InvisaWear: Enhanced Safety via Jewelry and Technology

invisaWear
photo by @MoorePhoto (http://michellemoore.com/); photo courtesy of invisaWear

I’m back again with a little more detail about another of the cool tech startups I discovered at the area’s startup events. I met the team from invisaWear at Mass Innovation Nights’ February 2018 event (MIN107) in Lowell. They weren’t presenting that night; rather, they were MIN alumni – they were featured at MIN95 in Lowell a year earlier – at the event as attendees. I had missed their MIN showcase a year earlier, but I spent a while chatting with them about their product after MIN107.

The Concept

invisaWear is a device that allows you to contact others with a simple squeeze (technically, a double-squeeze) when you’re in trouble. But it’s probably not fair to compare invisaWear to other “call for help” safety products, since invisaWear’s predecessors typically sacrificed appearance for function. Because, while the products I’m thinking of are geared primarily toward the elderly with health concerns, invisaWear is geared toward a much broader age range, typically much younger, and definitely more fashion-conscious. And invisaWear’s appeal goes well beyond the difference in appearance vs. other call-for-help products; it’s much more versatile and well-suited to anyone in need of an extra level of protection for any of a number of reasons.

invisaWear
photo by @MoorePhoto (http://michellemoore.com/); photo courtesy of invisaWear

Connected to an app on the wearer’s phone, the sensor is designed to require a firm effort to send out an alert, minimizing false alerts, and utilizes battery power, its low power requirement allowing it a one-year battery lifespan.

Activated by firmly double-pressing the alarm, an alert will send location to loved ones, provide an alert to 911, and send profile picture and information to emergency responders, as programmed by the wearer.

The company’s target market – those it suggests might benefit from invisaWear – include high school and college students, medical personnel, real estate agents, anyone working alone or late at night, travelers, senior citizens, and “anyone who wants to protect themselves or a loved one.”

invisaWear
photo by @MoorePhoto (http://michellemoore.com/); photo courtesy of invisaWear

In the end, as I learned a bit more about invisaWear, this struck me as a cool product worth sharing, an interesting and ingenious use of technology for the purpose of personal safety. So, of course, it’s the latest in my occasional series of Boston-area technology company profiles.

Where to Find invisaWear

If you click through the “Pre-Order” button on the invisaWear home page, you’ll be prompted to choose from bracelets, necklaces, and keychains featuring invisaWear’s sharp design. The company’s Indiegogo page is still active, too, where a quick scroll shows that invisaWear has garnered a lot of local media attention. And, of course, on the main website, there’s an overflowing “press” page. No surprise – they intrigued me, as well. As for the product itself, the company’s website estimates delivery in July 2018.

invisaWear
photo by @MoorePhoto (http://michellemoore.com/); photo courtesy of invisaWear

Looking Ahead

I asked invisaWear’s cofounders, Ray Hamilton and Rajia Abdelaziz, for a few thoughts about their products what they see in the company’s future, beyond the July 2018 initial product delivery. Ray noted, “Our mission from the very beginning has been that if we can help save even one person’s life, than all of our hard work will have been worth it!” Rajia added, “In terms of upcoming goals, I’m excited to raise awareness about the product, and get it in the hands of more people!”

More Information

As I mentioned, there have been numerous articles already written, many detailing the company’s backstory. For example, this piece on the BostInno site includes a nice discussion with Rajia Abdelaziz about her inspiration for invisaWear.

And if you’d like to get an invisaWear product for yourself or as a gift, you can place your order on the company’s website.

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase #89: IoT and eCommerce

Verizon at Boston New Technology #89
Verizon at Boston New Technology #89

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 89

May 8, 2018

This month’s BNT was a themed event, featuring IoT and eCommerce companies. It was hosted at the WeWork location in Cambridge’s Central Square on Tuesday, May 8th.

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 89: WeWork in Cambridge, MA

As always, the BNT Startup showcase begins with food and networking. This one occurred at a neat coworking space in Central Square. I hadn’t been to an event since BNT received its Telapush sign, which lights up as people tweet, so it was cool to see it in action. (For more info about Telapush, check out the company’s website.)

