops, ubiquitous.

And that was ruled by Polycom, Tandberg, Cisco, again, very specialized hardware. But she wanted to meet with her readers without the carbon footprint and provide a service to the publishing industry where markets that wouldn't otherwise be reached could benefit from an interaction with an author and having a physical book signed using biometrically accurate pen on paper handwriting.

And so that's really how we got into the business of signatures and handwriting over digital mediums. It was roughly in 2010, 2012 that it occurred to us because we were challenged with original one time use signature in hardware and digital transport. Why wouldn't we take all of that knowledge and apply it to complete digital platform and provide to our customers a service that takes the best of paper, which really is still a gold standard way of completing a transaction, wrap that in a digital wrapper and make it available to our clients for distance remote transactions. But taking original one-time use ink and biometric signature, and making that part of the solution when you transact on material agreements.

And so really we've come to it from paper. From original signatures, from what has been tradition and from what has been best practice. And we've wrapped that in a highly efficient, easy to use, intuitive, cost-effective, you know, broad featured integrated platform known as iinked Sign.

Steve: That's fascinating. I hadn't thought about the evolution on the signing with an author into the digital aspects of it. And recently when you announced your collaboration with Trulioo, you discussed in that press release leveraging their identity document verification for your iinked sign and your video signing room platforms. Was IDV already part of your offering or how you thought about digital identity ahead of that press release? Or was this a new feature set?

Matthew: In many ways it was, not in the traditional sense that you’d see today. What’s happened? You're far more an expert that this, really than I am, in many respects because this is your business, of looking at what are the trends, what are the solutions, what are the risks? We, at the very beginning, looked at the risks associated and challenges with remote transactions. And because we were tasked day one with you need to have an original one-time, use biometric signature.

And when I say that. It really is that it's the speed, it's the cadence, it's the pressure. We capture all of that in a signature applied into our environment. And so when you take a look at ID verification, another part of the original task for us was including video conferencing, which is what we're doing today.

So here you and I are sitting on video. You have likely gotten to take a look at my LinkedIn page. You've likely seen my photographs somewhere. I could have done other due diligence, to determine who I am, If you wanted me to prove who I am, I could hold up my passport, prepare, for example, the signatures and my face against documents that I have that are government issued.

So while I can't say that we had a full-blown third-party, dig into a database to confirm the originality of a document or the document matched to you as an individual, we did have inherent tools and video conferencing or video signing room that would allow the uploading of photographs of a government-issued documents.

We did have the ability for you to do a visual comparison, is this Matthew? So the platform did offer a far higher degree of certainty of identity than simply getting onto a phone or an email sent with a document attached to and hopes the person at the far end was the person opening that document on that computer and typing a name because it could be anybody. There's a complete detachment between a typed name on a computer and your true identity, your original signature, and if you take a look back through the sort of eras of document forensics is one of the greatest indicators of your identity and as a biometric indicator of identity, it's actually one of the strongest, it's one that you as an individual have to give.

Your fingerprints can be taken from you, your gait analysis, your iris scanning. All of those things can be taken from you without permission, you have to give a signature and unlike every other biometric, where a signature is unique to you, but it's uniquely different every single time you use it.

And we track the fact is uniquely different throughout a document, but it is yours. So there's a quite a bit of sort of biometric identity certainty that builds into our platform, I think, out of the gate.

Steve: Certainly, certainly. And can you describe post press release or post partnership, how IDV has been enhanced or, or how, how you now layer in that process. Are you doing additional checks against those uploads or how does that process work today?

Matthew: Absolutely. And when you look at the tools that are coming out in necessity, I mean, if you go back again in time with the advent of the Internet and its broader adoption, which happened roughly around 1993, the Internet was seen at that time, ironically given today's realities as being a destination of anonymity.

Like you could show up and no one would go who were. In fact, there was that famous Atlantic comic strip that was most downloaded, highest auction, sort of heading of two dogs sitting in front of a computer.

And the caption was “On the Internet, Nobody knows your dog.” That went viral is one of the first memes on anonymity, and so since 1993, as we know, we have major organizations watching our browsing, grabbing metadata. You know, there is more known about all of us today than there ever has been in any other generation.

