Mister Beacon Episode #20
Visual Light Communication (VLC), BLE & the IoTNovember 06, 2016
We learn how Visual Light Communication (VLC) can be combined with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and integrate with the Internet of Things (IoT) to enable new disruptive functionality. Greg Carter, Acuity Brands General Manager for IoT explains this and why the largest provider of lighting systems in the USA is so well positioned to drive adoption of these technologies.
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Greg Carter 00:00
And we can get down within about 10 centimeters. But it's not just the XY coordinates, we can also because of the angle get the z coordinate, right. So we're really able to detect a position in space in three dimensions you we've already got a deployed over 30 million square feet in the retail space. So it's out there, it's being heavily used. We're getting feedback, and we're expanding the number of use cases, IoT has gained the mindshare. Like if you there have been a number of recent studies done with CEOs, and it's something like 90% of them expect to do major IoT projects in the next five years. But then you ask them, you know, how many of them have a strategy in place and in a budget that's lined up that can support that and the number is reversed. Most recently, we acquired a company called Digi logic handles all the communication to different kinds of endpoints, different protocols, and brings all that information into a common bus. You're listening to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Beacosystem with Steve Statler.
Steve Statler 01:07
Welcome to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Beacosystem. My name is Steve Statler of Statler Consulting, Inc. And this week, we're going to be talking about visual light communication with Greg Carter, who is the general manager at the IoT business, for Acuity. So Greg, welcome to the show.
Greg Carter 01:28
Thanks a lot. Thanks for having me, Steve.
Steve Statler 01:29
This is I think this is very cool. So in the book, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Beacosystem, we talked about this toolkit approach to designing solutions. And I think it's a mistake to look for the perfect tool that's going to do everything. And really, you need to have the right tool for the right job. And so we had a lot of fun looking at lots of different interesting technologies and visual light communication, I think is really, really cool, quite disruptive. And I first saw it when I worked at Qualcomm, I have to say, I thought it was like fixed, I thought it's nothing can be this accurate, it was really quite an eye opening thing. And I'm sure you have a lot of fun demonstrating that technology, because it's so accurate. And so we're so my goal for this session talking with you is to give people a bit of a bootstrap tutorial on what VLC is, and how it fits in with Bluetooth technology, which I know you also have that as part of your portfolio, and really just discuss what is it that people can do with VLC? Okay, we've got accuracy, what can we do? How does it work? What can it do? What can it not do? And then it would be great to talk strategically about what you're doing at Acuity you came from Cisco, you're deep into IoT, what's a lighting company doing in the internet of things, I think that would be really interesting. And I have a personal belief that it's the infrastructure providers that are going to drive this niche market into mass market adoption, because I think you guys have a special role to play. So I'd love to hear your take on that and your perspective. But maybe we could start off with you just telling us a little bit about what your role is at Acuity.
Greg Carter 03:16
Sure. Yeah. So as you said, I came from Cisco, I was there for about 13 years, the last five of which I was running the IoT services business for them, which was the professional services business, that had to figure out how to take all these new emerging technologies and stitch them together to solve a customer's business problem. So it was a it was a great place to cut my teeth and and really learn what are the opportunities, but then what are the real significant challenges that are facing this industry as we as we begin to evolve into the IoT space? So So anyway, I was there, I did that for about five years. And then I What attracted me to come over to Acuity was, you know, some of the key challenges that we were running into at Cisco, you know, as we, the first step in any kind of IoT project was to, you know, be able to connect the devices, you needed to have some source of data to be able to do something with, then you had to be able to manage all that data, you know, and in the world of IoT, you know, it's 10 to 100 times the number of endpoints that we're talking about with the whole rest of the internet combined. So massive amounts of data that can't all just be dragged up into the cloud and processed right, you have to think about a distributed computing network. So lots of complexity and how we reach the devices and then how we process the data. And so when when I came to started talking to Acuity, I was impressed with the fact that lighting provides you with a last mile network that is ubiquitous, I mean, anywhere where there's people, and there's devices, there's lights, and not only are there lights, but they're it's a dense grid. And so lots of nodes, where you can do both compute and where you can put in radios and other acts. use technologies to gather data from a whole variety of different sources. So, you know, like you, I don't believe that there is a one size fits all single answer to everything in IoT, I think it's it's the very complexity and variability of the environment that makes it exciting. That does mean we need to have multiple tools in our toolkit. But using the lighting networks, indoor and outdoor, and actually the entire building system networks, as an Access Technology, where you can install compute and sensors, and wireless access to other kinds of sensor data in the environment, is certainly one of the tools that we should be exploiting a whole lot more than we have been traditionally as an industry. So I was really impressed with it and, and that made me decide to come over and so now for Acuity. I'm, you know, Acuity has some incredible technology assets, a lot of really good experience that's been garnered over the last several years in experimenting in this space. And so I was brought on to organize that to get us focused on on a clear go to market and a and a product strategy for IoT, and then to build and grow this, this new business. And so we're well on the way now.
