Founded in 2014, Ivani is the brainchild of Herb King, Matt Wootton, Justin McKinney, and John Wootton. The inception of the company is based on a unique, and now patented electrical control system.
Ivani today is a renowned technology and intellectual property development company focused on creating innovative human presence detection solutions. At the heart of the company’s solution is its patented Network Presence Sensing (NPS) technology, a suite of algorithms and machine learning packages, which when integrated into IoT manufacturers’ devices, can transform groups of these devices into advanced occupancy systems without adding any additional hardware.
To help readers understand Ivani’s value proposition, we conversed with the company’s Co-founder and COO, Justin McKinney. He explains the company’s advanced presence sensing technology with IoT, and how it’s creating a difference in the industry.
1. Walk us through some of the challenges that Ivani overcomes with its innovative solution.
The current state of human presence detection technology is based on motion detection with dedicated sensing devices. More advanced human sensing solutions often have invasive components such as cameras or image-based sensors which present significant privacy concerns. We address those pain points with our NPS technology which has an advanced form of motion sensing and presence detection, with other data classes like people counting and people locating to come.
What we address next is something we refer to as ‘an IoT manufacturer’s dilemma’ wherein IoT device manufacturers encounter a perpetual cost structure of cloud, maintenance, and update fees after the one-time sale of their product. Meanwhile, IoT user expectations are increasingly aligned with the improved lifetime performance of smart phones due to new and updated applications that provide ever-growing consumer benefits. We enable IoT manufacturers to drive new business models with their devices by offering the ability to sense people—an added value to basically help the manufacturer maintain a cash positive state throughout the life of a device, all the while meeting user requirements.
Furthermore, our solution falls in line with what we refer to as the ‘Tesla effect’—after someone purchases that company’s car, updates over time will bring in new functionalities, features, and performance enhancements for the car. We bring that same concept to IoT hardware. Once you purchase a typical IoT device, its functionalities will essentiality remain constant for the rest of its life.
NPS turns networked wireless communication devices into detection areas, enabling the creation of new human presence information without the addition of any physical hardware to a system
What we bring to our manufacturing partners is the opportunity to provide new experiences to their customers and users. Whether it be a new autonomous lighting control feature based on Ivani’s Change Detection data class or a security feature based on Presence Detection, new features can be made available to customers through updates to the same devices.
2. Please share some deeper insights on NPS.
NPS technology uses emergent system behavior of wireless communications and network capabilities of typical off-the-shelf wireless protocols such as Bluetooth, ZigBee, Thread, and other RF protocols to detect human presence. With the solution’s protocol-agnostic capabilities, Ivani can update network presence sensing capability to devices even if they are already deployed.
When IoT devices communicate with each other, wireless transmissions interact with the environment as they propagate, which can be analyzed through network diagnostic information. Our NPS technology typically uses three or more nodes to define a detection area, and our firmware analyzes the network diagnostics using our NPS analytics engine. In effect, NPS technology allows devices to perceive information related to human presence in their environment.
3. Can you talk about Ivani's partnerships and recognition?
In association with our valued public partner Legrand—a global leader in electrical and digital building infrastructure— we are co-developing projects to be introduced in the market later this year. Recently, in collaboration with Legrand and Samsung, we had the opportunity to provide a human detection system within the Marriott IoT Room of the Future which was a ground-breaking demonstration of multiple cutting-edge technologies working together in a hospitality guest room setting. Other partnership announcements will be announced throughout this year and beyond.
As to awards, we were recognized by Frost & Sullivan and the Thread Group with their Disruptive IoT award and Innovation Enabler award respectively. We were also accepted into the NVIDIA Inception Program and played a role in Legrand’s “Best of Pre-CES 2018” awarded by CE-Pro.
4. What is Ivani’s next big plan?
With our partners, we are currently in discussions with multiple hospitality companies to provide network presence sensing in their guest rooms and meeting spaces. NPS will provide new presence data that will be made available to the hotel’s guest management system, which will help users to identify the occupancy of a room. NPS will address certain fundamental needs that are not currently being met like cutting building energy consumption dramatically through presence-driven HVAC controls and providing housekeeping with real-time guest-room presence data to enhance guest/staff interactions and overall safety.
5. What else can we expect from Ivani in the near future?
We envision allowing a user the ability to engage with the spaces in which they live and work in new ways that make his/ her life simpler. Ivani will be announcing partnerships covering different market verticals in areas such as lighting, security and HVAC control in both residential and commercial markets.
We have several key patents in this space with dozens more pending. Our mission as a company is to provide innovative solutions to foster everyday sustainability. In the long run, we want to make an impact on sustainability, and we are doing that through Network Presence Sensing technology.