So ironic as that is, there's still the ability to spoof your identity online. And we can see that in documents, we can see that with the advent of AI. We can see that in type design. Who's really sitting at, did my son sell my condo? I don't know. So when we brought on Trulioo what it did do for us was add a very sophisticated layer of authenticity from a company that sole purpose in life is to make sure when you run somebody through their system, they're doing all the things, all the checks in the databases, all the language checks, and this works in virtually, I believe it's 140 different countries in multiple languages. So the flexibility for our client base is whatever your challenge is in identifying somebody authentically is now in addition to the video signing or advantages we offer, we now have a service partner that is giving us best-in-class ID document verification.

Steve: The comic strip that you mentioned earlier with the dogs and nobody knows your dog on internet. That's actually one I use in my education. I have several courses because it highlights, one of the benefits at the time of the Internet was that you could be anonymous.

Like no one really could know what yes were. You could just create a new username and a form and suddenly, or whatever you want to say. That's been one of the challenges is that that means bad actors can do the same. Anyone can go online and create an email address that's matthewgibson123@gmail and put your name in there and suddenly they can sign a document.

You highlight some really important points. One of the things you mentioned, when you're describing your company in the elevator pitch, was this idea of non-repudiation of transactions, fraud mitigation. How do you really know who it is that's signed that, it's not just the email chain of “Oh, they viewed it and they clicked the link.”

Where have you seen issues with not having done that proper verification, or what, what are some examples of that?

Matthew: You know, I, I think it, it's a great question. And I think that we as a company don't see all that much of that because of the services we offer. What I can say is we have clients who have to us and said they're involved in title transfer, they're involved in conveyance, all very high, high value material transactions where it really does matter if things go perishing. And we have been certainly approached by real estate lawyers who have been challenged and identified individuals trying to be somebody else to secure mortgage funds against a property they may not even own. We've read in the newspapers, of course, of people who rent long-term Airbnb rentals have documents created and mortgage or sell the Airbnb that they're renting. This kind of stuff is only going to grow and it really is up to companies and all organizations in the digital transformation journey to put in place best practice, best tools, best solutions to try and stay ahead of that because I mean, as you're likely well aware, the bad actors are really very slick and they can modify, change and approach at different angles very quickly. I think really it's a culmination of tools. I don't think it's going to be any one too alone, a combination of technologies, tools, and services that is going to provide clients and companies that want to transact remotely with risk mitigation. The greater number of things you can throw at them to challenge them technologically, the greater likelihood you’ll come out just fine or identify a transaction that is likely not what it proports to be.

Steve: The thing you highlighted there with the mortgages or titling, that's very scary. Imagine you feel you're safe because you have this document that shows you're the homeowner and some bad actor or fraudster is able to find a weakness in the chain, in the process, they take control and perhaps you can resolve that. There's a lot of work you have to put into doing that. But you think about all the different ways that a signature can manifest in assets, could be cars, it could be bank accounts. One of the big challenges in this space, when I was preparing for this particular episode I was looking at your website and your different case studies.

I was really impressed with just the variety of industries and the different use cases for your technology. Are there any examples that you can mention, maybe recent ones that show before and after using your new IDV capabilities or your process?

Matthew: Well, I think that if you take a look at the different use cases for eSignatures, I mean, one of the things that's come across all service providers of eSignatures, is that virtually every market vertical and every business relies on signature. It's just part of their business. And whether it's client-facing or internal authorization. You know what, whatever the transaction may be, signatures are an ongoing and will remain critical element of any business transaction or business operations. And so it's not uncommon for broad market adoption. Some markets and some industries and businesses operate at a slower pace than digital adoption and transformation in that, in that journey. But with the kind of threats that are now being seen for any attempt of remote transactions or agreements, the acceleration of that is quite startling at the moment. Like we're, at this point having a fair number of organizations transfer from type-to-sign legacy over to what we refer to as being the next generation, which ironically goes back to the iteration original ink on service. So we are winning clients based on the fact while we offer type design and proxy signature. We allow our customers to determine what level of compliance they expect in any given transaction, you can suppress type, or click-to-sign and say, I need to have an ink signature in this document.