InEye Technologies at Boston New Technology #89
InEye Technologies at Boston New Technology #89

After an hour of chatting with people, snacking, and networking, the presentations began. First, the sponsors were introduced and allowed to chat for a minute or two. Then, typically, the seven startups present, each given 5 minutes to present followed by a 5 minute Q&A session. (On Tuesday night, only six of the companies were in attendance, so there were six presentations.) Following, I’ll write a little about each of the presenters, including my best understanding of who they are and what they do. Obviously, if something intrigues you, don’t rely on the accuracy of my description. Instead, check out the websites and contact the companies for yourself. Because if you’re interested, you’re probably a much bigger expert in that product area than I am, so you’ll know better which questions to ask.

The first presenting “startup” was no startup at all, actually. Verizon presented about IoT and 5G technologies. Points emphasized were data analytics and, specific to the crowd in attendance, Verizon’s innovation program.

BluCloud at Boston New Technology #89
BluCloud at Boston New Technology #89

Next up was InEye Technologies, presenting the company’s InWeigh product. This product is a gadget and app. The gadget weighs your luggage. The app, which can be used without the gadget, keeps track of up-to-the-minute information about the baggage limits and over-limit costs of all of the airlines’ flights. This was the product at BNT89 I could most easily see myself using immediately. The gadget alone would be helpful for those of us whose luggage sometimes pushes the allowed weight limits. InEye Technologies says it plans to monetize its product by selling the gadget and by providing analytics from the data it obtains to the airlines.

RevTwo at Boston New Technology #89
RevTwo at Boston New Technology #89

BluCloud, Inc. showcased its cellular gateway, Gateway Blu. Dubbed in the BNT promotion as “universal connectivity solution for edge IoT,” BluCloud features sensor data connected to an analytics platform. Its example of a use for its product was to allow cities to automate their monitoring process while gaining access to real-time information. For example, ground water data. Their three types of potential customers are environmental, corporate, and infrastructure. BluCloud currently has about ten customers, with the largest deployment connecting 1,000 devices.

Dover Microsystems at Boston New Technology #89
Dover Microsystems at Boston New Technology #89

RevTwo was another company whose product I could see an immediate market for. It’s an autonomous, data-driven customer support system that uses AI to detect problems and provide solutions to customers. RevTwo’s solution works with smart products, allowing the product to detect the answer to many customer service issues without the need of a call center or service tech. Obviously, go to the company website and then contact them for insights into the nuts and bolts, but even as broadly as I’ve described the concept, I think it makes obvious sense.

Two Minute Turtle Timer at Boston New Technology #89
Two Minute Turtle Timer at Boston New Technology #89

Dover Microsystems showed off its CoreGuard product that solves the problem of a cybersecurity attack at the hardware level. The company calls it embedded security for embedded systems. A seed-stage startup, it will already be cashflow positive next month.

And the final presenter of the evening was the Two Minute Turtle Timer, a product of Invent Boston. This is a kid-friendly timer for two-minute tasks like tooth brushing. (Another real-life example I recall from the presentation was yoga poses.) It’s a turtle circuit board with blinking LEDs, helping turn childhood tasks into kid-friendly fun.

As usual, it was another great BNT event.  Next month’s event, BNT #90, is scheduled for Monday, June 11 at Foley Hoag in the Seaport District of Boston.

The April 9th Startup Showcases in Boston: AR/VR, AI, and Robotics

Introduction

I usually try to get out to at least one of the two big Boston area monthly startup showcases, but they were both last night, and I stayed late to finish a project at work rather than make it out to either of the two events last night. Boston New Technology’s BNT88 was at Wayfair, while Mass Innovation Nights’ MIN109 was at District Hall. And they both had cool themes. BNT featured local startups in the Augmented and Virtual Reality industry. MIN, meanwhile, showcased local startups in the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Industry. I had planned to mention both in my post-event article today – I had already prepared a skeleton piece with all the necessary links – so I might as well string it together and give these worthy companies a little press, to help you all find out about them, since even those of you who made it to one event wouldn’t have been able to get to the other.

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 88: Wayfair in Boston, MA

Each BNT showcase starts with food and networking, including a food local company booths. It then features presentations from the showcasing companies. Each presentation is five minutes long, followed by five minutes of Q&A. I’ve recapped the evenings eight presenting companies below, based on what I was able to quickly read about them, but to learn more about the company/product than I was able to discern from a quick skim of the event materials and clickthrough, please do follow the links.

