Mister Beacon Episode #165
Powering Ambient IoT Bluetooth Devices with BackscatterNovember 08, 2022
There’s more than one way to get rid of batteries on an Ambient IoT device. Jeeva’s CEO explains their approach and how the technology was incubated by the University of Washington. How does this technology differ from that of Wiliot’s battery-free solution? It all comes down to backscatter, or reflective energy from existing RF signals.
We’ll dive into all the applications for low power devices and much more on this week’s episode of the Mr. Beacon Podcast.
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Steve Statler 00:00
Welcome to the Mr. Beacon podcast. This week, we've got a very interesting guest Vamsi Talla, who's the CEO and co-founder of Jeeva. Jeeva is a fascinating startup, they came out of University of Washington, and they have pioneered the commercialization of a technology called backscatter. So we'll explain what backscatter is. But it basically allows you to eliminate or certainly reduce the use of batteries in radio communication. It's the technology at the heart of RFID. And Jeeva, has been using it for all sorts of really interesting things. Some people might look at Jeeva and see them as a competitor to Wiliot. But even though my day job is it really up we've always prided ourselves in covering alternatives to what we do on the show, The Show predates Wiliot as a company and we've had all sorts of different technologies on there, our goal is to try and get smarter and spread the information around about ambient IoT. So ambient IoT is the thing that I think will solve many very, very large problems. And if we're going to do it, we need to be smart about what the different tools are in the kitbag. So have a listen to my conversation with Vamsi. And I think you'll learn some interesting stuff about what backscatter can be used for and what it can't be used for in this ambient IoT. And Mr. Beacon, the ambient IoT podcast is sponsored by Wiliot, bringing intelligence to Every Single Thing. Vamsi, welcome to the Mr. Beacon, ambient IoT podcast, it's great to have you on the show.
Vamsi Talla 01:57
Like likewise, it's a pleasure to be here.
Steve Statler 02:00
Well, as we were discussing, this podcast has been going for more than five years now, over 160 episodes. And we pride ourselves on having, you know, a diverse set of technologies. It's not just about Bluetooth, we have competing auto ID technologies. And I think I have been fascinated by what the University of Washington has been doing with, with Bluetooth technology and with a with a technology called backscatter or a technique, I should say, called backscatter. And University of Washington has created volumes of intellectual property, I know that your company Jeeva, wireless, has got an amazing catalogue of patents. And I feel a little bit conflicted because, you know, Willie looked at backscatter in the early days, and we decided to use a different technique. So I'm really looking forward to getting to the bottom of what is backscatter, how it works, how its applied, what are the problems that it solves from talking to you? And hopefully, we'll end up a little bit smarter as a result of the conversation. So maybe I should hand the baton over to you. Can you just give us the elevator pitch for Jeeva? What does Jeeva do?
Vamsi Talla 03:25
Yep. Thanks, Steve. So Jeeva is basically trying to reinvent the way people think and implement about wireless communication, wireless connectivity. So in a nutshell, Jeeva, is commercializing a technique that you mentioned, backscatter. And the basic idea is how can we build a ultra low power wireless connectivity solution? And that Jeeva does that by using a technical backscatter where instead of generating our own radio signal, RF signal, that's what all radios do, we instead reflect existing signals to create data packets. So the way I like to sort of explain in a at a very high level is, rather than using your own flashlight to generate light, what if I use a mirror to just reflect an existing signal, and that way, we can actually communicate at orders of magnitude lower power, so we're talking about implementing Bluetooth and Wi Fi at 100 to 1000 times less power. An added benefit of that is not only is the power lower, but the solution would be smaller because the silicon required to implement backscatter is very small. So think of RFID tags, that's what backscatter does for you, you can have these tags costing a few cents. You can use them you can throw them, you can reuse them, but they're gonna so be so cheap, and the fact that they're small, you can put them everywhere. So we bring that same benefit but to Wi Fi, Bluetooth ZigBee all the other protocols that people have built. So our idea is to use backscatter but stand off, stand on top of existing wireless protocols to basically build the next wave of ambient IoT computing as you put it.
Steve Statler 05:06
Very good. Well, thanks for that. And we'll drill into that in a little bit more detail. But you pointed out bank scatters used in RFID. At the moment, it's kind of a reflection or re modulation of a stronger signal that you then reflect back. And I think the University of Washington has done some, and maybe we should explain what is your relationship with the University of Washington, then we can get into some of the applications and so forth?
