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Simon AI Provides Turnkey IoT Solution With BLE

Kontakt.io's new offering is being piloted by companies in the Netherlands and Germany to track the movements of goods and people, as well as temperature conditions, employing cloud-based software.
By Claire Swedberg
Mar 20, 2019

Several European companies are piloting a new plug-and-play solution from Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology company Kontakt.io that provides Internet of Things (IoT)-based management of goods or individuals at a low cost of entry. The solution, known as Simon AI, is designed to provide automated visibility into the movements of assets and people at warehouses, manufacturing sites and health-care facilities. The solution is targeted at small or midsized companies that have never used the technology, or that want to upgrade existing systems to a subscription-based solution, at a rate beginning at $1,000 per month.

The system underwent beta testing for five months before pilots began early this year at several health-care and industrial sites. Pilots are now under way in the Netherlands and Germany, with future pilots planned in Western Europe and the United States. The solution is designed to overcome some prevalent problems with IoT technologies. One challenge is the sheer complexity of installing sensors, access points and software to manage the collected data.

Traditionally, companies have faced the cost not only of acquiring the technology, but also of custom-developing solutions to meet their particular requirements, integrating systems with their existing management software and performing manual calibration and testing. All of this, says Philipp von Gilsa, Kontakt.io's CEO, "significantly delays the rollout and increases the cost of IoT projects."

Von Gilsa cites a 2017 study conducted by Cisco, which found that 60 percent of IoT efforts never make it past the proof-of-concept stage, while only 26 percent of companies exploring IoT solutions considered their efforts a complete success. He blames the complexity of such systems for that low success rate. "IoT is complex," he states, "and we're one of the few companies who can make it simple."

Simon AI is an end-to-end solution that, according to the company, includes the entire infrastructure required for an automated system, including BLE tags, access points (receivers) and cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS). The software comes with a core application programming interface (API) to link data to a user's existing software, along with cloud-based middleware to capture and manage data, a connectivity layer from the sensor and a device layer to manage the sensor device.

With the solution in place, companies can track assets in real time, and provide safety and security to understand where people and objects are located and when their safety might be at risk. Finally, it can be used for condition monitoring to, for example, track temperature or humidity. The company says a Simon AI pilot can be set up within about 30 days, and since the software is hosted, it's an affordable option for smaller or midsized companies.

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