Wayfair, though obviously not a startup, hosted the event and presented about its augmented reality feature allowing customers to view available furniture at real size within their own real-life spaces. Fasility‘s BeBlock allows users to create customized virtual and augmented reality scenes in web browsers. Link to VR is a virtual and augmented reality solutions company focusing on the education, medical, and engineering sectors. Hoverlay is an augmented reality tool that allows users to overlay digital content onto physical images. LoreBooks allows users to view rare books and archives via AR. EmotiVR connects people to their emotions using biometric inputs. Auggies is a virtual reality game that encourages children to be active. And Catapult Games showcased its virtual reality climbing game Don’t Look Down.

I wish I had been able to get to Wayfair’s Copley offices for this event. Hopefully, I’ll make it to next month’s presentation.

Mass Innovation Nights 109: District Hall in Boston, MA

Every month, Mass Innovation Nights features displays from 10-12 companies, and attendees can learn about their products from company representations while enjoying food and drinks provided by the host.  That’s followed by presentations, usually beginning with relatively short talks from the evening’s host and the event’s “Expert Corner” experts. Then the four exhibitors who win a pre-event vote on the Mass Innovation Nights website present. And at the end, at-event vote winners win prizes and there’s a little more time for attendees to talk.

Obviously I missed the event itself, but here are the companies that exhibited, with brief company descriptions based on a skim of the pre-event material and maybe a clickthrough to the website. In fact, most of what I’ll mention below can be found by clicking on “Vote Here” after following this link to the MIN109 event page. Please do follow the links to find out more for yourselves if the companies sound interesting.

Woobo is a plush, interactive AI toy aimed at 5-9 year olds. Zombait is a robotic fishing lure. Pipeguard is a leak detection robot for municipal water systems. Upstream is a conservationist platform for managing environmental projects, “leveraging advances in machine learning, distributed computing and satellite imagery,” per its description on the MIN site. Humantelligence is a platform that helps measure corporate culture and improve the recruiting process. Windowmate is a window-cleaning robot. Ras Labs‘ Synthetic Muscle looks to have usefulness in connection with robotics and prosthetics, if I read its website correctly. Klarity uses artificial intelligence to analyze non-disclosure agreements and sales contracts. OmniPreSense sells small form factor, short-range radar sensors for drones, robotics, and IoT applications utilizing millimeter wave spectrum. And Voysis Commerce is a voice AI platform for eCommerce.

It looks like there were some extremely interesting products at MIN last night, some of which probably would have been better served in this overview if I had been at the event and had seen them for myself.

Wrap-Up

In the end, Monday, April 9th was chock-full of cutting-edge startup presentations in Boston. Of course, I missed both events, but I thought I’d whip up a summary to give these companies some well-deserved attention. I hope to run across each of the companies during my continuing ventures out into the local tech scene over the coming months. If you did make it to one of these showcase events, were they as interesting as they appear to have been?

Mass Innovation Nights 108: Brandeis-Affiliated Startups

Mass Innovation Nights 108 at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

Mass Innovation Nights 108

March 14, 2018

Mass Innovation Nights’ March event was held on the campus of Brandeis University and featured startups with Brandeis connections, founded by students, alumni, or faculty of Brandeis University.

Mass Innovation Nights 108: Gosman Sports Center at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA

Vater Verks’ booth at Mass Innovation Nights 108

Every month, Mass Innovation Nights features presentations from the host, the “Expert Corner” experts, and exhibitors who win a pre-event vote on the Mass Innovation Nights website.  Presenters as a result of the pre-event voting were GreenChoice, Themagenix, Relational Coordination Analytics, and WorkAround. Awards were also given based on at-event voting. At-event winners were GreenChoice, Thermagenix, WorkAround, and Articulate Biosciences.

I’ll take a quick run through the companies in attendance; you can follow the links for more information about them. And please do. As is often the case with university-affiliated startups, there’s some heavy-duty science involved in some of these products, making my brief, not-a-scientist descriptions below almost-certainly insufficient for those with a better knowledge of the problems these products are solving.