Our audit trail and or master file records to prove who's been where, what signs, intent, what device did it, what location, what GPS, what video recording. We will record for high value transaction, our interaction with me saying you understand if you miss payment, your interest rates going to 12% and going yes, that becomes part of the permanent record.

There are a broad range of examples that I can give you but almost all of us have, I suspect, wondered at one point or another with remote, distance transactions, how secure they really are. All of the eSignature solutions out there right now, from my perspective, were built on the premise of convenience. It was easy, it was fast, you could click but there's an attachment between all of that from my perspective. And the intent of laying down your original signature.

Steve: As you were describing that process and specifically around ink signature, wet signature, I was thinking about this concept in digital identity around liveness and about making sure the person's genuinely present.

And when you're signing something, nothing's more live than pen to paper, right? With the, the ink is actually going into the paper. When I think about doing this in a digital world, when I look at your video signing room product. Can you share more how you're replicating that? Like how do you prevent impersonation and make sure that they're actually really signing and it's not a spoof attack or maybe someone's there but someone else is signing. Can you describe that?

Matthew: Right? No, that's a good question and, and today I can answer with assuredness that there's probably a very high degree of challenge to bad actors at this stage. Is it future protected? Absolutely, I can't say today that it's, but you know, we as organizations continue to work with constant incremental improvement.

We too can throw some pretty sophisticated stuff at signatures. But in the scenario you've just sort of outlined, you know, in a video signing, there is a number of things that we do. Number one, we connect our platform to the cell phone and IP address of the individual that we're on a live video conference with. So if I wanted you to sign something, I would actually send something to your phone, which means it's something that you have, which means in order for you to spoof somebody else's identity, you'd have to have their phone number and their hardware in addition to just being an AI-generated image that made me think you were you.

You also would need to be able to replicate, reasonably, because no digital signature, electronic signature is going be identical to a non-paper signature that you might send driver's license. You would need to reasonably be able to recreate without pausing and trying to trace an original one-time use signature. And you need to replicate that over and over again when asked.

So we then have video, we have audio, we have a connection to something that you have. We have your original biometric signature. Add all those things up. And it's a pretty high bar to be able to say, you know, to actually decode that. So to, and pull off a bad actor fraud. Now we can't guarantee. In time that won't be challenged. But again, as I've said, we're working on ways to address that. But the nice thing about this is, if the client isn't giving you the comfort or confidence that expect in this transaction, if you think something's off, at least when you and I are talking on this video and we're having an interaction if I get out sorts on the way in which this is going, I can quite easily say, you know what, we're not going do this remotely. We're going to send one of our remote insurance brokers come over and meet at your house. And that's the ultimate test. It's the in-person. While we all want to go digital, and I believe there are tools available today to give a high degree of certainty of fraud mitigation, fraud avoidance, and expedited transactions, you can always fall back to in-person.

Steve: Do you find that clients are making those risk, reward, trade-offs because in person it's going to cost more, it's going to take more time. Do you find that they're trying to balance that often between and feels fishy versus maybe we should just go forward?

Do you support that process?

Matthew: Yeah, I think it depends on the individual liability attachment to a transaction. You can also reverse it and say, are there situations where from a consumer protection and regulated industries, this kind of platform of video signing is also an advantage to ensure that regulated industries such as bankruptcy or insolvency that the individual working with a vulnerable individual who's going through and so is acting and working with them in ways that is regulated and appropriate. And so it comes down to what is the risk that you want to have recorded for you individually. So I think the tools are there if you’re doing things remotely. Fiduciary responsibility in organizations, corporations suggests that you adopt the best technologies to ensure that the work that you're doing and the method in which you're doing that work is best practice. And that's really the kind of platform that we’ve built that allows you to really mitigate and really protect against non-repudiation of a transaction.

Steve: I'd love to double-click a little bit on something you said earlier around the signature itself, the biometric indicators like speed or cadence of where the words are put or the pressure itself, if you have that. How are you leveraging these and then do you trigger risks if they're off. Like can you talk a little bit more about the biometric capability?

