A moment of inspiration
Ubicquia is making cities across the globe smarter with Kairo, a customizable, light pole-based router that takes advantage of existing city infrastructure. The inspiration for Kairo came from a street light outside of co-founder Tre Zimmerman’s house.
Ubicquia had been working on an IoT project in Rome, involving IP cameras and smart water grids. The biggest issue they had was keeping the devices on 24 hours a day to record data they needed. “The cost of lithium-ion batteries, the cost of cabling, the cost of fiber, all of these things started to create a big impetus on the platform,” says Zimmerman. Then he spotted a street light outside his son’s room, still on at 2:00 pm.
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Hope, fear and inspiration
In 2012, Kurt Workman was a full-time chemical engineering major at Brigham Young University. Kurt’s aunt had just had twins, prematurely, so he and his wife were lending a helping hand whenever they could. They saw firsthand the constant worry Kurt’s aunt shouldered. They wanted to start a family of their own soon, but Kurt knew that with his wife’s congenital heart defects, they could face similar challenges and plenty of their own sleepless nights. In addition, Kurt’s cousin had previously lost a baby to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
Around the same time, Kurt was exposed to a clinically proven technology used by hospitals called pulse oximetry through a friend who worked as a nurse at University of Utah Medical Center. A pulse oximeter is the clip-on device hospitals often put on a patient’s finger, which uses wavelengths of light to measure both heart rate and oxygen levels in the blood.
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