GreenChoice’s presentation at Mass Innovation Nights 108

Modibrace is a new kind of back brace for solioisis treatment, a modifiable brace meant to replace the current one-part braces. Though Modibrace’s two-part brace was an initial advancement, at the event, Modibrace’s improved three-part brace was prominently discussed. Please, though, with my admittedly-non-medical bacground, I’ll not go into any more detail; if this is an area that interests you, check out Modibrace’s website and contact Modibrace for more information. It looks like it will be a welcome advancement for those who require the braces.

Thermagenix produces ThermaStop, ThermaGo, and ThermaStop-RT, three reagents that improve results in DNA and RNA testing. More specifically (and possibly more correctly, since it’ll be a direct quote), they, according to the MIN description, “improve product yield and specificity in PCR amplifications.” That covers (lightly) the science portion; as a number-cruncher, through my discussions at Thermagenix’s booth, I heard “faster,” “less expensive,” and “more accurate,” and that’s good enough for me.

Thermagenix’s presentation at Mass Innovation Nights 108

Articulate Biosciences was showcasing its injectible viscoelastic gels for treating diseases like arthritis. Well-explained by the display and representative at the booth, assisted by having few small containers of the gel on hand, this is a product we can all imagine potentially benefiting from in the future.

GreenChoice offers a browser-based way to online-shop for groceries responsibly, with its trademarked “GreenScore” allowing shoppers to create their own personal profiles, setting their own “responsible shopping” preferences based on how important different scored criteria are to them. Products are scored on freshness, nutritional value, health safety, animal welfare practices, corporate sustainability, and transparency. The product targets millennials thanks to their dual position as early adopters of online shopping and consumers with a high propensity toward socially conscious shopping behavior.

Relational Coordination Analytics’ presentation at Mass Innovation Nights 108

Sclervey is a – and I’ll quote directly from the MIN description here – “scleral topographer which maps the shape of the sclera for the creation of specialty scleral contact lenses.” The startup’s website does a nice job of showing how Sclervey is able to create a 3D image to enable custom lens fitting for more complex eye diseases that can’t be helped with typical glasses or contact lenses.

WorkAround is a service that allows companies to source online work to refugees around the globe. This provides low-cost, talented workers for companies while providing work to refugees who are often not allowed to work in their local communities while under refugee status. Per WorkAround’s website, the available workers are highly-skilled and prescreened, with 84% having a college education. Types of work mentioned by WorkAround include data entry, translation, research, transcription, image tagging, digitzation, and data scrubbing with pricing beginning at $10 per hour.

WorkAround’s presentation at Mass Innovation Nights 108

Cryo-cell‘s Cryo EleMent™ reduces the cost of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) for biomedical and drug research. If those words mean something to you, this descriptive poster, which Cryo-cell displayed at the event, may provide you with more detail. As I understand, it allows proteins to be grown more quickly and inexpensively for the purpose of research. The handouts the team provided at the booth contain contact information for the Office of Technology Licensing at Brandeis University, if you’re looking for more information.

Vata Verks caught my imagination at the event with a product that allows building managers to monitor water usage. Vata Verks’ devices are attached to water meters and measure the magnetic fields created by the meters themselves as they measure water usage.

Relational Coordination Analytics‘ RC Survey is a user-driven software solution that measures complex working relationships that affect organizational performance. Connected with some of the organizational behavior theories I learned back in business school, the RC Survey provides data that supports where and how improvements can be made to enhance the effectiveness of inter-departmental, inter-office, and other intracompany relationships. Presentation examples included the healthcare and air travel industries; the company’s client list includes several major healthcare organizations.

prize winners at Mass Innovation Nights 108

Cleanfield Capital uses big data and predictive analytics to bundle brownfield projects with significant environmental impacts into investment opportunities of interest to investors.

Tranquilo Mat is a vibrating mat that calms babies in cribs, carseats, or elsewhere by mimicking the motion and sounds of the womb. This short YouTube video shows Tranquilo Mat in action.

Expert Corner

The evening’s experts were Pito Salas of the Brandeis Computer Science Department; Ben Gomes-Casseres from Brandeis’ International Business School; Eva Kaniasty, founder of RedPill UX, LLC; Neil McLaughlin from TCF Law Group; and Ian Roy from the Brandeis University MakerLab.