Matthew: I can to a certain extent, um, part of it would've to fall under NDA. As you know, we're incredibly IP heavy for a company in eSignatures. There are very few eSignature companies I would hazard that have as many, I mean, aside from the behemoths, there are very few that will have a patent family as extensive as ours across 11 families. And I can almost assure you, none of them are going to have a hardware patent for an eSignature company. So I can say that we not only capture and have written intellectual property across, for example, I'm sure, I mean, do you have an iPhone? Right. So I have a Samsung. And the difference between those two is my Samsung captures pressure.

An iPhone doesn't. Pressure is a critical forensic, document examiner, you know, you question document examiners, component when they take a look at the authenticity of an original signature and identify it. And so we as an organization said, well, we have to solve for that. How do we do that for a hardware device that doesn't capture pressure?

And the answer is we can up with some IP, we’re going to take bits and pieces of IP address your EIN number, the time, the date, and we're going to assign a pressure to view for those particular signatures in that particular signing session. And we're going to embed that into the document so when a forensic document examiner goes back to take a look at a signature, which we can physically output, they can go, oh, well, yeah, no, the pressure profile that I'm told to look for is there and ergo it comes from this signing signature. So yes, biometrics original signature, we will continue to throw technology at, for example could include, you know, setting, if you use our platform regularly as a user, we could authenticate you through analyzing a range or a broad growing range of your signatures in our platform and what that would do is give people your signing for comfort that you are a certified user of the iinked sign platform.

Without being too specific, the answer is yes. We're constantly improving the way in which at enhancing and utilizing the information that we can gather by biometrics.

Steve: Excellent. Excellent. Well, well perhaps we zoom out from the low level technology workings to the market. I know you're based in Canada with Toronto HQ, but your remote workforce that serves Canada, United States and international markets. Are you seeing any major differences in how different companies tackle their signature workflows across these different countries that used serve?

Matthew: I think there's a couple of responses. One is the speed at which digital adoption is being implemented across different geographic territories regions, and countries. I think that Canada, US, is moving at a reasonable pace. European markets are advanced. They've moved far faster than the North American markets. I think that the thing between different eSign laws is that there may be nuanced differences, but the fundamentals are all the same, and that is, there must be, you know, acceptance of completing a transaction digitally. There must be a signature applied in the document.

There must be permanence. There must documents that are shared amongst the parties. There must be, and the list goes on. So across all of those eSign regulations, there are commonalities. And as time grows, they may be augmented. But what we're seeing in the laws are, for example, in Ontario, in Canada in different provinces, there are now, process directives that are being developed by the Ontario Court of Justice. For example, is no longer except type to sign for certain transactions within the court system. We've seen practice guidance of other provinces that say, for certain transactions, you're no longer permitted to use type-to-sign signatures.

And what does that mean? That means that there is a dawning realization that type-to-sign has some fairly serious disconnects associated with them, and we've talked about them in our discussion. It is a disconnect between identity, intent, and as a result, they are now sort of restricting use. Will that grow? We as a company seem to think the legacy type-to-sign solutions that really haven't changed, I mean, if you take a look at the industry leaders from day one, while they've added features, automation and, there’s been leaps and bounds of features. At the core, which is the signature, there’s been no change at all.

And you can take a look at some that permit type to sign, click to sign. Um, some will walk you through a 72 page document so fast you couldn't have seen the page numbers. And, you know, what are you actually signing? What are you agreeing to? Um, so there's a plausible viability issue. Some have allowed you to scan your signature and place it in.

But if I'm sitting at your computer, I'm applying your scanned in signature. If you're sitting at my computer, you can't do my signature. Just can’t.

Steve: Their efforts have been to reduce friction, right? The type-to-sign. Can we make this faster. Can we just insert this signature in 20 places in the document? You're not actually signing it.

So, why have it?

Matthew: Exactly. And that and that goes to our view that despite the fact that they could have, updated to that particular aspect of their core offering. It's still seen, and again, it's not just the company's offering the service. Unfortunately, it's also the company's consuming those services that don't understand and when I talk about, you know, certain areas of law are starting to decline the use of a type-to-sign. I think that organizations should say, what's the future for type-to-sign in a changing world of ID uncertainty? Is this really the best way we should be signing high value transactions?

