07 June 2023
How Optimising Supply Chains Could Save $10 Billion Globally
IoT Leaders with Nick Earle, CEO of Eseye and Maxim Perry, VP of Sales & Products at t42
07 June 2023
IoT Leaders with Nick Earle, CEO of Eseye and Maxim Perry, VP of Sales & Products at t42
At any given moment, billions of dollars of products are moving around the world — but information about the exact location of merchandise remains largely unknown.
IoT tracking solution company t42 is on a mission to change that.
Companies need to know what’s happening to products and if they’re being tampered with, at all times during transportation. This knowledge could ultimately save hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. Whether it’s on sea, land, or in the air, the right asset tracking has a huge impact on the bottom line.
Maxim Perry, VP of Sales & Products , t42 joins Nick on the podcast to discuss:
Tune in to hear how t42 runs the gamut on IoT devices — from shipping containers to motorcycles — and how satellite connectivity is set to change everything.
Join us on the IoT Leaders Podcast and share your stories about IoT, digital transformation and innovation with host, Nick Earle.Contact us
You are listening to IoT Leaders, a podcast from Eseye that shares real IoT stories from the field about digital transformation swings and misses, lessons learned, and innovation strategies that work. In each episode, you’ll hear our conversations with top digitization leaders on how IoT is changing the world for the better. Let IoT leaders be your guide to IoT, digital transformation, and innovation.
Let’s get into the show.
Hi, welcome to the IoT Leaders podcast with me, your host Nick Earle, CEO of Eseye. And this week we’re going to be talking about sea containers. We’re going to be talking about tracking the products inside those containers. We’re going to be talking about intelligent locks. If that wasn’t enough, we’re going to be talking about enabling the world’s smartest, coolest electronic motorbike. And then how everything’s going to change with the imminent introduction of satellite communication that can be accessed through cellular products and how this is going to change everything by optimizing battery life through more intelligence in the device.
It’s an action-packed interview. My guest this week is Max Perry. He is the VP of sales and products at a very innovative company in Israel called t42. And they’ve been a partner of Eseye’s for many, many years. But they’re doing some really, really interesting stuff in targeting billions of dollars of savings for major corporations around much more granular information about where their products are and what is happening to them. Are they being tampered with? Who is accessing them? It’s really action packed and you’ll hear it all in the interview.
So with that, let’s get going. Here’s my interview with Max Perry, the VP of sales and products at t42 in Israel.
So Max, welcome to the IoT Leaders podcast.
Thank you for having me.
We’re going to talk about tracking containers, cargo, smart locks, and even electric bicycles and satellites.
We’ve got actually quite a bit to talk about. But before we do, for the listeners, let’s find out a little bit about Max and this company t42. First of all, what’s your background and how did you end up in the company?
Well, my background is actually from software engineering. I have a degree in software engineering. Never completed education, never did it. I found out very quickly that I prefer working with people than machines. It’s much more pleasant for me and much more enjoyable.
I’m doing marketing and sales since 2003. Worked with the mobile operators here in Israel in the past, and I’m with t42, or as it was called previously Starcom Systems, since 2009.
Right, and I wanted to ask you by the way, just on that point that you made, it was interesting. I had to smile when you said that you found people more pleasant than machines. I suddenly thought back over my career in that there have been a couple of people that I found to be less pleasant than machines, but I probably don’t remember. It’s not been universally true in my case.
We won’t mention them here.
No, we won’t. Definitely won’t mention, at least not while we’re recording.
Yeah, I wanted to ask you, so Starcom systems, and of course that links it in a sense to the end of this podcast because we’re going to be talking about satellite as I said. But t42, and I must admit when I heard it, I thought, “Okay, I can normally work out why companies are what their name means,” and I was scratching my head.
And so where did the name t42 come from, and what triggered a rename of the company?
Okay, so let’s start with the easy part: the name. You had a chance to read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?
Douglas Adams? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.
An excellent book and a nice movie that they made, and the entire book was around question that they had: what was the purpose of life and everything in the world?
If you remember, they set up this very complicated machine that worked for million and million of years, and the answer to what was the meaning for everything in the universe was 42.
So this is the meaning behind the name.
We rebranded the company about a year ago, and the goal was to focus on the IoT industry and IoT devices. The company itself was established back in 2002 by three partners that are still in the company, and the company is specializing in development and manufacturing of different tracking devices.