Conclusion

As with past MIN event summaries, I’ve done my best to accurately portray the products I saw exhibited based on the literature I read and conversations I had with attendees; hopefully I’ve succeeded. Most of what I’ve written could easily be found by following this link and then clicking on the “Vote Here” tab of the MIN 108 web page, and I’ve included hotlinks to the websites of each of the companies I’ve mentioned so you can dig deeper, but hopefully this article serves as a decent introduction.

The next MIN event, MIN109, will have a “Robots & AI” theme. Sponsored by Dassault Systemes, it will be held on April 9th at District Hall in Boston. As always, if I’m able to attend, I’ll blog about it.

Mass Innovation Nights 107: Startup Night in Lowell

Mass Innovation Nights 107Mass Innovation Nights 107

February 15, 2018

This month, Mass Innovation Nights held their startup showcase out along I-495, well away from Boston. This worked well for me, and it seems there are a lot of other tech and startup supporters who appreciated the visit to the outer suburbs and satellite cities like Lowell, as the event drew great attendance.

Mass Innovation Nights 107Mass Innovation Nights 107: UMass Lowell Innovation Hub in Lowell, MA

Every month, Mass Innovation Nights features presentations from the host, the “Expert Corner” experts, and exhibitors who win a pre-event vote on the Mass Innovation Nights website.  Presenters as a result of the pre-event voting were Wake Me, wmnHealth.org, Adopets, and Caide Systems. Awards were also given based on at-event voting. At-event winners were DSP Wireless, Exact Lux, Adopets, and Caide Systems.

Mass Innovation Nights 107I’ll take a quick run through the companies in attendance; you can follow the links for more information about them.

WakeMe is a social media alarm clock. It hopes to encourage people to get out of bed more easily by offering a positive experience, showing videos from friends and family when the alarm goes off. WakeMe’s presentation did a good job of identifying the numbers behind its millennial target market. Revenue streams include sponsors, automated advertising, and subscriptions. The subscription option brought to my mind an interesting question: How much would you pay to get a wake-up message every morning from your favorite Telecom & Tech blogger?

Mass Innovation Nights 107wmnHealth.org is Dynamicly Inc.‘s conversational platform for women about mental and neurological diseases. With the stated intent to promote conversation and research and development using AI and analytics, wmnHealth.org includes a daily flash briefing via Alexa. The dominant – or, at least, most attention-grabbing – feature is its chatbot, Marine. Perhaps, though, to avoid anti-chatbot backlash, I should refer to Marine as the website does, an “artificially intelligent virtual assistant powered by Dynamicly’s conversational computing technology.” Certainly, it’s an interesting concept worth digging into.

Mass Innovation Nights 107Adopets is a pet adoption management platform that allows people interested in adopting pets to view animals across locations. Provided at no cost to the shelters or the potential pet-adopting individuals. Instead, the Adopets hopes to monetize via post-adoption offerings.

CAIDE Systems has a proprietary artificial intelligence deep learning package that it has developed for medical AI. Its product can reduce the time taken to read a CT scan from possibly an hour to as few as two minutes or less, reducing human error in the process and potentially saving critical minutes in helping to diagnose brain stroke.

Mass Innovation Nights 107360 Properties LLC uses Matterport technology to create 3D virtual reality representations of real estate, allowing agents and property sellers to offer complete virtual tours. The detail offered in these tours is exceptional, with the web tours fully covering the views within and around the properties shown. In addition, the company had a virtual reality headset at its demo table that provided a very cool experience. Cool because, of course, it’s VR. It’s worth going to the 360 Properties website to explore for yourself.

DSP Wireless, whose specialty is “wireless electrophysiology interfaces for research and education” is showing its first product, it’s “RCB-W24A-LVDS WiFi interface for the Intan Technologies RHD2000 series of Electrophysiology amplifier boards.” It mentions product improvements that are in development, as well. Please do visit the company’s website for more details. I did enjoy watching DSPW’s product send simulated cockroach readings wireless to the computer. (As DSPW gladly clarified when asked, what the product was doing was live, not a simulation, but the cockroach wasn’t really there.)