Steve Statler 06:05
Very good. And we're looking, we'll talk about that more in detail. Just for people that don't know Acuity because the other guys have kind of a consumer brand that may be higher in people's mind. But you guys are a large company, $2.7 billion of revenue, five US manufacturing plants, which makes you green, less kind of shipping stuff around the world. You've got 10,000 employees, so you guys are big, the biggest in terms of North American market, I think that's, that's fair to say. So just to let people know, that, let's, let's get back to the kind of relative position of what you're doing. And and maybe one last thing to say about your company that struck me is you a very deliberately made acquisition. So you've invested a lot in this market, this isn't some skunkworks, let's have a few r&d People mess around with a few things. You've hired some pretty experienced people, and you've bought some companies. And so this is this is gonna be interesting. But let's explain to people what visual light communication is, can you give us kind of a basic tutorial in terms of what it does how it works?
Greg Carter 07:16
Sure, sure. So I mean, at its heart, we're talking about being able to communicate something through through lightwaves. Right. And in the context that we're using it what the common use of the term VLC is, it can be confused with things like lie fi and other other technologies that various companies are experimenting with that are all about high data rate transfer of information over light. This is a simpler example of that, we're basically getting individual light fixtures to broadcast a unique identifier, that by modulating using our drivers to modulate the light, we're able to basically do a repetitive Id just like a lot of other beacon technologies. And so then we can pick that up with smartphones, with basically the optical device, the camera on a smartphone, and decode that unique identifier. But not just the identifier, we can also detect the angle that the light comes in, in three dimensions. So we talked earlier about the fact that lighting provides this very dense sensor grid. Well, this is a perfect example of that, you've got a very dense pattern of lights, all projecting unique identifiers. And so then we can use the smartphone processing capability to decode the individual signals it gets, and then triangulate to get very accurate positioning.
Steve Statler 08:44
Well, I'm over the weekend, I started this book about Galileo. And so this is basically using Galileo mapping the stars in the sky to navigate around, isn't it? You know, well, that's like a that's like, be just like you're looking for the North Star. And then you can use a some basic trigonometry and, and you can get pretty accurate, how accurate can we expect to get with VLC in terms of.
Greg Carter 09:08
We can get that down within about 10 centimeters, and this and the other thing that's really unique about it is it's not just the example you gave of Galileo, it was a good one. But it's not just the x&y coordinates, we can also because of the angle, get the z coordinate, right? So we're really able to detect a position in space in in three dimensions. And you can imagine, you know, there's everybody immediately thinks about mapping use cases, because people are very familiar with using their, their cell phones outside with, you know, with Google Maps and things like that. But now you can start thinking about, first of all doing that in an indoor environment, but then adding a third dimension to it, which which gives you a whole big range of possible possible use cases.
