Twice a year, our parent company, CableLabs, hosts a weeklong session called Innovation Bootcamp. This year it is hosted in Silicon Valley and is focused on Wireless Mobile Services. Participants get a hands-on experience where teams identify, develop and pitch an innovation project. Teams get to experience engagement with real customers, and interactions with seasoned innovators and thought leaders in the space, including tours of innovative companies.
The participants tend to be from CableLabs member organizations and are committed to providing the best connectivity experiences for their customers they can offer through taking some time to think about things differently. It is a chance for technologists, executives, marketing and business development professionals and others to think boldly about the future.
What is particularly exciting for us during this week-long boot camp is the Innovation Pitch Night. During pitch night, 4 early to mid-stage companies pitch their companies to a panel of investors and mentors. It is an incredible opportunity for these companies to get constructive feedback from the panel of experts and the audience.
Because our mission is to plug startups into this dynamic connectivity eco-system, we love participating in the pitch night and seeing what innovations the startup world has to offer. The cable industry invests 250 BILLION DOLLARS in developing and deploying innovations, so this isn’t a little pet project, it is the real deal. Check out the companies that pitched this past week.
Existing cellular networks are built to cover where humans go, not where devices need to go. Underground, in utility closets, on rooftops, etc. These areas are challenging for IoT devices to work. It is also very hard to predict network availability in all possible locations. Compounding the problem is the practice of hardwiring wireless components into the device. With changing network availability, this can be very expensive to swap out of your device every time the network changes. Wivity makes this easy with their WiviCard. Instead of hardwiring, customers put a simple slot into their device so installers can plug in different hardware to access any wireless network. Wi-Fi, cellular, satellite or any future network for that matter- all are accessible with Wivity. The end result is a 10x savings in both product development, and more importantly, maintenance costs. Learn more at www.wivity.com
Evie makes sense of content inside of apps and provides search via a deep knowledge graph. Today multiple searches are required for simple actions. Evie’s entity graph brings structure to the world. They have built a model that continuously learns more about the world by extracting meaning from text. The Evie Launcher is a home screen with search as the primary form of navigation. Users tell Evie what they want to do, and Evie shows what apps will get that result done. Evie Sidescreen is search and discovery on the minus-one screen (the leftmost screen of every Android device). Evie believes the next shift in human-computer interaction fuses AI with deep domain knowledge. They are hard at work evolving our current products and building new ones oriented in this direction. Check out these three products and learn more at www.evie.com.
kwikbit is the world’s first gigabit wireless network as a service (NaaS). It combines state of the art radio and cloud/automation technology at disruptive economics for “kwik” deployment of “kwik” links with Non-Line of Sight (NLOS) capability. They have a unique business model of delivering a fully deployed wholesale solution. kwikbit’s unique full stack business model delivers gigabit wireless between two locations with disruptive economics. Learn more at www.kwikbit.com.
There are various pain points that exist in the life of a cellular subscription, from pre-activation through post-activation. It is hard to know which operator is best for you, and often leads to a less than optimal choice. Upon activation, it is tedious to pair the physical SIM car with the device and cell network. And there is a lot of friction involved when switching carriers as a result of the SIM card. Simless is fixing those problems with a digital SIM card. People and objects can dynamically connect to a plurality of cell networks without having a physical card. It’s like Wi-Fi for your SIM card. Learn more about their technology at www.simless.com.
CableLabs live streamed the event, so you can check out that video on their Facebook page to see the pitches and hear the feedback and questions from the panel.