We started at Starcom Systems from the automotive industry. This was our bread and butter for many years and we developed various tracking solutions for the automotive industry. Started with the stolen vehicle recovery industry and developed as the market developed towards fleet management and asset protection. We decided to divide those segments into two different companies: t42 and Helios Tracker. Where Helios Tracker is handling our previously core business, the automotive industry, and t42 is focusing on the IoT segments.
Actually, it’s interesting. The second podcast in a row actually that I’ve done, which has a similar story, and they had one business. The podcast I’m referring to is a company called Microsystems in northern Italy. They do a whole variety. They used to do PCBs. Well, they still do PCB boards, control boards for machines for the sensors, and then they realized that IoT was different.
Then rather than just add it, they divided the company into two. In fact, the guy that I interviewed said, “I want to build the IoT business,” and so they’ve built an IoT business alongside the control board business. It’s interesting that that’s two companies both with similar, not quite the same, similar side.
But in your case what you did was you went into a different field. Because you said you were in tracking, and that’s a pretty crowded space, isn’t it? There’s a lot of automotive trackers out there. I mean, you Google it and there’s a lot of them. I know you differentiate, and we’ll come to that about what you’re doing with Helios. The automotive company is a very differentiated offering.
But you went from there into containers. And so what was the trigger for starting off in the IoT company and picking containers as a vertical to target first?
Well, actually back somewhere back in 2008, we’ve started noticing a lot of competition coming into the classic tracking industry or market. Quite early the CEO of the company noticed, and rightfully so, that the tracking industry or the tracking products will eventually become a commodity. We will have to either compete on very small margins and very competitive prices or find new revenue streams and new segments that we can approach.
The reason that we selected the container industry is because it has huge potential. There is an enormous amount of containers around the world, and they are all, in terms of technology that they are used, are in the way behind the industry. There are simple metal boxes. Once you put your very expensive goods, very expensive electronics inside of them, you have no idea what is happening with them. That eventually causes hundreds of millions of dollars in loss on a yearly basis to the clients, to the insurance companies, and to the shippers.
There was a true problem that we will be able to solve by identifying those weaknesses and notifying to the end clients, couriers, security companies upon any deviation in the container route or attempts of breach. Back in 2008, the first product that we started working on was the Tetis line of products. That was designed especially for the container industry.
One of the trends that I’ve noticed certainly is that the most successful companies… We like to think we only invite the most successful companies onto IoT Leaders, but the most successful companies actually identified the business outcome where the money saving is first and then created the product to create that.
In your case, as you say, the worldwide container industry is absolutely huge. At any one time, there’s billions of dollars of product moving very slowly, or in many cases stationary. Sat on the ground in a port having been unloaded and waiting for a truck to drive through a city to pick it up and drive it out or whatever.
There is almost no information on the supply chain, and we all know that supply chain optimization is worth tens of billions of dollars globally. As you said, they’ve been dumb metal boxes for decades. It’s almost been a very hard market to crack, to actually create a solution.
But the huge demand, if people could find out where the goods are, supply chain optimization is one of the biggest ROIs that any company can do, especially as we’re talking global and things are on the move for weeks. We saw the implications during COVID when supply chains were disrupted and container prices, shipment container prices that you can track publicly, increase massively.
What did t42, what did you guys do to crack that problem of tracking of containers or Tetis product?
Well, with the initial products, we’ve designed a unique unit that most of our competitors during these times took a different approach. When there was a demand for container tracking, they tried to take an automotive unit, combine it with a battery, somehow stitch it with waterproof case, and somehow install it on a container.
We had a different approach. We have designed a unit around the design of the container. That way you can very easily install the unit on the container. As you know, most of the containers are not owned by the people that use them, whether it’s the couriers or the owners of the goods. You cannot change the container. You cannot drill in the container unless it is yours. The unit is very easily installed. With very fast installation, you get a complete overview of both the container and the goods inside of it.
Whether the container is moving, whether the doors are closed or opened. How is the handling of the container? Meaning whether it is suffering any impact and whether it is being transported properly through the entire route, the state of the goods themselves temperature-wise and humidity-wise.
At the moment we have a solution to the three major problems that we feel, yes, that today prevent those types of solutions to be adopted globally and on a large scale. Yes, because there are quite a lot of different devices, but currently there are still some technical issues that prevent us from global deployment. There is the question of cost, the question of power consumption.