Steve Statler 09:47
And you also have orientation, don't you? So you can actually, I can literally use my fund point. So it's not just a point in space. It really is a lot more than that. I Um, what kind of why would I need something that accurate? It's funny because, you know, you, you work in the area of Bluetooth and you're always getting beaten up about lies that really how accurate is it would be nice if it was more accurate when you have something when do you need 10 centimeters of accuracy?
Greg Carter 10:17
Yeah, there's there's a lot of examples, and I think we're gonna see more and more once the capabilities out there and it's being widely adopted. You know, I think the ones that we know about today are where we need to get a position of someone, say on a manufacturing line, we have a, there's a lot of manufacturers that do contract manufacturing for multiple different customers. And they would like to be able to know where their workers are standing along the manufacturing line, so they can start doing cost based accounting, right. And so we've looked at some of those use cases, actually, I've been looking at them for years. And because the technology was not quite accurate enough, they were not able to do that kind of analysis. And so now that we're down to about 10 centimeters, we can really get to a station along a manufacturing line. Examples in retail, you know, and any kind of a store that has densely packed shelves, where you want to be able to help somebody to find a product. You know, it's one thing if it's very large products, maybe you don't need quite that level of accuracy. But when you get into shelves, say in a drugstore, with lots of different products, and you can imagine being guided in within a couple of meters, well, there could be hundreds and hundreds of products there that you're having to sort through. So getting much more pinpoint, pinpoint accuracy in the location like that is really, really helpful.
Steve Statler 11:32
Yeah, I saw one that application number of times I go, and I asked for a particular variation of something I've been told I need to get, and you're just like staring at this sea of products. And so it's, you know, getting that X, Y, Z would really, really be helpful, a lot less frustrating. Seems like that's a, that's a huge win. So maybe we can talk a little bit about where where you are seeing that the traction is this? And what stage are you in the development is this working product?
Greg Carter 12:05
It is it is and so and this is actually one of the things that we're really proud of it Acuity that, you know, it's we've moved way beyond that sort of skunkworks, you know, r&d phase into commercial viable product, right, which we've we've already got deployed at over 30 million square feet in the retail space. So it's out there, it's being heavily used, we're getting feedback, and we're expanding the number of use cases that our customers are getting value out of. So retail is the place where we've got our initial traction, but we're also working in commercial office in airports. And there's several other verticals that we're in the evaluation stage at right now. So it's it's out there. And it's, you know, you asked about, you know, where is it in its maturity curve. It's also not just a technology at this point, it's baked into a full end to end solution, right, which includes the algorithms that we're using with our drivers, the decoding mechanisms, we get a full software development toolkit for mobile devices, that allows not just us but our customers and our partners to build really interesting solutions that can leverage this position data. So we haven't we have the end, we have cloud analytics capabilities that are based on this. Right. So it's really a full end to end system that's now been proven in the market.
Steve Statler 13:22
Very good. Let's come back to that stack. Because I want to dig into that a little bit more. But let's be candid about what the limitations are of this technology as well. I mean, it sounds like basically, Bluetooth shouldn't exist now, because we've got this thing was much more accurate. But it's that's I see it as more complementary, what are some of the limitations that people.
Greg Carter 13:42
Yeah, I think you're exactly right, it is complementary. And that's really the best way to look at it. You know, the, the, probably the first limitation, the most obvious limitation is the fact that it is it is a visible light communication path, right? So it's, it's got to be line of sight, and and you can't impede the light getting to the camera, right? So for if your cameras in your pocket, then VLC doesn't work, right. So, so there's there are definitely times and places to use it. But we also think that that can be a bit of an advantage for it, right? So the time that you really want to be engaging your your user community in the highly accurate positioning is oftentimes when they're looking at an app and interfacing with an app and you can be you can be passing them data and having a two way communication with them. So it's not a passive technology, it's something to be used in very active use cases, can also be an advantage.
Steve Statler 14:34
So presumably, you have to have the app in the foreground. It's not just it's not just this out of your pocket, you've got to have the app running it.
