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IoT Startups (G-K)


pierre fournier hexoskin

Hexoskin
31 December 2014 - By Maxine Bingham, Editor-in-Chief


Hexoskin is a smart device that connects to an intelligent sports garment with integrated sensors to capture body metrics, such as heart rate, breathing rate, acceleration, and more. In addition to measuring these basic metrics, Hexoskin's biometric shirts also measure heart rate recovery, heart rate variability, breathing rate, breathing volume, activity level, acceleration, cadence, etc.

These metrics give users the information they need to surpass their fitness and athletic goals. By Hexoskin Cardiac Sensorsreviewing the data before, during and after workout sessions, users can exert maximum training effort, while still avoiding fatigue, overtraining and injuries.

Their 100% textile biometric shirts are designed to offer an easy and more natural way of regularly capturing precise data in real performance contexts. A small Bluetooth device is connected to the fabric sensors and placed in the shirt’s built-in side pocket during activity and sleep.

“Athletes train year-round and we wanted to create the ultimate base layer that would allow them to train smarter even in the cold weather months,” said Pierre-Alexandre Fournier, co-founder and CEO of Hexoskin.

Essentially a wearable precision lab, Hexoskin provides its users with lab-quality metrics. The Montreal-based company, with the support of NASA and the Canadian Space Agency, created sensors made of textile, leaving almost no hardware in its shirts.  

Hexoskin says that there are numerous applications for their products—from remote health monitoring to space exploration. Future applications include cardiology, sleep medicine, aging at home, work medicine, defense applications and space exploration missions.

Hexoskin has announced the Arctic Smart Shirt, an expansion of the company’s biometric clothing line. Used for scientific testing and astronaut training, the Arctic Smart Shirt measures 42,000 data points per minute, transmits metrics in real-time and allows for advanced training. 

It uses a new textile from Italy that offers comfort similar to Merino wool. The fabric itself is based on research on polar bears' fur and how they trap heat between their skin and their fur. The textile they use does the same, while allowing natural evaporation of perspiration: absorbing very little water, the fabric dries rapidly, while keeping the body temperature constant. This reduces energy consumption to a minimum and improves athletic performance.

Hexoskin apps are available for iOS and Android devices and smartwatches. Shirts are available from the web site.

Privately-held, Hexoskin has around 20 employees, with offices in Montreal and San Francisco.

Image of Hexoskin Shirt with Sensors and Photo of Piere-Alexandre Fournier Courtesy of Hexoskin

© 2014 IoT Perspectives

 


Yariv Galzer

ILAN
6 May 2015 - by Maxine Bingham, Editor-in-Chief


We spoke with Yariv Glazer, founder of Intelligent Location-Aware Network (ILAN). ILAN is designed to improve the mobility, independency, and overall experience of using public transportation for the disabled. It’s currently in development, but has touched us with its focus on the disabled.

Yariv has extensive experience in start-up companies and in mentoring the formative stages of a start-up. He is the Chief Technology Officer at the Small Ventures Nursery, an early-stage start-up incubator.

IoTP: What is ILAN about?

YG: Our project is aimed at improving paratransit services for mentally impaired or disabled individuals. Paratransit services are a specialized public transportation for individuals with disabilities or mental impairment, and is often provided as a supplement to fixed-route bus and rail systems. It is a point-to-point service that is requested by a user and then scheduled by the paratransit service provider. Once a rider has a scheduled time and route, it is their responsibility to locate the designated paratransit vehicle. The physical meeting between a paratransit rider and vehicle operator is known as the handshake process. When individuals with disabilities or mental impairment are positioned in busy environments, they often become confused or distracted, and are unable to successfully board the bus. This is referred to as a no-show, and occurs every 1 in 20 rides. The result is a loss of service for riders and unnecessary challenges in the dispatch and scheduling processes of paratransit operators. We are utilizing Internet-of-Things (IOT) technology to improve this handshake process and reduce the number of no-show occurrences.

IoTP: How did you come up with this idea?

YG: We spoke with several individuals who have disabilities, and all of them voiced the challenges of using public transportation. Next we went to the operators of public transportation, who stated that the number one problem they experienced in paratransit service was the occurrence of no-shows. They were very excited to speak with us about the problem in hopes of finding a solution to reducing these occurrences. We saw the potential to utilize Internet-of-Things technology to address these challenges.