With the next generation of our Tetis units, we will tackle all three. We’ll be able to provide a unit that will be installed in a container for periods of five to 10 years with constant tracking and constant data-driven information. It will be offered with a new business model that will allow a rapid deployment for both the owners of the containers and the forwarders. And by the way, using the future technology that Eseye will support, we will be able to provide global coverage in those units.
Because even today we implement seller modules that will support satellite communications through IoT in the future. It will be able to support all the current technologies and upcoming technologies and to sustain itself using energy harvesting technology for long periods of time. We will be able to offer affordable communication, longevity of the unit, and affordable devices with-
And global coverage by using satellite, lower cost satellite than previous solutions such as Iridium, which we all know.
But you talked about battery life conservation five to 10 years. I have an image. Whenever I hear the word iridium, I think of two things. I think of satellites in space, but I also then think of large, bulky, large, heavy handheld phones for explorers or whatever. I’m sure they’ve moved on tremendously since my outdated image.
But the fact is that it’s still really expensive and it still needs a big battery. Although costs have come down, it’s not cost-competitive. We don’t see iridium being used in IoT use cases. But this new standard, which just for people who trip up on the algorithms, which we all do, release 17 is the GSMA standard, which will allow a cellular modem. The big breakthrough here is a cellular modem, which is what you’re using and your partner of ours as you said, and have been for quite some time. But a cellular modem to actually switch and, based on some rules, say, “I would like to use satellite,” because there is no cellular for example.
Especially in the container business, that’s going to transform your world, isn’t it?
I think it will revolutionize the world because it’s a completely different approach, and it will truly allow IoT integration into practically every container in the world. Because besides the size and maybe the cost of the Iridium satellite, you’re talking about improving the power consumption significantly to allow the existing energy harvesting technology to sustain those units practically forever.
Once you remove this obstacle of the operation side of installing those units, removing those units, your entire operation becomes much more cost-efficient.
You used the phrase earlier energy harvesting, which I am assuming that means solar if it’s out at sea. Or is it more than solar, or is it primarily solar?
It’s more than solar. I can tell you that those are three technologies that we are going to implement in the new device.
Unfortunately, I cannot disclose which ones at the moment. But each one of them separately is not enough. The idea here is to create a unit that will be able essentially to work forever unless something breaks down.
Well, that’s quite a lofty ambitious goal.
I want to come back to the technology on that and its implications for the IT industry in general. Because as you say to me and to many people, release 17, and it will have a snappier name soon, is as significant as some of the other subjects that we’ve explored. Such as the eSIM and the iSIM, which totally changed the world by breaking the proprietary link between the operator and the SIM.
I want to come back to that towards the end, but for the moment I want to hear more about your story as t42. You started off with containers and because that’s where the money was. That’s where the business opportunity is, and then you had to find something where, as you say, people don’t own their containers. Something that could be easily attached and could have connectivity. You assessed connectivity providers, you chose Eseye.
I want to talk about what you did because you two of the product lines on cargo and locks. But before we get there, why did you choose Eseye, if I can ask why? Because there’s a lot of cellular providers who-
Well, it’s easy. It’s easy for us. The process with Eseye was very simple and easy because of two things. You were able to provide us something or a solution to a problem that we had that nobody else could have during the period that we work. This is truly good coverage in the US.
What I mean when we started working in the US, most of the cellular operators were offering roaming on AT&T and T-Mobile, right? You were the only ones that were able to add to AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, which is a tremendous effect in terms of coverage in the US. The difference of working with and without Verizon is day and night in terms of coverage.
I actually don’t know what the demographic is of our listener profile, marketing words there, but I think it’s probably a minority here in the US.
Just to give a little bit of a background on that, I might be wrong in that about minority, but Verizon, who we are the first company to be able to not just connect onto Verizon. A lot of people can roam, but we are the first company to be able to localize onto Verizon over the air. As the thing moves, we can localize onto Verizon. We can localize onto AT&T. We can permanently roam onto T-Mobile currently where we are.
But Verizon do have, to your point, the best network in North America. North America being a really big place, that’s hugely important because your products that you are targeting by their very nature move all across America. I mean, we’re not talking about putting stuff in one city that where AT&T have great coverage or T-Mobile have great coverage or a state where some in the US some providers are known as being really good in Florida and some are really good in Idaho or whatever.