Greg Carter 14:42
Has to be running right to be able to be decoding and so so it is it is an active technology. But another advantage of that same limitation is that it can be a very secure technology if he gets unlike RF technologies that pass through walls and ceilings and floors. This is something that gets content And so they were also discussing with a lot of customers that have have large security concerns that this can be a much better option for them for positioning within their spaces.
Steve Statler 15:10
That I mean, that is a really good point. And I know from early days of doing location and conferences, like conferences you have, it's a great place for location technology, you can find your friends and get information about the symposium that your particular lecture in. But these walls are thin. And so from, from a Bluetooth perspective, you have all sorts of challenges. And we were talking to the guys that gimbal the other day, and they were talking about one of the challenges you have to deal with beacons is just giving the right floor because the signals can bleed through that you solve those, any of those problems. very complimentary with Bluetooth, because obviously, Bluetooth can start triggering apps in the background, and basically get you to a position where the app can be in the foreground, if only you had some Bluetooth technology.
Greg Carter 16:00
That was a nice softball. Yeah, so we do take it to Beacon approach to positioning, right. So in in our fixtures and our luminaires. We're we're putting both the visible light communication in our drivers, but also BLE radios for beaconing. And we really see those two things being complementary in the BLE space. First of all, by putting it in light fixtures, again, getting back to that this is a very dense network and a dense grid. We don't have nearly the challenges of needing to do fingerprinting of a BLE network, that battery powered beacons that are more sparsely populated have right and every time you reconfigure your space, the RF characteristics change and you got to remap them and re fingerprint them. In our situation, we've got so many beacons that are covering the space that we don't, we're not we're not as as fragile to changes in the environment. We also can use the two together to do our commissioning are VLC is a great tool with a simple app, for us to go and commission the system to be able to, you know, once it's been installed, and be able to figure out where all those lights are to be able to map the unique IDs to the BLE, and the VLC beacons. And then the the BLE is allows us to do in pocket location detection. So we can do some more of the the less granular positioning use cases and the analytics with the BLE. And then as we bring somebody into an area where they really need to be actively engaged, and they need the higher accuracy, that's when the VLC can take over. And this is, when I mentioned earlier, that we have an end to end stack, being able to incorporate both types of beaconing into a single software application that can seamlessly switch between the two is a real advantage.
Steve Statler 17:44
And so you have an API that you offer developers, presumably to get to this. And if I'm a developer, I want to try this out the best way of getting a hold of that.
Greg Carter 17:54
Well, at this point, we're just getting our developer ecosystem started. So you know, we're not yet at the point where we've we've got it out posted, and anybody can just go download it, it's really something we want to be actively engaged with the developers to, for two reasons. One is that we really want to understand what they're doing so that we can continue to evolve our platform and make more and more features available. But also, you know, this is a new technology, customers are just figuring it out. There's a lot involved in commissioning of space. And so we need to be able to work with our developers to make sure that they know the best ways to use the API's and to make sure that we're providing the right value to customers, because the worst thing that can happen to this whole industry is that people get overly excited and go out and try to solve problems that are really not the right fit for the technology and and turn customers off. Right. So we want to make sure we keep some tight control. So basically, my my business unit has has the architect and engineering resources to help developers to use our SDK and we've got a business development group. That's that's all about fostering those relationships and ensuring that people can go out and experiment with the platform.
Steve Statler 18:56
So are you reaching out to folks? So how does it work? How did these partnerships happen? Or is it just being driven through projects through?
Greg Carter 19:03
It's a little bit of both we our business development team is going out and looking for, we're looking for partners, technology partners that have complementary technologies, complementing applicant applications. So that's one one way that we we connect sort of more outbound. We are also getting paired up with technology companies, by our customers. So as we go into a customer environment, where they may already be using several different apps and different tools, they may have preferred developers and so we end up getting paired up with him that way. And then more and more, we're trying to get the word out. You know, this is this was very much a grassroots effort several years ago. And now you know, as I've come on board, we're we're trying to get it organized and really get the word out to the to the wider market of what we're doing, as well as how to get in touch with us how to participate in the developer ecosystem. So over the course of the next year, you're going to be hearing a lot more about us, hopefully, in the in the media.