Mass Innovation Nights 107Flos Horticultural Lighting: FLW900 is Exact Lux’s LED light designed to produce maximum yield from plants. Per Exact Lux, the FLW900 is the most powerful LED grow light currently manufactured. Beyond the obvious in-building horticultural products, Exact Lux discussed the company’s possible next frontier: chickens. But, initially, the business model’s first product target is a more obvious path.

axle ai is a media-finding tool from axle Video to content creators search for and repurpose video content. Its target market is small and midsized media teams, perhaps posting to social media or creating course material, with likely industries including universities, sports teams, and houses of worship.

Two scheduled attendees, Probit Systems and Perch, weren’t in attendance. Probit provided some literature to sit on a table, at least, while Perch was completely absent.

Mass Innovation Nights 107Expert Corner

The presenting “experts” this evening represented the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub and the City of Lowell Department of Economic Development.

Networking

The networking portion of the evening – before and after the presentations, including last night’s official afterparty at Coffee and Cotton – is always as important as the presentations themselves.  On this particular evening, in addition to allowing me to chat with each of the presenting companies and get up-close views of some of the product, I ran into key players and founders from companies like wearable tech firm Invisawear (smart jewelry and accessories), e911MD (a virtual 911 and medical app), and EforAll (an entrepreneurship accelerator and training and mentoring program).

Conclusion

As with other MIN reviews, I’ve done my best to accurately portray the products I saw exhibited based on the literature I read and conversations I had with attendees; hopefully I’ve succeeded. Most of what I’ve written could easily enough be found by following this link and then clicking on the “Vote Here” tab of the MIN 107 web page, and I’ve included hotlinks to the websites of each of the companies I’ve mentioned so you can dig deeper, but hopefully this article serves as a decent introduction.

I always enjoy attending the MIN events, and I plan to get to several more in the coming months as my schedule allows. The next MIN event is scheduled for March 14 at Brandeis University, and I plan to be in attendance. As always, if I’m there, I’ll blog about it.

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase #86: A Review

Boston New Technology #86
Boston New Technology #86

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 86

February 12, 2018

Introduction

This month’s BNT showcase was a little less convenient for me than last month’s, which was held in Waltham near my office, but it was well worth the trip into Cambridge.

Boston New Technology #86
Boston New Technology #86

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 86Alley Cambridge in Cambridge, MA

You may recognize the next paragraph from last month, but I did change a word or two:

Lumo at Boston New Technology #86
Lumo at Boston New Technology #86

Each BNT Startup Showcase begins with food and networking, followed by the evening’s presentations. After the sponsors are introduced and given a couple minutes each to talk about themselves, the seven startup presentations begin. Each startup’s presentation is 5 minutes followed by 5 minutes of Q&A. Following is a brief recap of each of the seven startups’ presentations. Please follow the links to learn more about company/product.

After the welcome message and sponsors, the first presenting startup was Lumo‘s self-cleaning pet grooming tool, Ridgeback, designed to detangle and collect shed pet hair without pulling or cutting. Though not a hard and fast rule, I’ve noticed the early presenters tend to get more of the Shark Tank-ish questions. Tonight was no exception. Ridgeback’s price point is $32-$68, with professional, easy-cleaning models at the higher end of the range, and because of the quality premium, the product has an extremely healthy profit margin.

Kaiburr at Boston New Technology #86
Kaiburr at Boston New Technology #86

Kaiburr is a devops-as-a-service offering that allows quick, secure deployment of apps. I first learned about this company in November at a Mass Innovation Nights event. Kaiburr is a subscription-based, SaaS product, with a sliding rate – pay as you scale.

Quinncia is an AI-based interview preparation tool. The product is already revenue-positive, in place at 15-20 universities.

Quinncia at Boston New Technology #86
Quinncia at Boston New Technology #86

SavingsQuest is a savings encouragement app from financial services non-profit Commonwealth. It uses the gamification of savings – culminating in a dancing pig – to encourage the accumulation of small emergency funds via micro-savings.

I Am Kréyol is an artistic high fashion design brand with an inspirational story behind the brand’s style and panache.

I Am Kreyol at Boston New Technology #86
I Am Kreyol at Boston New Technology #86

SidelineSwap is an online marketplace for buying and selling sports gear. Tapping a surprisingly untapped market, the presentation included an example of its ease of use by demonstrating the act of selling a piece of equipment via the SidelineSwap app. An interesting point made during the presentation was that 90% of SidelineSwap’s sellers had never sold anything online before using the service.