Your products by the very nature move, and so having the ability to connect to anybody in North America without worrying about roaming is a really, really big deal for your business plan and your value property you sell to your customers, I guess.
It’s a huge deal, especially considering the fact that in most cases we are not working in the center of the town where you have the center population, you have good cellular coverage. Usually, it’s on the outskirts. It’s in the middle of nowhere where the logistic center is or where the warehouse is.
This ability to be flexible in terms of network support was a game-changer for us. We started at Dell, but later on we integrated Eseye to all of our products. We are doing so simply because our goal with the IoT industry, because we are dealing with mostly high security or high valued cargo, is to have 100% availability of network.
Since 2018 that we’ve started working with Eseye SIM cards, we have never, knock on wood, yet, had any downtime in terms of network. Which is for us, it’s a perfect solution.
I’m going to write that down. Thank you.
It’s about your business case and your value to your customers, but it’s also the reason why we defined the architecture the way we did because we believe that IoT requires as near as… We used to say as near as possible 100%, and therefore we set out to be the company that has the most global coverage. In fact, Gartner called us the most global IoT company, more global than any single mobile network operator because of our architecture, the way we combine all the operators together.
We never say the most global anymore. Now when we come back to satellite, you actually have the promise of 100%, as you say. But let’s get back to what you did because the moment you had that capability with containers, then you didn’t stop there. Containers was first and then your other product line, if I’ve got the name, Kylos Air. Can you tell me a little bit about that? Because that’s not just the container itself, it’s a more granular unit of tracking.
Yes, the Kylos Air was actually designed for asset tracking or asset protection with very special segment in those assets, and that’s air cargo transported goods, yes? The idea behind the Kylos Air, it was designed with IATA and AA in European certification for air cargo transportation in mind, yes? The idea is that the unit is concealed on the cargo pallet or the UODs that are going to the airplane.
The unit can switch off automatically before the plane takes off and switch on automatically when the plane lands, and provides complete overview of the entire route for the cargo and notifies the user automatically upon any deviation in the preset parameters.
The idea with all of our products is to prevent the damage, yes? If we have certain temperatures that we have to maintain, we’ll notify before it reaches the limit so you will have time to respond. If there is certain time critical shipment that has to leave until a certain point, the unit will automatically notify if there is no movement detected from the unit at a certain period of time. Say, guys, listen. We are closing or we are near the deadline that it should leave, but it hasn’t yet. Check with your couriers.
On the other side, it will also notify if the unit will not arrive at the destination at the predefined time. Or, for example, if the unit or the cargo or the Kylos was moved or somebody attempted to temper with it while it was stored.
I mean, essentially you’re going down from the container as a unit of measure, the container, to the pallets and the boxes that are within the container, it’s a similar sort of business model.
But again, you’re using the same disruption. Because you talked earlier about the containers where the nobody has any clue where they are and you can’t get the information even if you tried because nobody knows where they are until they turn up.
It’s the same thing on this side. Because I was thinking of when I use FedEx, or any of us use FedEx or UPS or any of the traditional cargo companies, well, lately they give you a URL you can click on. But you click on the URL. I did one recently. We were sending something to Australia for friends of ours in Australia. They sent us a URL, and it told us that their gift that we were sending them was in a factory or a warehouse in just north of London.
We clicked and clicked and clicked and they were phoning us saying, “This gift hasn’t arrived. This gift hasn’t arrived.” Then it just said it was in a warehouse in North London and we knew it probably wasn’t. Then suddenly it said, “Oh.” One day when we clicked it’s in Sydney. Well, there’s a big distance between London and Sydney. There was no information.
But what you’re saying is the event driven. It should have left by now and it hasn’t, so you should probably take some action. Call your courier up, say, “Hey, it’s not left.” You have actually more information than the courier.
At the other end, you’re empowering the user. You’re empowering the customer because you’re giving them more information than the people who were in the middle of the supply chain. It’s another feature of IoT. Connecting the dots here, that for instance you may think it’s got nothing to do with coffee machines and consumer-based case studies. But the successful consumer-based case studies, IoT are always about empowering the user to, if they want to, disintermediate the supply chain and go direct to the supplier and to have more information and therefore more choice.
You’re not locked in anymore because of your contracts. You actually have choice because you have the information, and you can see the service level of how your supplier is doing. If you don’t like it, you have choice and you can move. You go to another coffee machine. Or in your case you say you are giving the shipment manager I guess, or whatever these titles are, the information that says how their shipping partner is doing and a dashboard with SLAs. Which is they’ve never have had before at a much more granular level than what they were given by these companies before, which is it’s here. Big gap, big gap, big gap, now it’s here.