Steve Statler 19:57
Say a few more words about the acquisitions that you've made. To build this stack, because I think that's been quite, that's been a sign that you guys are serious.
Greg Carter 20:06
Right. Yeah. So Acuity Brands has had a long history of acquisitions. I mean, this is, you know, you mentioned the beginning, the show, many people don't know Acuity Brands as a company name. And that's because, as the name implies, we operate under our brands, right. So there has been a whole series of acquisitions in the traditional lighting space, to put together a really strong portfolio of lighting companies. And then after that, began expanding into lighting control companies. And then more recently into into other segments of the related businesses like building management. So we acquired in the last year, a company called dystek, which is a HVAC building management controls company. And that was really with the attempt to start combining a lot of these capabilities across the building environment to get a unified building and a whole series of applications that can be built on top of that. But that also gave us a really great asset, which is a unified control platform, right to be used both for HVAC, and for lighting, as well as it now becomes a compute node, where we can run a lot of our applications in the IoT space. So that was, that was the first one I'd call out. The second one was a company called byte light. And byte light was for those who work in this space, I'm sure are familiar with by light, they were one of the early pioneers in indoor positioning, and then using specifically BLE, but they also did quite a bit with VLC. So we brought them in really to get us started with the technology that we built into our platform for for beaconing. We then acquired a company called geo metri, which is geospatial. So now you start looking at the analytics and the cloud based and mobile applications that can take advantage of all of this indoor positioning technology. And so this has given us the geospatial analytics and a lot of the visual visualization tools that are now available through our API's. And then, most recently, we acquired a company called Digi logic. And this one, we're really excited about the newest member of our of our family. And they brought us two things. One is a really scalable IoT platform. So a Iot middleware platform that handles all the communication to different kinds of endpoints, different protocols, and brings all that information into a common bus. So that's, that's the first thing it does. It also provides a solution development environment that makes it very easy for non developers to take widgets that represent conductivity to different kinds of data types, different devices, whether it's a luminaire, HVAC control, a manufacturing device, you name it, and be able to drop those into a into a solution. And then build out a whole set of visualization, widgets, gauges, dials, video screens, etc. to rapidly build IoT applications. And this is this is a technology that that's been out there for a while I was using it when I was at Cisco, it's embedded in a lot of a lot of the big it players platforms to be able to do that last mile data management, to the devices they're connecting to. So that now really handles all of the data manipulation and the visualization that we're using in our applications, and is allowing us to move much, much faster in this space.
Steve Statler 23:18
You earlier gave a very impressive number was 30 million I can't remember it was a big number in terms of the square footage. What can you slice that by some other dimensions, and I'm sensing I've always thought that this is going to be one of these things that takes a while because I was struck in dealing with, with brands with retailers that they want technology to be ubiquitous before they start running programs out. And I'm assuming lighting takes a while to to become ubiquitous. It's going to take a while before every Walmart has got LED lighting. Can you talk a little bit about that dynamic? Why people? How are you managing that? And what's the motivation for retailers to make this switch from legacy systems to new systems, because that's going to tell us a little bit about the timing of when this is going to hit. And that's what VCs the CEOs of startups need to think about when they're figuring where should I be spending my time and money?
