You or someone you know likely uses wearable sensors in everyday life. The number of connected wearable devices worldwide has more than doubled in the past 3 years from 235 million devices to over 722 million today. But so far, wearables have been used mainly as luxury items. Contraptions like the Apple Watch, Fitbit, AR/VR headsets, GPS shoes, and the notorious Google Glasses are great examples of nice to have, but not needed devices that have made valiant attempts to revolutionize the way we use technology. But what happens when these devices are made even more flexible and precise and applied past the consumer level to large-scale, enterprise operations within our society?
Vantiq and our partner, Hyve Dynamics have formed a partnership to develop a new generation of remote monitoring solutions that process data in real time. View our on-demand webinar, Innovations in Real-TIme Sensor Technology, to learn more.
We spoke with Cecilia Harvey, CEO of Hyve Dynamics and Founder of Tech Women Today, to explore this new and fast-moving frontier of next-generation wearables made possible when Hyve Dynamics’ hardware is integrated with the Vantiq platform. With over 20 years of experience in finance and technology, Cecilia is an advocate for responsible technology leadership that seeks to inspire, elevate, and disrupt global businesses and communities.
Q: Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Cecilia: First and foremost, I am the co-founder and CEO of Hyve Dynamics. My responsibilities are for the vision, strategy, and growth of Hyve Dynamics. I definitely describe myself as being a tech enthusiast. I really like to think of myself as a pragmatic visionary, [focusing on] innovation that’s disruptive and makes possible all the things that we once thought were impossible, but also innovation that is commercially viable technology that is safely and responsibly allowing us to elevate the efficiency and the performance of businesses, cities, and people’s lives.
I’m very big on responsible tech leadership. We can’t have this naive optimism about technology. Technology can be a great business enabler, and then it can also be a weapon of mass destruction. I believe that, as leaders in this space, we have a responsibility to ensure that our technology also has integrity.
I am also a lover of dachshunds and anything related to Star Wars, and that definitely includes baby Yoda.
Q: Tech and society need to collaborate, starting now, to make the world a better place. The pandemic has really ushered that to the forefront.
How did Hyve Dynamics come about? What is your vision, mission, and purpose?
Cecilia: Hyve was born at Cranfield University in the U.K. Our technology is based on six years of PhD and postdoctoral research by Juan Conde, who’s another one of our co-founders and our head of research. We saw a gap in the market and continued demand for thin, flexible sensors that could be applied to and integrate with any surface: within wearables, on a car, and embedded and printed within clothing.
We saw demand for increased precision of data that sensors could provide and data that also accounts for real-world environments and physical conditions when that data is captured; trying to get a reading of temperature, but also an understanding of that temperature reading under certain atmospheric and weather conditions.
People wanted the ability to capture this type of data real time and wirelessly. We didn’t see anybody else that was doing this on a commercial level or enterprise level, particularly in the areas of biometrics and fluid dynamics.
Not only are we capturing that data, but we’re also providing a level of precision that offers unparalleled real-time, actionable data insights. What we offer I think is quite simple: it’s superior data precision. That gives organizations not only competitive edge, but in this environment, it gives them survival.
Q: Hyve Dynamics is looking way out there in terms of wearable technology and sensors that can cover an automobile, airplane, look at weather systems and temperature, and all these things in real time for safety, risk, opportunities, threats, etc. It’s not just improving the environment. It’s improving lives and saving lives.
How did the pandemic and/or the more recent environmental conditions help shape Hyve Dynamics’ vision?
Cecilia: We have definitely seen an increased demand for our technology after the pandemic hit, specifically in the areas of remote medical monitoring, wearable manufacturing, optimization of wearables, and telemedicine. This pandemic has been a massive wakeup call.
The phone’s been ringing off the hook from companies that focus in these areas because, although they now need smarter sensors that give them the improved data precision for biometric, such as temperature, blood pressure, blood oxygen, they also need very small, thin, flexible sensors that can be easily incorporated within their technology. That’s a game changer for them.
Q: What sort of industries are your focus industries right now?
Cecilia: Although we are very niche in terms of the data that we focus on (biometrics and fluid dynamics), that niche area has applications across so many industries. More importantly, when we think of the areas that society is focused on right now (sustainability, the environment, lowering CO2 emissions), sensor technology is an enabler for these very significant and impactful areas.
It’s exciting to be in an area of tech that’s helping to create more efficient and sustainable business models. That’s the future. Similar to what Intel did with the chip, that’s what I see Hyve doing with sensors. We envision a world that’s powered by Hyve.
Q: Do you think any of this would have been possible two or three years ago?
Cecilia: Commercially and on an enterprise level, no. The demand just didn’t exist. The pandemic has definitely been a key driver in fast tracking things such as remote medical monitoring, telemedicine, and the need for real-time data to allow for fast response times.
Right now, if you have delays, that’s going to be deadly not only to people’s lives, but also for their business.
Sustainability and reducing carbon footprint is increasingly becoming a cornerstone of people’s corporate strategies. That wasn’t there a couple of years ago.