And Inspired Start is a baby food designed to introduce eight commons allergens to babies at an early age to help reduce the likelihood that they’ll develop as many common food allergies. The three points I recall from the presentation were, in no particular order: Organic, non-GMO, and made in Wisconsin.

Inspired Start at Boston New Technology #86
Inspired Start at Boston New Technology #86

This was another fun BNT event with lively presentations and interesting people to network with. Though it featured more non-tech presentations than is typical at a BNT event, these seven startups are a good mix of the sorts of new companies Boston produces. And, as always, I look forward to the next Boston New Technology Startup Showcase.

Next month’s event, BNT #87, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 7 at Foley Hoag in Boston.

My Reacquaintance With Millimeter Wave Equipment Vendors

Back in the mid-’00s when I worked as an industry analyst for NPRG, I penned our Fixed Wireless Carriers Report, marking our foray into off-the-shelf report-publishing in the microwave and millimeter wave space, and I’ve followed its progress ever since. Off and on, at least. Or I thought I did. I recently stumbled across the forays of both Fujitsu and Samsung into the millimeter wave waters, so I dug a little to find the backgrounds of their ventures into this space, assuming they had acquired some of the several vendors who had divvied up the market a decade ago. Indeed, no, these were ground-up systems these technology giants had developed over a number of years. Even as I’ve followed the carrier usage of these systems with interest – point-to-point millimeter wave service is getting increased attention for its backhaul prospects – clearly my vendor knowledge had slipped a bit. So it’s time to re-engage.

Of course, back when I wrote that report, microwave comprised a lion’s share of the fixed wireless market, particularly in the cellular backhaul space, and this 2016 Sivers IMA report summary suggests very little has changed in that regard.

As for the vendors, a quick search brought up this Global Industry Analysts report, and three of the nine major players (as noted in this more detailed table of contents) were among the top vendors when I wrote my report more than a decade ago. Also notable, Fujitsu and Samsung aren’t listed – indeed, eight of the nine vendors seem to be small, specialized equipment manufacturers – which means the market has not yet been overtaken by major multi-product equipment manufacturers, even as NEC has made inroads and at least a couple more of the big boys are beginning to sniff around. Notably, as I did just a little digging, while Fujitsu’s 5G millimeter wave research is touted, articles and press releases from the last 3-4 years seem to suggest it was geared toward autonomous driving purposes more than for telecom.

As for market size, the first few reports I stumbled upon seem to expect a $2.5 to $9 billion dollar market by the ends of their forecast periods, ranging from 2023 to 2025 with 2016 and 2017 market levels in the $500 to $600 million range.  Again, back when I did my research in the mid-’00s, the fixed wireless market was still microwave-dominated, so much so that I never bothered to call out a market size for the nascent millimeter wave market; indeed, it has grown by now to a respectable size.

With all of these interesting developments, it seems like a good time to refresh my millimeter wave knowledge.

Also of interest, though not exactly “breaking” news but helpful for an introductory piece, is this link to a Ceragon blog post from a couple months ago. It contains a wavelength x frequency graphic showing where decimeter wave (500 MHz-3 GHz), centimeter wave (3-30 GHz), and millimeter wave (30-300 GHz) fall, as well as indicating the segment of the spectrum commonly referred to as microwave (5-42 GHz). Of course, this article places a distinct cutoff point between microwave and millimeter wave at 30 GHz without overlap. Since millimeter waves are microwaves, the definition of microwave is definitionally arbitrary, though in the U.S., if I recall from a decade ago, the spectrum set aside for millimeter wave communication is in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, so the specific cutoff point isn’t important in practice, as there’s an FCC-defined cutoff point, at least for the purpose of telecom.

And, with that, this kickoff piece is officially “all over the place.” But watch this space as I’ll be making a concerted effort to include a lot of millimeter wave coverage in the coming weeks and months. I assume it’ll be a mix of targeted bits and the occasional general piece reacting to news articles and/or my own surfing for specific links (and the rabbit hole it takes me down). Also, if you’re one of my longtime industry contacts, expect to hear from me this year. And whether you’re an existing industry friend or someone I haven’t yet met, if you’d like to reach out to me proactively, don’t forget I have a contact form. I’ll appreciate your outreach and look forward to making your acquaintance.