Greg Carter 24:19
Absolutely. So I think you're absolutely right in the in the this IOT space, there are so many things that have to converge, before the mass market will adopt. So we are still very much in the early stage of the adoption curve, where we've got early adopters that are testing these new technologies out because the investments can be really significant. And it's not just lighting and indoor positioning. If you're a manufacturer and you want to start collecting data from all of your your robots and your process control systems, and connect that up with supply chain, the amount of infrastructure you've got to put in place in terms of a network that's going to connect to that the compute nodes, the software building You know, unique software applications that are gonna be able to analyze and manage that data. It's a daunting proposition. And I've seen many, many big customers that are, they're trying to dip their toes in the water, but you can't really test the power of it until you till you really deploy it widely, even at a single customer. So, it is a challenge for the industry. But I think it's also one of the reasons I'm so excited to be at Acuity Brands, because with the conversion from analog to LED lighting, the payback is so quick on these projects, regardless of any of the IoT benefits, just the energy savings, that pays back the initial installation, that we can afford it to deploy additional IoT technology on these projects for very little incremental cost. And it really doesn't change the payback schedule in any significant way. So there's this big impetus for customers to tend to go down this road. And what we're seeing now is, these are the same customers that are that are toying with a lot of advanced IoT capabilities for their core businesses, right. So outside of the facilities group, you got the groups that run marketing that run customer intimacy, that run operations, employee productivity, etc. And they're trying to figure out their strategy for how to deploy these solutions. And when they find out that they already had a refresh schedule plan, now, it may have been five years from now that they were going to be refreshing their lights. But if they can look at the payback on that, and now see all the other benefits that are going to get by putting this structure in place, it allows them to accelerate their planned refreshes. So I think what we're gonna see in this space within IoT is these lightning based IoT networks are going to roll out very rapidly. And they're going to become ubiquitous, just because the economics makes sense.
Steve Statler 26:46
Yeah, that's, that's a great situation for you guys, you don't have to make these very strategic arguments about IoT, which a lot of CEOs of retailers will not really have heard of, you can just make the case that you're gonna just save a lot of money, which is, which is that everyone can understand.
Greg Carter 27:03
And, and I will say that, I think, I think the IoT has gained the mindshare, like, if you there have been a number of recent studies done with CEOs, and it's something like 90% of them expect to do major IoT projects in the next five years. But then you ask them, you know, how many of them have a strategy in place, and a budget that's lined up that can support that and the number is reversed, you know, it's 10, or 15%. So and that's because these are such complex projects, as cities is another great example where we see this where smart cities, you know, are that's capturing mayors all over the world, it's capturing their attention, and everybody wants to do smart Traffic Solutions, smart parking, smart garbage collection, there's a whole range of different use cases. But each of those benefits of different city departments, right, and any one of those departments does not have the budget to put in a streetlight infrastructure or, or some other kind of network infrastructure throughout a city, that is the you know, the the tracks that have to be laid before you can start rolling these solutions out on top of it. So again, by taking advantage of the the LED conversion, we can, in many cases fund the initial infrastructure that has to go in place that allows an organization that has a divided budget, to now start rolling software solutions on top of that at very small incremental cost. So I really think this is gonna be the key that unlocks the sort of innovation.
Steve Statler 28:25
I am. So this is starting to sound like it's easy, assuming that it isn't easy. And I feel like is it true to say that people can buy a new lighting system without this sort of Bluetooth mesh piece, and so forth? So it sounds like, I'm assuming you still got a sales job. So you don't just have light for light, one light fixture for another light fixture? Here's what you can do if you join it up? And if that's the case, what kind of conversion rates are you seeing? Is it like a minority of people that are going and having the deluxe version or what commercially, you're seeing?
Greg Carter 29:05
Well, I would say we're probably still a little new to draw, you know, good statistics. But, but I can tell you anecdotally, once we get into a discussion that goes beyond just the facility manager who's typically making a purchase of a lighting system, our hit rate is very high, right? Because the first of all, again, economic support it it doesn't change the payback in a significant way. And the potential is enormous, right? And we now have have some good data on on the customer benefits that they're receiving from from using IoT solutions on top of these networks. But the hard work is frankly, you know, the culture cultural challenges, how to bring all of the different parties to the table, who who will benefit from this solution, because the typical buying cycle for lighting right is it goes to a specific organization within within a customer and the sellers the electrical contractors, the architects, they're used to doing things a certain way. And so we're having to sort of break that model and bring more people into the conversation. And that's really where the challenge is. It's not. So once you get everybody to the table, it's not hard to make the right decision. Nobody wants to be the guy who says, well, we we just put in place a lighting infrastructure that's going to last 10 to 20 years. And we decided not to make it smart. Right? I mean, that's just not gonna happen. But but getting all those people at the table so they can make the right decision. They're armed with the right information. That's the challenge for the industry right now.