Which is okay, but what you ultimately want is the holy grail, is a bit like the Uber app where you see the car, the car-
Yeah, we will reach it to air soon I hope, but it also provides the user the information to pervade damages. This is the most important part, especially for large companies. Try to imagine if you are, for example, Teva, yes the pharmaceutical company. You ship components or critical elements for a certain production line from one place to another.
Now there is a gap of a month, yes, that this container ships from Tel Aviv to New York for example. Somewhere in between there was a breach of the container or irregularity in the temperatures, yes? Besides the direct cost to the goods that are lost, you are losing the production line. You are losing cell value that can be 10 times more than the cost of the goods because of the component. The ability to prevent those damages has a tremendous effect on those type of customers and clients.
Yeah, that’s very interesting. It has lots of implications. You think about insurance, you think about supply chains, stocking levels. It’s just a huge, huge area.
But with so much to cover, I want to move us on because you then went into another new area all related. Then you went into the smart lock business, and I know you got a product line called Lokies. I initially thought that, well, that they’re called Lokies because it’s just a play on the word lock. But I believe that actually that’s not the derivation of it, is it? There’s another story there.
Well, yes, there is another story there. Lokies is a smart padlock without any keys. It’s a keyless padlock, yes? We were looking for a nice way to represent it in the name. In Hebrew lo means no, so we played around with the fact that there is no keys. Lokies is no keys in two different languages.
Okay. So if your Hebrew wasn’t great, which certainly mine wasn’t. So it’s a no key padlock, so-
… how does that work?
Well, it’s actually a fourth generation of padlocks that we develop here in t42. Our first endeavor with smart padlocks started back in 2010 with another Israeli company called Mul-T-Lock. It is part of ASSA ABLOY. It’s one of the leading companies in terms of locking systems.
When we started marketing the Tetis, we noticed that there is a segment within the transportation and the supply chain that we cannot provide services to. And those are the forwarders. They receive the container already sealed, already locked with the seal. Yes, with the custom seals and the security seals. They cannot open the doors to install the Tetis. The Tetis is a good solution for those who has have access to the container while it is open and the goods are loaded,
But not if you’ve got the seals on because you’re just not allowed to tamper with them at all.
Yes, that’s correct, so we were looking on a way to provide security service monitoring services for containers that are already locked. We thought about combining a CT-10, high-security padlock with a tracking system. We approached Mul-T-Lock here in Israel to see if they can sell us some padlocks and what we can do with that. We started working together because they were so excited about the technology and the innovation that we bring to the table. We started a joint venture with them.
We developed and successfully sold three distinguished lines of padlocks up until the Lokies, which is the first one that is completely developed, manufactured, designed, everything by t42. Basically, it is GSM GPS enabled access control unit that acts both as a tracking unit and IoT unit. It can connect to external sensors, it can tell you the state of the goods, and it can tell the exact user, yes? We can identify the user that it has access to. We can limit the access to the users based on time or location.
Max, sorry, can I interrupt? Is it something to do with the user’s cell phone? How can you identify the user, or is it a key? I mean, is there a keypad on it? How can you link the physical product to the user?
There is no physical keypad on the unit. The access is given to a specific username that has to download a specific dedicated application, and the link is down between the cell phone username and the unit.
It also combines a very unique technology that we have developed here in t42, and those are the shackles of the lock. The lock is very versatile and very flexible. Directly speaking, the shackle of the lock contains fiber optics inside. Any attempt to temper with the lock, the user will be notified.
Right, right. That system of two devices, the device and the user and the authorized access, is the same business model. By the way, I don’t know whether you are aware of this, but we enable all of the Amazon Prime drivers globally to open doors of condominiums, apartment blocks, or whatever to able to get in.
In 16% of times, the Amazon Prime driver presses the button and no one opens the door, so either they leave it on the floor… In fact, this morning when I left my house, there was a parcel on the floor on the street outside my house. Luckily, neighbors are very honest. But anyway so they’re installing the electronic device and the same thing. You have secure encrypted access by the driver with video camera so you have a record, and it actually shows how to do it.