Vamsi Talla 05:36
Yeah, absolutely. So I basically was a PhD student when I joined University of Washington in Seattle in 2010. So I, I, I joined to study electrical engineering. And then and I joined Josh Smith, who was my PhD advisor. And then I also work with Shambala Kota. Both of them are also co founders of Giwa, with two other grad students, Aaron Fox and Bryce Kellogg. So we have been fibres have been working in this space starting outside 2011 2012. So University of Washington has a lot of expertise, as you mentioned in backscatter technology, and the lineage belongs to my advisor, Josh Smith. He used to work at Intel Labs back in the day, and then he can be Yoda, but in 2010, and to sort of give a little bit of history of where Jeeva came about, I think the sort of the genesis is this technique called ambient backscatter. So back in 2012, when we were all sort of early on in this field, and everybody thought of Oh, backscatter means RFID. So we were like, can we do more than that? So, so this was sort of a lightbulb moment for us, which is, back in the day, Josh showed that you can actually take TV signals, and harvest small amount of powers, power from TV towers within a kilometer or within like two or three kilometers, five kilometers, depending on how strong it is, you can actually harvest that power charge a small capacitor. And then you can do some interesting things with it. Like E Ink, you can probably transmit a packet, maybe once every few minutes, once every 10 minutes or so depending on how much energy you have. But then you're like, wait a second, it's interesting, but it's very hard to do anything with it. Because it takes so long to send a packet of data to like, if we have this ambient signals, we are harvesting them, can we reflect them and do communication between back battery devices. So that was sort of our sort of insight, which sort of started this whole field. And then in 2012 2013, we actually published a seminal paper on ambient backscatter sitcom, where we basically showed that yes, if you have two battery, few tags, those two tags can harvest ambient TV signals. But more importantly, they can actually use a small transistor, reflect that ambient signal and do communication between two battery tags. So now you can see our application where if you're in a library, you, you can put these tags, you don't have to put expensive RFID readers, if you have ambient signals, you don't need to coordinate anything, you don't need an Internet backhaul, you can create your own sort of mesh network of devices, which can talk to each other in a very free, ubiquitous way. So that was sort of the sort of the genesis of this idea of back scatter. And then we were like, if we can do a TV with TV, then we extended that to Wi Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, Laura, all other protocols, we can think of and sort of have this platform of technologies that can be used for a variety of applications. Did you
Steve Statler 08:45
do something with cellular, I have this vague recollection of someone an article about using backscatter for cellular communications for mobile phones.
Vamsi Talla 08:54
Yeah. So we also, we have also done FM and cellular as well. So we actually use cellular for some interesting application, like, obviously, we were able to harvest. But then we also tried reflecting cellular signals. We also back in the day, I also did a very interesting project, where basically, you can use hand motions to change how signals are reflected from the body and use that as a way to gesture with the phone. So if you have a phone, and if you want to just interact with your phone, like snap your fingers or like do kind of hand gestures. And because your cellular phone is basically recording sort of monitoring ambient signals, then if you move your hand it changes the signature of the signals, and then you can actually interact with them as well. So so we have done a host of things with cellular signals as well both harvesting and interacting with them or communicating and backscattering cellular signals as well but as you would get into I'm assuming a bit later but cellular signals are tricky to work with because they are sporadic,
Steve Statler 09:56
low frequency hopping and they also The signal strength tends to fluctuate because those cellular engineers is super smart. And they only broadcast a signal as strong as they need to. And so it's very challenging, right? Yes,
Vamsi Talla 10:12
yes, I learned networks are very sophisticated they have to be because that's how we all can have like 1000s of cell phones in one cell. And they do very precise power control, very precise timing. And that is unpredictable if you're not part of the network. And that was a challenge. And that's why we moved away from cellular to more popular standards like Wi Fi and Bluetooth, where they are more free to control.
Steve Statler 10:40
So how sophisticated can the devices be, and I'm gravitating in my mind to the beacon, the auto ID device? But obviously, you can use this for other things. And I do want to get back to what are the applications? I don't want to assume that everything's a beacon just because this is the Mr. Beacon podcast. But how? So clearly, you can re modulate re modulated signal, you can bounce it back and encode different data in it. But how much what sort of ability if you're using backscatter do you have to do more complex logic? At the other end of it? It seems like, if it's in the moment, then you've just got kind of this mirror and you're like flipping it this way. And that what about things like encryption and syncing? And that sort of thing? Is that possible when you're using backscatter?