Steve Statler 30:28
And who is it that's helping you make that strategic argument? Are you do you have like strategy people on staff? Or are you working with McKinsey and folks like that?
Greg Carter 30:40
Right. Now we're doing it in house, we do have strategy people on staff, we have strategy folks, we business development, folks who are out educating both acuity Salesforce, but also the, you know, our wider agency networks, the largest architecture design firms about, you know, what they should be thinking about, as they're, as they're putting specs together for these kinds of projects for us or for our competitors. So we're doing a big push of education. So that's, that's a big part of our investment is around business development. But yeah, the strategy we're doing in house.
Steve Statler 31:13
Very good. Well, it sounds like you've got a really fun job. There's some great technology, really cutting edge. And and I, from your perspective, you're working in an environment where this is the future, it's, you know, the business is not going to be replacing these tungsten bulbs that are blowing every six months or one year, the future is your your sort of revenue streams around services and so forth, I'm assuming, is that fair to say?
Greg Carter 31:39
That's absolutely true. I mean, the whole industry is moving to LED Yeah, and it's moving rapidly. So but that also, it creates a great opportunity creates a great funding source. But it also puts some pressure on us because these LED fixtures lasts so much longer than than the the analog ones did that, if you missed the window, you know, for a given customer, the refresh cycle is very long, right? So we have to make sure that we educate the market about the potential and what they need to think about when they're putting this these kinds of systems in so that they can take advantage of this from years to come. It's really a fruit future proof strategy.
Steve Statler 32:15
Yeah, I think one of the you clearly have big company, great customer list, incredible position, really interesting technology. So what could possibly go wrong. And if I look at large companies trying to move to a quite a different market, one of the biggest issues is alignment. And the great thing for you is, you know, the industry is effectively burning the boats behind you, there's no going back to the tonnes tungsten bulb replacement business has to be full. And I have noted that, you know, the coverage in the lighting companies of this kind of IoT effort has been, I mean, it's not been small, the the messaging has come in, in the annual reports, it's coming from senior people in the organization. So I think you have the benefit of alignment and board level mindshare, which, often with these kind of new technical things, it's it's kind of buried and doesn't really get the same management visibility. So, congratulations. Well, Greg, I really appreciate the chance to talk with you. Thanks for explaining what VLC is and what it can be used for and what Acuity Brands are doing. You've made some great investments. I know you've got some good people on your on your team. So thanks again. And congratulations.
Greg Carter 33:38
Oh, thanks very much. I really enjoyed it.
Steve Statler 33:52
What would you what would you take with you Mars?
Greg Carter 33:56
I, well, I have a pretty eclectic music tastes. So it was pretty tough to imagine just three songs. But I figured I had to spread it across different styles. So I think I'd take Take Five by Dave Brubeck to get classic jazz number that really changed the face of Jazz at the time. I'd take sitting on top of the world by the Lonesome River Band to give me a good day bluegrass, you know, a part of my repertoire. And then I'd have to have some kind of classic rock and roll tune. And I think of all of the sort of epic songs that I used to listen to you over and over again, when I was younger, it would be Telegraph Road by Dire Straits.
Steve Statler 34:35
Those are great choices to say whether I should be staying impartial here, but take five is on my list as well. And it is also on having a mental read relapse here. Let me just go and tell you who else chose that. From Google, basically, it was our Google guests. I can't my name blanking out so Mr. Physical Web Scott Jensen of Google also chose to take five so yeah that's great well good thanks for sharing that and.