They are now franchised. They see a huge opportunity to franchise that to all the other delivery drivers because Prime is not the only delivery driver that delivers to your house. You have UPS and FedEx and all of the delivery companies. You don’t want multiple units on your gates, gate to your house or door of your condominium complex. Very similar solution in a completely different area and a huge growth area, the tampering and the identification.
And so if we take a step back, you’ve gone from the container, huge, down to the goods within the container. Then you went from the goods within the container down to the lock. I mean, the level of granularity, there’s a pattern here. You’re getting smaller and smaller. You can imagine smart labels or whatever. I won’t ask you to divulge anything, but you can imagine smart labels and more granularity of tracking in the future.
But I wanted to actually switch. Because as I said at the beginning, in amongst all this innovation, you then went back to your roots with automotive. As you said, you split the company. You created t42, which is everything we’ve talked about so far is t42. You then with Helios, the two companies within the t42 banner, and Helios is the automotive company.
But you then went into not just basic commodity tracking as you said, but you went into electric motorbikes. I know that you enable, you power, what are known as the… They’re called Zero Motorcycles. Seriously cool company started in Santa Cruz, California known as the Tesla of the motorbike world.
This is a really very different use case to a container, but a very cool company and a very fast-growing electric motorbike company. Maybe you could talk a little bit about that and what you do for Zero.
Sure, so basically we are a tier one partner of Zero Motorcycles. As you mentioned, every Zero motorcycle that lift the factory is equipped with one of our Helios tracking units.
In case of the Zero Motorcycles, basically we enable the entire communication between the motorcycle user and the company itself. So the level of integration is so deep that we can, through our tools process, and upgrade the firmware versions of Zero components. Such as the main ECU of the unit for example, the main processor of the unit. We can upgrade the firmware of the charging unit and the batteries, yes? Each and every one of them has different firmwares. We enable the user to communicate with the motorcycle to set up charging cycles, smart cycle charging during peak and rush hours that slows.
Prices of electricity, and-
You bike your bike at 2:30 AM when the electricity is cheap or whatever.
Yes, yes. We can select whether when he wants to upgrade his firmwares and receive all information from the bike, including emergency information case needed. If somebody tries to temper with the bike or steal it or stuff like that, the information is provided directly to the user’s phone.
It’s a cooperation that we started working on back in 2017. Took us almost two years of combined and very intensive development work together with the Zero team to optimize the device to work with the electronic units that they have. Because we do feel that electronic transportation is part of the future. It’s here to stay. It will be more and more common to see, yes?
As you mentioned, it’s not a commodity solution, it’s not a simple track and trace unit. We provide added value to the user, yes, by providing additional security to the motorcycle. We provide added value to the company as they can monitor and control the devices to make sure that they are charging properly, that there is no safety issues, and they can optimize the usability of the motorcycle to using the data that we collect.
It’s a similar, although it’s completely different, a motorcycle and a container. But it’s similar in the sense that these motorcycles are move and they move quicker than a container, but they actually go global. I mean, people will buy one of these motorbikes and then they’ll go off on a tour somewhere.
And so the issue of global connectivity, consistent global connectivity, zero downtime, always being able to… Especially as you mentioned, if there’s an accident or whatever, that’s exactly when you need it. But the ability to have a range of services that differentiates the experience, the firmware upgrades or the features that you talked about, it’s something that people want to do wherever they are.
You talked about North America and the importance of Verizon coverage, but I imagine these motorbikes get sold all over and get ridden actually all over the world, aren’t they? I guess that’s another reason that you roll the Eseye connectivity into the bike presumably to make sure that you brought that benefit to Zero, the company Zero, because they need global capabilities, not regional capabilities.
That’s correct. When we pre-install the device in the unit, we have no idea, very similar to the container, where the unit will end up. We know where it starts. Yes, it’s at Zero factory. But from there it can move freely to one of the 33 or 32 different countries in which those bikes are sold.
When we are talking about those countries, once it arrives to the country, as you mentioned, the user himself can travel globally, have no idea where-
They can take it anywhere they want. It’s essential that the experience follows them because they’re in remote areas.
Yeah, and it’s a very cool. I’d encourage any listeners to this to check out zero Motorbikes’ websites. If you like bikes, there’s a lot of cool bikes on there.
We’re getting towards the end of our time slot here, and it’s been fascinating to see your journey, understand your business case and what you are delivering once you’ve got 100% global connectivity.