Vamsi Talla 11:35
Yeah, absolutely. And I think the way maybe I'll take us one step back. So if you look at any IoT device, you have few different things that every device needs to do. So we talked a lot about communication, that's one piece of it, you will also have some computation, and you will talk about encryption, which is sort of sensing and computation, sorry, computation and communication, then you also have sensing piece of it, and then power delivery piece of it. So the way to think about backscatter is, how can you replace the radio with something else. So if you so we, we can talk about concrete examples, but the, it's the way we look at is it's a jigsaw puzzle, and all pieces have to fit together. And if you have a jigsaw puzzle, where radio has a big piece in it, in terms of a power that can be replaced that jigsaw piece, and Kodak put backscatter in it, and then the whole jigsaw, the pie becomes smaller and more efficient.
Steve Statler 12:31
Okay. So the other pieces of the jigsaw, if one piece of a central piece of the jigsaw is the communications bit, then maybe you can use other complementary techniques for the other pieces of the jigsaw. So I'm guessing that those could use a battery, or they could use energy harvesting, where you're charging up a capacitor. And maybe you do the computation over time or the sensing over time using using that. So do you have one of your devices here?
Vamsi Talla 13:03
Yeah, so um, let's see if we can show it. Yeah. Oh, yeah. So printed circuit board. Yep. So here, what you see here is just a standard SD Micro electronics MCU. It's a Bluetooth soc. And then this is the piece that is new with our technology over here with just one switch. So this is an example of a device which has a Bluetooth soc. It also has basically here you will see a gyro like an ST. Six axis IMU, which other accelerometer and gyroscope. So we are building like this new sort of interactive device, which basically is tracking the orientation and the acceleration of basically an input device. And standard way is you use a Bluetooth radio, get date data, establish a Bluetooth connection, and then you transmit that data over an antenna. So what we are basically doing is okay, you're doing all those pieces, but your radio is typically when it's transmitting a packet, it's gonna consume on this board about 12 to 15 milliwatts of power like peak power when it's actively transmitting. And that's
Steve Statler 14:09
a lot of people will be listening to this, some people watch it on YouTube, some people will be listening on iTunes or Spotify. So for the listeners, then this is looks like it's about like one centimeter by maybe four or five centimeters, and it's a printed circuit board and it's got the normal chip. So this is not sort of in the world of Willy out then we just have stickers but this is something that has got more chips on it, we just have a single chip you have many many chips there and things like gyroscopes, which we don't do because you know that any chip like that is more you know consumes more power. So how do you power all these other chips that are okay, so you have a little battery? Here that A VA that is used to power, you just flipped it over. And I see the battery now for powering the sensors that do the gyroscope. But I'm assuming so the benefit of backscatter in this context is just much longer battery life because I'm not having to power wireless communications, I'm just having to power, the sensing and the computation piece is that the general gist of it?
Vamsi Talla 15:25
Absolutely. So this has a CR 1220. So if you don't use a radio, and if you're transmitting X 120 hertz, or so, which is the rate at which you would need to basically build an application, this bad battery may only last a few hours. But if you use backscatter, and this is sort of an I'll get a bit into the techniques of how we do it. But this is something we call an SOC retrofit solution. So as you pointed out, we'll yet have custom silicon and we have built silicon for different implementation of backscatter. But for Bluetooth, we are going with a solution where our customers can just add, like I showed here, one switch, and a form where module running on the existing SOC that they already have. So this, okay, this basically eases their deployment, because they don't have to build a new silicon into their product, they just have to license the firmware, one transistor, and then they can build their application extend the battery life by three to five to 10x, depending on how they're implementing it.
Steve Statler 16:22
Right, that makes sense. So what are the applications that you've decided to focus backscatter on Where where are the sweet spots for you, because you kind of described my the venture capitalists and he was like, suddenly, the matrix of different things you could do is like, huge. So what did you decide to focus on?