The use of next-generation sensors is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a critical component of infrastructure. As we start to migrate to smart cities, it’s no longer a pipe dream. When you talk about real-time, event-driven architectures and applications and we get into advances such as 5G, this is going to continue to grow the demand. You’re going to need smart sensors such as Hyve’s that allows for the capture of this critical data.
We’re not going to go back to the way we used to live. I call it BC, Before COVID [laughter], because we have this new normal now. The world is changed.
Q: We need real time to address real-world problems.
Q: Tell us more about the arm band you are working on with Vantiq and how the partnership came together. Have you tried to do it before Vantiq, but were running against some roadblocks?
Cecilia: One of the reasons why I feel so privileged and passionate to be the CEO of Hyve is I’m leading an organization that is creating technology that is helping contribute to society, and we’re addressing issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and also just gaps in our basic medical care where it should be accessible to all in many areas. Our armband solution helps address these particular areas.
Right now, there’s a fear factor and uncertainty from governments, businesses, employers, and people [in general]. We’re trying to tentatively enter into this COVID-19 recovery. I don’t think we’re there yet. We’re trying to get there. People just need to feel safe.
What the armband is doing is allowing for proactive identification of many of the symptoms related to COVID, such as temperature, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, and respiration. This is an enterprise solution for a business of any size, whether it’s a small, medium, or a large, corporate-sized business. Businesses can now have a very effective detection solution that will not only protect employees and the clients that frequent these businesses, but also help restore confidence. That’s what’s so critically needed right now.
I think the solution also addresses a lot of these industries on an enterprise level where you do need to restore that confidence: hospitality (hotels, restaurants), retail (who wants to go into a store now?), warehouses and factories where people are producing, manufacturing, making deliveries, and keeping the economy going, and service workers and technicians that are visiting people’s home. The other day, the plumber came to my house and didn’t have any protection. I didn’t know whether to let them in or not!
Now, you have the ability to proactively alert the organization when there is something to look into. That’s where the game changer is. That’s the airline I want to fly on. I want to see somebody with an armband on and it gives me a bit of comfort. That’s the restaurant I want to be in. That’s the office I want to be working in. That’s the school I want to send my kids. That’s the store where I’m going to go into and buy stuff from.
Q: There’s confidence and comfort in knowing that there is technology monitoring the health of people in real time in places that you’re going to be around as the world starts to think about how to open up.
Cecilia: It has that domino effect where if people are comfortable going into the business, feel safe, and are being protected, then governments will feel safe, and then we can open up things a lot faster.
In terms of what we’re doing with Vantiq, I think of things like 5G and real-time, event-driven applications. It’s no longer the future. It’s now. When I think of the requirements to have real-time event management on an enterprise level, I think of Vantiq.
For Hyve, our core [competency] is hardware, our sensor technology. When you combine that with Vantiq software and having those real-time capabilities, you have an absolute powerhouse of a solution. You now have an offering that not only keeps [companies] from being disrupted in this new world that we’re in, but also an opportunity to become leading class in their industry. They can be the disruption. They can be the disruptors.
Q: Are you saying that Vantiq is used as the nervous system that is connecting all of your sensors together in this arm band, monitoring things in real time? Would it connect to healthcare systems to let them know of patient status? How does the last mile of this work?
Cecilia: Absolutely. We tried to implement this solution before Vantiq. However, with Vantiq, we found that we were able to offer clients a more robust solution, particularly around the software. Now, you have something where they can scale it across their entire organization. Most importantly, you have a complete solution of the hardware with the software that’s easily integrated within a client’s existing environment, and also provides that critical requirement around real-time, event-driven capabilities that clients need.
Q: What does the roadmap look like now?
Cecilia: In terms of the future roadmap for Hyve, definitely on the biometrics side, the armband solution is receiving so much interest, not only from businesses that want to implement the solution as a tool in this pandemic recovery and restoring confidence to staff and clients, but also from wearable manufacturers, healthcare providers, remote monitoring companies, and telemedicine companies that want to use the sensors and their technology offerings, which is really exciting.
On the fluid dynamics side, companies in the automotive and aerospace industries that have a high reliance on very expensive wind tunnels and computer simulations are looking at Hyve’s sensor technology as a way for them to improve their efficiency and their performance with better design because you have improved data precision by using our sensors.
In a very practical way, companies need to reduce costs. Everybody is looking at the bottom line and everybody has to be even more efficient with their business models. The use of our sensors is a way to reduce the reliance on very expensive wind tunnels and computer simulations, which is hundreds of millions of dollars a year in terms of maintaining that infrastructure.
Finally, just from an environmental perspective, companies across a number of sectors are looking at their strategy for reducing carbon footprint and other sustainability initiatives. They’re approaching us to understand how they can start using sensor technology to help them achieve these strategic objectives in these areas.
We definitely see a world powered by Hyve Dynamics.
Register for our webinar with Cecilia discussing more about the solution.