I wanted to come back to finish, Max, to the subject we mentioned at the start, which is your vision. Because IoT is a fascinating world. It’s a complex world, which is why we do the podcast to try and simplify it and demystify it. But it’s also a very fast-changing world, and satellite is coming. I mean, we’ve had satellite for years, Iridium, but it wasn’t practical. We have lower orbiting satellite satellites that move and we have fixed satellites. But satellite is coming and there’s now this new technology that can, as we called it, R-17 is the current name for it, but the ability for a cellular modem, which keeps the cost down to actually switch to satellite.
Now we know within Eseye, and you know with all of your device expertise, that it’s a bit more complex than that. The device has to be able to have the right firmware and also to be able to use release 17 capabilities. And also ultimately we believe, our philosophy, is that the more capabilities that the more network capabilities, there are radio access types, or RATs as they’re called, that are out there, the more choice you can put into the device. In the home you may want to choose between home WiFi, Bluetooth, cellular, for example. Containers may want to go between cellular satellite for example.
But ultimately what that means is the device gets more and more important, and this is one of our core beliefs. The device gets more and more important and the device needs to be able to have the intelligence to switch between this. Because you really want the intelligence at the edge, which means capabilities in the device.
Is that a philosophy, t42, that you believe in? That the more software based intelligence in the device, the more business value you can get to your clients?
I think it’s crucial for a company like us to implement those technologies in the devices. Simply because besides the fact that you have those variety of networks or variety of operators available, if you are unable to switch between them in an optimal way, you will waste one of the most expensive resources that you have in a battery operated device and that is battery.
If you are not able to do it efficiently, and using those capabilities, we can switch it efficiently, it’s a must have for us. It’s critical to have and critical to implement. This is something that we will always focus on improving with time.
In case there are any listeners who are a little mystified as to what specifically I’m referring to, in our case, it’s a capability called smart connect, which is device resident intelligence that does exactly what Max is talking about. That, as multi-RAT and business consumer use cases come together, our satellite becomes cheaper, it will not only provide the intelligence, but a device-based rules engine, which will allow you to optimize your battery life.
I was talking to someone going back to the beginning of… You mentioned pallets earlier on, and I was talking to one of our pallet customers where we’re embedded in the pallet. I asked the question, what does battery life optimization really mean? I understand it from technically what it means. And what they said is that, look, if you’ve got a battery that lasts five years in a pallet, you can sell that pallet as a service as opposed to as a product for five years recurring revenue.
But if you can squeeze two more years battery life out of the same battery because of decisions that you can make within the device, as opposed to going to the Cloud, which drains the battery or in the future with iSIM so you don’t have to go from the module to the separate SIM, which again takes up power and whatever. But all those little things you can do, if you could squeeze two more years of battery from the battery life out, you get two more years worth of revenue.
It’s back to where we started from. You started t42 on the premise that the money was in supply chain optimization and your pattern has been one to take it down to an atomic unit of smaller and smaller and smaller. Now the locks, and who knows where you’re going to go smaller than the locks.
But all the time what you’re doing is you are chasing the business outcome. You’re chasing the ROI. If you can extend then with battery technology, which only moves very slowly. It’s good, but it’s not like Moore’s Law. It doesn’t double every year or every 18 months. But if you can squeeze out, especially for install-based devices, more life out of the battery than the value you deliver to your customers, it just rises directly proportional to that.
A lot of people don’t think about that. They don’t think about what do I need to do to optimize the battery so I can get more revenue, a longer lifetime value out of the same products. That’s exactly what you are saying when you keep on coming back to it’s all about the battery.
Yes, it is. And in our cases, especially in the container industry, if we can squeeze or extend the battery, it’s a game changer. It’s taking nice to have solution to something that everybody would want to have.
That’s probably a great point to end. This has been fascinating. I’ve certainly learned a lot, and not just about t42, but my knowledge of Hebrew is…
But also the philosophy of your company and what you’re doing and how you’re solving problems and then how you’re taking it sideways into motorbikes and basically applying the same principles to an industry that you started in but got out of because it was a commodity. Now you’ve come full circle back into because you’re selling a value -added global solution because you can enable global connectivity and ultimately put intelligence into the device.
It’s a great case study, and I’m sure our listeners have loved listening to this. So Max, I want to just do, on behalf of Eseye and myself, thank you for being my guest on the IoT Leaders Podcast. Also, thank you very much for being one of our partners. We really appreciate it.
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