IoTP: What problem(s) are you solving?

YG: The problem we are trying to solve is how to reduce the number of no-shows by providing technology to allow the paratransit operator to be involved in the location and successful boarding of a paratransit rider. This technology could potentially be expanded to aid individuals with disabilities in general public transportation services.

IoTP: How does ILAN work from the end user's perspective?

YG: The paratransit rider would carry a smart ID card embedded with an IOT sensor that would help the paratransit driver locate the user through a mobile app. This would allow riders to safely and reliably utilize public transportation.

IoTP: Is there unique technology involved?

YG: We are leveraging the benefits of Internet of Things technology to create an affordable sensor that is easy to deploy and has very little maintenance. A mobile app would communicate with the sensors positioned on the user and triangulate their location. Similar to a crowd-sourcing model, the higher the number of sensors visible, the higher the accuracy of each sensor’s position.

IoTP: When will ILAN be available?

YG: We are now working on the development of the technology with the support of the University of Michigan TechArb accelerator along with the Small Venture Nursery incubator. We are scheduled to begin a trial with the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART), a paratransit service provider in Metro Detroit. We are planning to expand ILAN availability to additional paratransit operators in 2016.

IoTP: If I am interested in being a partner, how can I get more information?

YG: For more information, please feel free to inquire at www.smallventuresnursery.com/ILAN

 

Photo of Yariv Glazer from the Internet
© 2015 IoT Perspectives


Dan Cregg Insteon

INSTEON
5 January 2015 - By Maxine Bingham, Editor-in-Chief


During the 2014 Innovation Enterprise IoT Summit (2015 link) in San Francisco in December 2014, Technology Editor Ron Bingham and I met with Dan Cregg, CTO of INSTEON, which has built its own home networking technology, based on a new paradigm that offers radio frequency (RF), powerline, or both, connectivity. Currently, INSTEON network works with its sister company’s Smarthome devices (over 15k in 130 countries), but INSTEON may make their network available to all (we hope that they do). They refer to their home connectivity as a new kind of Device Area Network (DAN). It is the only dual mesh network (radio and powerline) available on the market today.

All INSTEON devices are peers, meaning that any device can transmit, receive, or repeat other messages, without requiring a master controller or complex routing software. Adding more devices makes an INSTEON network more robust, by virtue of a simple protocol for communication retransmissions and retries, versus degrading the network by adding more devices to it. On the powerline side, many INSTEON devices are compatible with legacy X10 devices.

Through thousands of customer interactions through its sister company, Smarthome, INSTEON realized there was a need in the market that current home networking protocols weren’t filling, and that a new paradigm was needed that would seamlessly connect all of one’s home automation products. INSTEON publicizes a protocol comparison (click on the image for a link to a larger one).

According to INSTEON CTO Dan Cregg, “INSTEON wanted a technology that would meet the simplicity, reliability, and cost expectations of the masses—mainstream consumers who want immediate benefits, not toys. The aging X10 protocol was simply too limiting with its tiny command set and unacknowledged, ‘press and pray’ signaling over the powerline. Radio-only communication protocols, such as Z-Wave and ZigBee, not only required complex routing strategies and a confusing array of different types of network masters, slaves, and other modules, but radio alone is not be reliable enough when installed in metal switch junction boxes, for example. Bluetooth radio has too short a range, WiFi  radio is too expensive, and high-speed powerline protocols are far tooINSTEON Phone complex to be built into commodity products such as light switches, door locks, or thermostats.”

Thus, in 2000, INSTEON decided to specify an “ideal” home control network, one that would be simple, robust, fast (no perceptible response time to a human) and inexpensive enough to link everything to everything else. 

Installation in existing homes does not require any new wiring, because INSTEON products communicate over powerline wires or they use the airwaves. All INSTEON devices have an ID number pre-loaded at the factory so that INSTEON devices join the network as soon as they’re powered up. Getting one INSTEON device to control another is very simple—just press and hold a button on each device for three seconds, and they’re linked. The user does not perceive any delay from, for example, getting a light to turn on while the heat goes up as you unlock the front door.

The company is privately-held and based in Irvine, CA. They are a member of the Thread group.

Dan Cregg Photo and Image of Smartphone Courtesy of INSTEON

© 2014 IoT Perspectives