Mister Beacon Episode #33

Beacons with UWB & HDMI - Estimote

April 09, 2017

We catch-up with Estimote's CEO at the Bluetooth World Event to discuss the Beacosystem and see demos of Estimote's forthcoming UWB product and their HDMI enabled Mirror video beacon.


  • Steve Statler 00:04

    Welcome to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Beacosystem or actually, we're probably going to call this Mr. Beacon because no one can pronounce Hitchhiker's Guide to the Beacosystem. We're at the Bluetooth SIG conference and a lot of Beacon stuff going on. Very interesting. And I am with Jakub, the CEO of Estimote. And we're really excited because you guys are just doing some very cool things. First of all, thanks for talking with us.

    Jakub Kryzch 00:31

    Absolutely. A pleasure.

    Steve Statler 00:32

    Yeah, I'd love to get some demos of some of the cool new things. You're doing Ultra wideband, you're doing mirror with HDMI. And then I'd like to just pick your brains about where the ecosystem is going and get your commentary because it's always interesting.

    Jakub Kryzch 00:45

    So today, we're showing the new version of location beacons. So the beacons has been updated with the Utah wideband radio. So in addition to the Bluetooth five chip to have new radio, and the radio will allow us for the beacons to talk to each other and the measure the distance precise distance between each other. So let me show you some cool demos here. So as you can see here on the floor, we have four beacons, I'll just put them randomly as a square. Yeah, so I have a little demo app. The app is now through the mesh network enabling the UW B radio. So as you can see, beacons are blinking. So now they are measuring there's several several times sending information back and forth. And is it resolved very quickly, you have a they mentioned of the figure, or the map they've been they created. So you see that they mentioned substitution. So let me kind of play a little bit. Because if I, if I turn it into rest restaurant, we'll do it again. So as you can see the demand the app is now recalculating. And as a result, I'm going to see a new floor plan for this setup, so it's a rectangle.

    Steve Statler 02:04

    So Ultra wideband is normally associated with very high precision location. So why not just use Ultra wideband, why still stick with the Bluetooth?

    Jakub Kryzch 02:13

    That is correct. So utilize band because of a little bit a little bit wider radio radio span, it is it is possible to achieve time of flight technology measurements. So you know, it can be as precise as one inch one two centimeters precision between the nodes. The only challenge is that the ultra wideband still is a little bit more challenging from the power consumption perspective. So for our beacons, we use the ultra wideband as an initial setup. So when you have, let's say, 50 or 100 beacons, and you would like to map a space, so you basically put the beacons on the wall, through the mesh network, you enable the ultra wideband, it's going to measure very quickly within a minute, the distance, and then the usual, wideband radio will be shut off. And of course, the location will continue to use on top of the Bluetooth signals, which is, you know, way more efficient from the power consumption perspective.

    Steve Statler 03:09

    So why is this? You know, kind of cool, but what's the problem that you're solving with that?

    Jakub Kryzch 03:14

    Well, it's a fundamental problem of time to deploy beacons at scale. So if you're a chain of if your chips store chain, like having hundreds of stores and 1000s of stores, and you would like to add scale, deploy hundreds of hundreds of 1000s of beacons, well, you need a method that can be done through software. You know, in the past, this was people working with a map and putting the beacons in the precise, you know, locations and measuring the distance and taking some floor plans from architects, well, it is too much hassle, it costs too much, it takes too long. So this technology is a pure software solution. You could have beacons, the map will be created automatically. And you can build your proximity or location applications on top of it. So it's a fundamental problem for deploying or big unifying physical world.

    Steve Statler 04:08

    Yeah, deployment is just a real key dependency on these us accelerating what's going on. So I think you're, what you're doing is important. And we were talking before this, I have a client who, who basically bought dedicated Ultra wideband kit to do this ground truth and now having it built in I can see you're really going to save a lot of time and just make it easier and you don't have to have specialist people doing it. That was super easy to do.

    Jakub Kryzch 04:36

    Absolutely. Absolutely. We believe that the physical world is going to be this kind of new canvas for future developers and designers. So you know, in the past, we used to design like piece of last year and like pixels and my mouse cursor. You know, we believe that this is going to be the new canvas. And there should be an easy way to to develop these apps and put together Doing application infrastructure. So very excited. So it's a new product and new revision. We're going to ship next month. If you go to Estimote comm you can order and very excited to be here and show it to you.