Vamsi Talla 16:43
Yeah. So I think that is one of the challenges of a startup and entrepreneur, and especially if you're trying to build a platform. So this is sort of, I think, it's called the devil's curse in a way that we can do so many things. But at the same time, you have to really focus. So the way I tend to look at our we tend to look at backscatter is, our focus right now is high data rate streaming. So we are really focused in electronic, portable, wearable space, and trying to focus more on controllers. So if you have game controllers, AR VR, current controller input devices like stylus, Apple Pencil, there are so many of these devices that use Bluetooth nowadays, but their battery life is somewhere between eight to 12 hours, or maybe in some cases, 24 hours, but it's mainly because the radio drains the battery. So we are focused on those applications to basically allow our customers to add this one transistor, and basically upgrade their existing Bluetooth solution with that technique, we call bt plus, so it's like, we are adding backscatter to an existing Bluetooth platform and giving this capability of using backscatter and, and that's also really beneficial for our customers, because if they choose, they can still use a traditional radio, because this SD chip still has a Bluetooth, radio, they can still talk regular Bluetooth, but if they wish to choose that, if they have the right application, they can turn off a flip switch and use our library and then stream data at using backscatter. So they get the best of both worlds. And though those high data rate application for streaming audio, are basically streaming accelerometer gyroscope information at 6120 180 hertz, that's where the radio consumes a lot of power, because you really cannot do the cycle the radio, if you turn the radio off, it doesn't matter. But if you have to always turn it on, then you can bring that power really low with backscatter.
Steve Statler 18:42
That's great. So game game controllers, stylus keyboards, is that.
Vamsi Talla 18:50
Yep. I think keyboards and mice and other input devices are also definitely doable with backscatter.
Steve Statler 18:56
And what about remote controls for TVs?
Vamsi Talla 19:00
Again, I think you're you're, you're talking exactly the kind of application that you're looking at is basically all these controllers, TV remote controllers, as well, which can all benefit from lower power. And then our, our sort of vision is like doing it in this way, which where we add an existing switch, and we don't have our own silicon doesn't give us the 100 or 1,000x that we can do if we have our own silicon. But that's sort of where we want to go to, but everybody has to iterate and get there.
Steve Statler 19:34
Right, right. So that's where we kind of went separate paths, you know, similar set of expertise and interest and so forth. And we went, we're going to design our own chip, and we're going to go completely battery free and we want the stick of format and you've found some, I think, very compelling applications where you could use other people's silicon you've developed silicones it's not like you don't know how to do it, but it's expensive to do that. Right. So. And so where are you at as a company? You've been, I think, going longer than Willie out. So how many years have has your has Jeeva been going for?
Vamsi Talla 20:17
So we have been around for about six years now. So we stand out from university in 2016, summer of 2016. So it's been around six, six and a half years.
Steve Statler 20:27
And so is it. What size company is it? Today?
Vamsi Talla 20:34
So right, right now, we are actually pretty small. So now we are a six member team. So we grew quite quite a bit last year and early this year, but then we like all startups, we are facing some headwinds. So we are to sort of downsize a bit early this year. So right now we are six employees,
Steve Statler 20:53
the core team, and and what are you seeing in terms of? So you've been going for six years? I'm sure you've had a number of customers in that time, what what are the ones where you've got the most? What do you look back on with the with the most pride and as the things that, you know, are setting the direction for the company? What What would you look back on? I would say, maybe you don't need to name names, but to the kind of projects?
Vamsi Talla 21:21
Yeah, definitely. I would say our first chip that we built back in? Well, we started the process in 2019. And then we all know what happened in 2020. So so so we had some setbacks and challenges. But we got our chips back at the end of 2020. And then we launched our first commercial product. So our first chip is called parser, which implements backscattered, using ZigBee, and Laura 900 megahertz, and that was focused on supply chain automation. And I'm really proud of the fact that we basically got to a product with first cell first rev up this elegant, which is really, really unheard of. So I'm really proud of the team. And the kind of dedication, we have to show especially in the challenging times of remote work with hardware, which no pun intended, but was really, really hard work. Plus, we had some supply chain issues as everybody else has faced during that phase, but our first silicon it has bugs, like any silicon, but it's actually good enough to basically get to a product where we we can actually transmit data while consuming a quarter of a milli watt. So we are transmitting data packets at 250 micro watts, which I believe is the lowest power consumption of any commercial wireless connectivity is a solution that you can buy.
