Mass Innovation Nights 98: IoT and Robotics

Mass Innovation Nights 98 at MITRE in Bedford

Mass Innovation Nights 98

May 10, 2017

For a second consecutive night, I attended a technology startup event in the western Boston suburbs. I’ve been to a few Mass Innovation Nights in the last couple years, and they always showcase some intriguing local startups. This month’s Mass Innovation Night was IoT and Robotics themed, featuring local startups related to the Internet of Things and Robotics.

Mass Innovation Nights 98: MITRE in Bedford, MA

Every month, Mass Innovation Nights features presentations from the host and “Student Spotlight” companies, the “Expert Corner” experts and exhibitors who win a pre-event vote on the Mass Innovation Nights website.  Presenters as a result of the pre-event voting were blink’r, WatchRx, Cimetrics, and Powerhouse Dynamics’ SiteSage Smart Kitchen. Student Startup Spotlight representatives were from Bentley University, representing their companies Sales Sparks and SooShay. Awards were also given based on at-event voting. At-event winners were WatchRx, Tive, Blustream, and Andros Robotics.

Sooshay presentation at Mass Innovation Nights 98

I’ll take a quick run through the companies in attendance; you can follow the links for more information about them.

WatchRx: I also saw this company at the Boston New Technology showcase the previous evening. Its product is a smartwatch that helps the elderly remember to take their medication on time, monitored by family via a smartphone app.

Senter: Senter was the other showcasing company geared toward elderly healthcare. It focuses on placing sensor technology throughout the home to monitor residents and keep them safe. It employs a two-way voice-activated “assistant” and also alerts family/caretakers if necessary.

AndrosRobotics: The remaining health-focused exhibitor was in the robotics field. The cool demonstration at the AndrosRobotics table allowed attendees to understand how the Robotic Leg-Advancement Device works and how it can help stroke survivors re-learn to walk.

blink’r presentation at Mass Innovation Nights 98

There was actually supposed to be another medically-focused company at the event, Hurt Technologies, which was to be showing its MedKit Electronic Medical Record, but I didn’t run across their table. I’m not sure if I missed their table or if they missed the event.

blink’r: blink’r’s Internet Module ‘r is an integrated piece of equipment that allows IoT developers to get a running head-start. I won’t even try to explain how it works; instead, I’d point you to blink’r’s product self-description from the MIN website if this is something that interests you.

Tive: In an effort to improve logistics in the supply chain, Tive’s IoT-connected sensors allow companies to better track their shipments. This really is more impressive in an in-person presentation than I can make it sound here. The small sensors that are included in shipments are light, too. That’s one reason I like attending these events rather than simply reading about products online; it was nice to get a chance to handle the sensor box.

WatchRx presentation at Mass Innovation Nights 98

blustream: Also a very cool product that showcased well. blustream showcased an Internet-connected sensor product that provides information like temperature and humidity to help monitor the safety of valuables that are sensitive to the elements. Examples of sensor placement shown at the event included a humidor and a guitar case. (The company’s website also includes wine and firearms as other item categories their sensors can help protect.)

SiteSage Smart Kitchen: Powerhouse Dynamics was showcasing it’s SiteSage Smart Kitchen, a system that allows kitchens to get real-time alerts to temperature and other issues, for safety and money-saving reasons. The website gives a nice overview; the live table-side presentation was even more convincing.

Cimetrics: The MIN literature discusses Cimetrics’ BACnet Explorer – YouTube video here – for monitoring I0T devices throughout a building. Also, though, its Analytika cloud-based analytics platform shared the spotlight.

SiteSage Smart Kitchen presentation at Mass Innovation Nights 98

CrowdComfort: Also in the building management arena, CrowdComfort allows people to interact with their buildings, allowing building occupants to be the eyes and ears of the building. In its MIN description, the company’s tagline is “Unlocking the Human Sensor Network.” CrowdComfort’s video highlights its features.

Kuvée: Who doesn’t like something that improves the wine experience? Kuvée’s wine system keeps wine fresh for up to 30 days. It also includes IoT features that share information about the wine. Very cool concept for wine-lovers. And, of course, an exhibitor that drew interest. #BecauseWine.

The two “Student Startup Spotlight” companies were from Bentley University. These were Sales Sparks, which creates sales plans for startups, and Sooshay, a fast-casual sushi restaurant featuring customizable sushi rolls and locally-sourced ingredients.

Expert Corner

In addition to the MITRE team, additional “experts” this evening represented Iotopia Solutions, PTCSwiss Re Management (US) Corporation, Proper Orange, and BIBSMA.

Conclusion

As with other MIN reviews, I’ve done my best to accurately portray the products I saw exhibited based on the literature I read and conversations I had with attendees. Most of what I’ve written could easily enough be found by following this link and then clicking on the “Vote Here” tab of the MIN 98 web page, but hopefully this article serves as a decent introduction.

I always enjoy attending the MIN events, and I’m sure I’ll get to more MIN (and other technology industry) events in the coming months. I will, of course, share what I discover in this blog.

 

 

 

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About Geoff Wilbur

I've spent more than 20 years in the telecom and high tech industries. I'm an "analytical guru, seer of trends and opportunities." In other words, I've been a telco cost/economic/financial analyst. I've also been an industry analyst who has written reports covering several market segments, including some key markets when they were in their early stages (such as fiber-to-the-home). I was also a widely published music journalist 1989-2003. I have been on hiatus ever since... until Fall 2015 with the launch of Geoff Wilbur's Music Blog.

Posted on May 14, 2017, in Technology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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