    Steve Statler 05:11

    Yeah. Let's look at another demo. Let's look at mirror, should we, I'll help you, I'll grab these pumpkins we don't want because they're pretty cool. Don't want people running off with them. And let's go and walk around the show floor and see the mirror.

    Jakub Kryzch 05:30

    Okay, but what are you looking for. So another cool product we're also showing today, it's called estimate mirror. It's a it's a first in the world video beacon. So as you can see, it has both HDMI, and USB, and you just connect it to any display MTV.

    Steve Statler 05:47

    So we can just go back and play we'll see.

    Jakub Kryzch 05:49

    Yeah, so basically, it is going to be, it's going to be attached like that in the in the back of the panel. And what it does, it turns the display into an active smart, intelligent display that is sensing the Bluetooth signals. So whenever the display is listening to the application signals, or signals coming from water, because it can react so I can show you some demos. So here in the shoes, we have stickers, it's another product, it's a tiny, tiny beacons. So if I if I, if I make the shoes outside, now you can see this previous reacting. If I if I take another shoe, it is responding love. So basically, this is a tiny computer, you know, attached to a screen that is now fully responding to actions that user took in front of the screen. So whether you have an app and the app is sending the signals with your content could be your name could be your your your flight number could be you know, any content you wish, or it also can take signals from from beacons and respond to their movement, your action. So we're very excited. We're just you know, moving the contextual computing, you know, technology to the next level, it's not only the screen to push notifications and to engage with you. Now it's the wall is the digital wall is the displays the projector.

    Steve Statler 07:12

    And that is so important because we've always been limited by getting someone to download an app, or kind of getting to grips with the browser with the Physical Web. Now you don't basically everyone can interact with beacons, because it's in the product display. And also your addressable audience is 100% of the people in the venue rather than the 5% that have got the app?

    Jakub Kryzch 07:35

    Absolutely. And there is also no question that beacons will get into ordinary objects. So you know, as soon as possible, so we have already customers, integrating, you know, beacons during the manufacturing process into the furnitures. Toys, on devices. So there is no question that in the future, all the objects in the store in the retail store, there will be be quantified, you will be able to engage either to display it is through phone, the data will be collected. So the store manager can access you know, how many people tried to choose today, you know, what, how many impressions. So, you know, it's exciting that this physical world is getting digital, and you have full control as developers and designers, you can build amazing, magical experiences.

    Steve Statler 08:17

    Very cool. And so you're gonna be presumably will be integrating with the CMS is that control digital displays?

    Jakub Kryzch 08:27

    Yeah, so Estimote we know we believe that it is not possible to design like one CMS for all the kind of application in the physical world. So we already working with number of companies building CMS for museums for airports, retail stores. So as a company, we expose API's, so those partners, they they see all the beacons, all the data, all the analytics data or the permissions, and they just make it part of their applications and part of their system. So very developer focused company, we have SDKs, for Android for iOS, and restful API's for other platforms. So that's the kind of philosophy behind.

    Steve Statler 09:08

    So I think you will like the third CEO that we interviewed on the show, so thanks for helping us get started. And I asked you a question, which I think kind of stumped you, which was what are the three tracks that you would take to Mars? Because you're like, super visual, and we can see that with this just amazing design. So I'm going to ask you, what are the three pictures or paintings that you would take?

    Jakub Kryzch 09:29

    I'm going to actually focus on one so as you know, our research and development center is in Europe, it's in Krakow. It's a very old, you know, kind of Renaissance architecture city in the central of Europe. And believe me or not, but in Krakow, we have Leonardo da Vinci's paintings, one of the one of his masterpieces. It's called a lady with a wooden Ehrmann. I don't know if you're familiar, I think Mona Lisa is much more famous. This is also an Nice nice painting. All right, so it's authentic Leonardo da Vinci and as you can only find it in in Krakow in the museum. So I think I will take this one just to remind me the central Europe and I love it and cultures there. So tomorrow Sunday.

    Steve Statler 10:14

    Jakub, CEO of Estimote Thanks. Thanks a lot, doing some great work.