Steve Statler 22:46
Very good. And so what it would be interesting to know, you know, what was the foundation story? What, what was it that kind of tipped you over from you're doing your PhD you have the academic life? What what happened to make you decide to cut those ties and not go into teaching, or whatever and, and do what you're
Vamsi Talla 23:15
doing. So I think I've been a bit lucky in that sense that the opportunity presented itself, because when I was doing my Bachelor's back in India, I've always sort of had this dream of sort of, obviously, I was always interested in technology and doing research. But my sort of Northstar was if I can develop a technology and commercialize it, that would be the ideal career that I would like to have. And I was lucky enough to work with so so many great people, including Josh, Bryce, and Aaron, that we that develop this really, really amazing technology. We won a lot of best paper awards and stuff. But more importantly, we used to get, basically, we used to be contacted by all the companies saying, Hey, this is really exciting. We have applications for it. Can we buy it? Or do you have any plans of commercializing it? And when so many people, people actually tell you that there is a market need, then it was really obvious for us to say that. Yep, there is something here and let's give it a shot. And like I said, just something that I've always wanted to do. And when that opportunity presents itself, I didn't even think think about it for a second. That was something I've always wanted to do. And I'm really happy that I chose that path.
Steve Statler 24:36
And you've, I think, benefited a lot from the excitement around this. This technology. And looking at your side you got coverage from CNN and the Economist. How did you get the economists to write about you? What was the trigger for that?
Vamsi Talla 24:56
I think I would say it's first of all, I think it economy's covered up passive Wi Fi technology where where we showed that we can basically transmit Wi Fi packets about 10,000 times less power. So I think there are two reasons for it. Number one, we built a very compelling sort of technology, because everybody, everybody who's listening, listening to the podcast has had that experience when you have your phone, and it's running low on battery. And it's mainly because your cellular or Wi Fi is connected, and it's sort of draining power. So that has been a problem everybody has faced. So I think that really struck a chord with the folks and economists saying, Hey, that's a problem we all face. And these, the scientists have solved, solved it. So let's, let's go and talk to them. And I think, in addition to that, University of Washington is a great institution, we have a great track record. And they also do a really good job of sort of given us the tools of how to present the story to the outside world, because our, our basically, research is funded not only by the university, but by the National Science Foundation. So it is our duty as scientists to let the people know what we are doing with the tax dollars, as well as being a public university, we have an obligation to sort of educate the world about what's coming down the line. So I would say a combination of doing exciting research and the fact that University of Washington has a really good infrastructure in place to get the word out. Were the reasons that we could get coverage on CNN and economist and BBC and other folks.
Steve Statler 26:39
That is interesting. Yeah, my recollection of college, which is very fond was we got a presentation skills training course. And that was it. So it sounds like there's something more to University of Washington, what what did they do to help you get to PR,
Vamsi Talla 26:56
so they have a whole, they have a department who are. So I remember this person, Jennifer, who is a proactive, like, I mean, she knows how to write the stories, they also gave us, like they had dedicated photographers, and people who would come and shoot the demo video with us, they will do all the editing, and they would create professional looking like videos that we will upload to YouTube. And then obviously, we would get contacted by reporters, and we'll talk to them and they would help us sort of they will train us basically, because if we if I give the same presentation that I give, give, give give to my fellow colleagues in a conference that's not going to fly with report. So I think those training, and it is a skill set that I immensely respect the skill set that you need to have and and it took a while for us to understand how to say the right things. More importantly, like try to make sure that what we are saying is being presented in the way that folks can understand. So I think a factor all those factors are contributed to basically us getting the coverage that we got.
Steve Statler 28:16
Very good. Well, I've MC I've enjoyed this. Is there anything that I should have asked you, I feel like this has been quite a quick conversation. But it's really helped me I just saw University of Washington as being these incredible experts in the in the field. And so it's been fun for me to talk to you, but anything else that you want to make sure that we cover whilst we're on online.