Or should we be looking at something more advanced? And that's really where we shine. And that's how we're displacing many of, in many of our clients, the industry leaders.

Steve: Well, I like to think about this evolution of how the signature has changed many years ago. I was a bank teller and anytime we had a suspicious check or there was some sort of withdrawal request, we'd go and pull the signature card.

It was at that point, we'd get it faxed over and we'd look at it. We'd visually inspect it. But these days, I think about my own behavior and in the US. I'm often just scribbling my signature on credit card slips. I try to sign it properly on my checks. I write maybe one check a year and I sign it.

But you go to Europe and they don't do signatures. They do chip and pen. What do you think about this evolution? Like how is the world's view of signatures changing?

Matthew: I think a lot of it has been shaped by, and it goes back to our earlier conversation, and that's a really intriguing part of it.

There are studies that show, and I can send them to you post discussion that when you get a group of people in a room and have them challenged to sign a document, a statement, that is a bit meaningful, I mean, it's not like you know, going to sell them your car, but something meaningful, and you ask them to type-to-sign or click-to-sign that agreement, and then you submit the same agreement to them and say, you need to take a pen and sign this physical piece of paper. The amount of consideration that goes into that process is night and day. When you type or click, there is a complete disconnect of intent. It's just, yeah, okay. I do this for, you know, terms of service. I do this for privacy. I do this for like, what am I doing? Like I'm clicking, it means nothing.

And to your point, you sort of scribble some name on your, your credit card in the US. I mean, in global uses. I mean, I used to go to the Home Depot and they used to, at one point, have the little scribble signing pads where, you know, you'd have to sign your name on a horrible resolution. And I would just constantly sign Attila the Hun.

And did anyone stop me? No. But there, there is, there is a complete disconnect between your word, your intent. And your engagement in a transaction when you make your agreement and your binding action, something that is so simple, you take your mouse, you hover over something and you click your mouse. And that's it.

When I sign my name to something, I don't care what it is. I'm putting my name and my bond and my word on it. And that's how we look at what, how business should be done as a company.

Steve: Absolutely. Well, we're coming up on time, Matthew, and we're doing this episode in early 2024. I'm curious about your forward-looking plans.

If there's anything that you can share, events that you have or any roadmap that can be publicly put out there

Matthew:. Yeah. I think if you take a look at the really fantastic, Trulioo integration, it deals with document verification. In our client base and our build into the USS in this year, we're looking at remote online notarization. Our platforms, again, purpose built for high value, risky transactions. We have video, we have documents, we have signatures. It’s a perfect application for what it is that we've built. But with that, in the US, there are different laws and expectations of how you verify identity, and that could include KYC, which are sort of knowledge-based questions against credit bureaus.

So we'll be adding, one, likely two different, complementary, IDV third party solution providers fully integrated into our platform. And we'll be adding, um, one, likely two different complementary IDV third party solution providers fully integrated into our platform. In the same way that our customers can choose, do I send this agreement using click, type or ink sign?

Do I want to do KYC on the client using credit check method? Do I want to do document analysis? Do I want to, you know, the list will go on. So we're providing a suite of tools that allow, we don't pretend to know our client's compliance needs or their IDV needs. We just give them the tools to be able to architect a transaction that best meets their internal compliance and risk mitigation mandates.

So that will certainly be part of it. We continue to add features, services, enhancements, automation, as many easier companies do. But we have become a bit renowned for our ease, simplicity. Our API has been integrated by some clients in under 10 days. For full features, integrated into your environment,  doing its thing when you need to do it.

We are a company that listens to our clients in many ways. Some of the industry leaders have departed from that particular role with their client base. We're keenly interested in what our clients have to say, and we have quite rapidly added features or services that are key to our client base as a result of feedback from our users.

I think that, you know, we will continue to grow in size, but we'll also maintain our mandate and the critical mission that we see that we have in maintaining the tradition of the right to sign, ink signatures, your intent, your defense of your own engagements. Because if somebody else signs for me to buy something, I want to be able to say, I'm sorry, that's not my signature.

So I'm protecting myself and using the best tools out there. And so that's what we'll continue to do.