Vamsi Talla 28:43
I think the one thing that I would like to sort of point out that this is like trying to build a new technology, especially one that is so dramatically different than how people think about radios has been a challenge and a learning experience. And what I really want to stress upon is that this is sort of the beginning of the journey for the technology and for us as well. And if you look back in history, like the way I like to think about is Wi Fi like nowadays, nobody has to do anything Wi Fi work seamlessly everywhere. But you will remember back in the late 90s, when if you had to buy a router, it would take hours to set it up and it would sporadically work. And there's a lot of people who are working day and night to get the technology to where we are. And the way I look at backscatter is that it's interesting. But it is a technology which needs more work. And we are on that path. And I truly believe that I don't know maybe a few years down the line five or 10 years. I don't necessarily know because nobody can predict the future but I have the conviction that backscatter would become mainstream. It has its own set of challenges and being sort of a scientist and who really believes in the laws of physics, I would like to point out that there are trade offs with backscatter. So it gives you that immense low power consumption. But, but the trade off is that the range is less. So you do trade off range for power consumption. And that's sort of the, the sort of the laws of physics or to agree to, because there is no free lunch. So I don't want to,
Steve Statler 30:24
exactly, you know, I think that's really commendable to focus on where the kind of the development areas are. And, you know, I remember when we were looking at it, the idea, our idea was the sort of a bucket and you can fill it up. And so potentially, the signal that you broadcast theoretically can be stronger than the signal that you're harvesting from. Whereas when you're doing backscatter, you're kind of reflecting back, and the signal will never be because it can never be 100% efficient, it's always going to be slightly weaker or weaker than the signal that you that you get but,
Vamsi Talla 31:03
but actually hold that thought, because I think one of the innovations that we did recently is, basically we have this technique called a reflection amplifier. So what that allows you to do is you can actually reflect more power than you get in. And the thing is, so if you want to go into specifics, so like, if you're getting a very low amount of power, let's say minus 30, dBm. And that's basically one nanobot. That's very, very low amount of power. So what we have shown is that you can get a one and a one out and reflect 10 nanobots. So that's about 10 DB, or like 10 times more power, but because you're amplifying one, and our to turn that outward, the amount of energy that requires you to do is probably like 100 microwatts. Whereas if you have to transmit that amount of power, you're limited by your, I'm going to bet more technical details here. But it's like the local oscillator would limit it. Even if you transmit zero DBM or minus 20, or minus 30, there is a minimum amount of milliwatts of power, you need to generate 2.4 gigahertz. But if you're only reflecting a nanobot to 10, Nano, what you only need 100 Micro water also of power. So that's what I was trying to get to is that as we love these techniques, we can basically get closer and closer to what a radio can do with the techniques like reflection amplifiers to incrementally increase the range. So as an example, the board that I showed you, if you use the passive, that are glued to train this, I would say about three meters from a base station. But with a reflection amplifier, now we can approximately double it about five to six meters. So so doing these techniques and building on top of what folks have done would allow us to really get get to a point which I truly believe in, in the near near future that backscatter would get pretty close to radios. Or alternatively, there will be a host of application, where you can actually be seeing radios being replaced by backscatter and get to a point where ie either the devices have significantly longer battery life, or we can basically achieve this vision of battery free IoT with a combination of all these techniques, because, like you point pointed out at the conference like we are racing towards a climate catastrophe and one company, one technology won't be able to cut it. So we need this host of solutions to help us get to that point. And I truly believe backscatter would be part should be part part of that arsenal.
Steve Statler 33:43
And in the case of that reflective amplifier, then the supplementary power is coming from the battery, or the super capacitor or whatever it is that so you still haven't eliminated the battery, but you're just using the battery more efficiently. Is that the basically the benefit? Yeah, yep. Yeah, I absolutely believe there's different tools for different jobs. And in a world of ambient IoT, which, actually this is the first or second week where we've used ambient IoT in the name of the podcast. It's we've always talked about digital physical convergence, but I think ambient IoT is actually a better description, because it encompasses this world where the digital and physical coming together, but it also implies a level of efficiency and cost reduction, which and it's just cooler name, where we're using that and we're using it because 3g GPP is, is using Ambien IoT as as the basis of some of the new standards that will be rolling out In devices that will become part of the telephony standards that that make up 5g and six G. And so I think it's certainly not just going to be a world of really art in that space. In fact, it can be we need different solutions with that are competing head on and different solutions that are complementary, which is sounds sounds like this, what you're working on, on is, but it's all within this bigger category of ambient IoT, putting smart devices that can can communicate into places where it was never feasible before because of costs and size. And so I feel like we're all part of a broader category, a broader community trying to solve some really big problems with this groundbreaking technology. So Vamsi, I'm keen to hear what music you've selected to talk about on the show. What were your your three songs? Or what was your first the first of your three songs?
Vamsi Talla 36:06
So first, the first song is basically it's a Hindi song. So I grew up in India, so it's called Yari dusty, which tracks by KK, so it translates into friendship. So so so that's one of my all time favorite songs. So I would, and I grew up listening that for a long time, like, especially in my teenage years,
Steve Statler 36:29
and where would you hear that song? When you were a teenager? Was it on the radio? Or would people play it so?
Vamsi Talla 36:37
So it's radio and TV as well back back in my teenage years MTV and Channel V. I don't know if you remember, but those are pretty popular. So I used to definitely listen to them. And I also used to have the cassette. Back in the day where we use a Walkman, the Sony Walkman.
Steve Statler 36:54
I remember he was just thinking about those the other day, what a beautiful thing they were either so amazing, couldn't believe that they could fit music into something that's small, and now it's like, gone to the next level. Let's what else cool.
Vamsi Talla 37:10
Yeah, I was just gonna say when I think back, I used to have a Walkman. And then I upgraded to the disc man, when you had to have CDs, and we used to burn CDs. And then I got my first iPod, I think was in 2009, or eight or nine. And that was a treat to have that tiny thing and hold like 1000s of songs.
Steve Statler 37:29
Phenomenal. So you had the one with the wheel, which you use your thumb to go around that? No,
Vamsi Talla 37:34
the first Yes, though. The wheel. Nano nano so Oh, yeah, yeah, I had the Nana
Steve Statler 37:41
has those were incredible as well. In fact, I think my father in law just gave up his nano was just the perfect form factor for him. Okay, so that's song number one. What about song number two?
Vamsi Talla 37:55
So lesson number two is, is the reason by Hoobastank. Okay, that came out in 2003 when I was still in high school. And that's a song about sort of having self doubt. So I kind of relate to that song because like, as teenagers, especially in high school, you are sort of grappling with so many things. And that song really related to me. And actually, I don't remember the lyrics anymore. But there was a time when I remember those, like, I could sing the whole song. And I think that's one of the ones that I really, really, I shouldn't listen to reason once in a while.
Steve Statler 38:32
And I'm not familiar with the artist. It's
Vamsi Talla 38:36
the band is called who best Hank, they're, they're basically a rock band. I think they're American if I'm not wrong,
Steve Statler 38:45
okay. All right. And what's number three?
Vamsi Talla 38:49
Number three, I would say is a bit of a cliche. It's Stairway to Heaven. It's one of the all time greatest songs and one and the reason I really remember it fondly, is that used to be our go to song back in college. So during my undergrad days back in India, like everybody would play it actually have a friend who would not leave. Like every day, he would only exit his dorm room after listening to Sarah to have the full acoustic version for like, 1314 minutes. And unless the song like we're like, Dude, we are getting late or like we are we are going to miss the class. Nope. That has to be the way he starts his day. So that's why I have so many fond memories.
Steve Statler 39:34
Well, it's a wonderful piece of music. And that's, that's cool. And you were talking about Hindi. Music, the beginning there, and it just I don't know what your opinion is of our new prime minister in England. But we have someone who is our first non Caucasian A Hindu person is Prime Minister. I think it's amazing. I think it's like our Barack Obama moment. I'm not sure I agree with him not going to cop 27. But I'm, I'm kind of excited by that. I don't know what your opinion is on it. But
Vamsi Talla 40:22
I haven't had the time to follow British politics to be honest. I follow American and Indian politics, and there's so much going on. That's more than that. But I'm sort of excited by by sort of looking at his I think, again, I think the bar wasn't that high with less stress. So I think so I think it's all relative after Boris Johnson and less stress, I think this is definitely improvement. I'm, I'm optimistic, cautiously optimistic. So I, yeah. So let's hope for the best for for the UK and the world.
Steve Statler 40:55
Absolutely. Whether you're on the left or the right. We all have a vested interest in Ricci Synack. Digging England or the United Kingdom out of some of the challenges, some Well, very good, MC, thanks very much for your time. I've really enjoyed it. I feel like I got a bit smarter as a result of listening to you. So the Osmosis is working. Thanks very much.
Vamsi Talla 41:20
Likewise, it it. It was great talking to you as well, Steve. All the best. Yeah. Thanks. Thanks. See ya. Bye. Bye.
Steve Statler 41:30
So that was the conversation with with Vamsi I really enjoyed it feel like a lot. Hopefully you did to appreciate your staying with us to the end. And as you're clearly hardcore listener to this show, or at least this episode, please do. Spread the word. Let your friends know share on social media and like us on whatever platform you're using. And until next time, stay safe.