Steve: Excellent. Excellent. Well, as we wrap up, if you've seen any of the episodes of EXECUTIVE SERIES, you may know, I like to go a little bit beyond the company, share more about the person behind the press releases.

I was looking into your background and I see you're a Director for the Pelee Island Bird Observatory, which is very different than signatures. Can you share more about your role, or that place and your work there?

Matthew: I'd be happy to and thank you for asking. The Peele Island Bird Observatory is a charity that was established roughly in 2003.

So sort of similar timelines to the Syngrafii and iiked, and it is a highly devoted expert group, small group, of individuals who work on Pelee Island, and if you're not familiar with Pelee Island, it's the most southern landmass in all of Canada, and it's situated in the middle of Lake Erie, and it's roughly 14 kilometers in circumference.

But it also happens to be one of the most, sort of, highest volumes, most critical fly paths for bird migration, north, south, at season's end and season beginning. And so, this organization has a team that gets up at 4 a.m., stumbles in the dark through woods filled with mosquitoes. And they mist net and capture birds in hand and band them, count them, weigh them, sex them.

And it's a critical component. And at the end of the year, they send a report into the bird monitoring migration and that really is, and they have for the last 20 years, along with other bird monitoring stations, been the source of information that allows scientists to take a look at what we affectionately call the canary in the coal mine issue of the degradation of songbirds, which is a huge indicator of the health of our environment. And so I've always thought it was a good cause and I've been involved with them for years. It was a family started and I'm still around.

Steve: So excellent. Well, as you're describing that process of them seeking out these species, they're identifying them, right?

They're classifying them, is there AI technology?

Matthew: They actually are. That's, you know, it's funny because, you know, techno guy that I am, despite my age, I've always looked at ways to accelerate. But I mean, there are some, for birdwatching actually is one of the highest, active endeavors of any hobby, globally.

It is ridiculously high, and there are some phenomenal technologies out there, AI driven, and that allow you to identify songbirds in your area through AI and through listening services. So, technology is coming to play for things like counting birds.

Steve: Counting them and identifying their songs with audio analysis and image. That's great.

Matthew: I'll give you, actually, just because you'd probably find it interesting, Merlin, which comes out of the Cornell Labs. If you load it onto your phone and walk through a city or a forest or a park, it will pick every bird that's making a sound around you and give you a list and a background on it.

It's actually quite intriguing.

Steve: Very cool. That's an app that's downloadable?

Matthew:

It is Merlin. Very cool.

Steve: I'll check that out and I'll certainly link it to the transcript of this podcast. As we close out today, Matthew, what sort of conversations would you be looking to have from anyone who's watching or listening to the podcast?

Matthew: Well, I think there's, I mean you're talking about such a critical current issue and it's become far more current, it sort of became critical during the pandemic. Everyone in the pandemic, from my perspective, sort of adopted Plan B. Plan B in my books is running and screaming in all directions. And it was like, we need to do whatever we need to do to try and continue to do business.

And that meant sometimes a table in the parking lot, distance. That meant sometimes, you know, doing things from a process perspective that were really sketchy, but we're going to do them anyway because we have to. And so what I hope is coming out to your listeners is that there are solutions that are being developed that may not be the sort of let's just stick with what we have legacy solution because our view is there's likely a compliance time bomb going to happen with that.

And why wouldn't we look at a service that is fully integrated, advanced and that will actually save our organization money. While giving us a best practice capability and a user experience that's pretty much unmatched. So if they want to investigate that, we'd be happy to have that call. We're very hands on, very white glove, and I'd love to hear from you.

Steve: What's the best format to reach out? Is it through your corporate site or on LinkedIn?

Matthew: Yeah, LinkedIn, you can find me, Matthew Gibson, company is Syngragii. com. Hopefully you will, I suspect you'll probably put that up somewhere. And if you want to do info@syngrafii, it will hit my desk. And I do get involved with many of the inbounds.

Steve: Well, thank you, Matthew, so much for taking the time to speak with me. I look forward to seeing Syngrafii’s forward progress and momentum in the market, and I'll be sure to keep an eye out for those additional press releases as you extend your IDV stack. Thank you so much.

Matthew: It's been a pleasure, Steve. I really appreciate you taking the time to have me.

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