7:45 am - Tuesday October 24, 2017

From a Children’s Geolocation Device to a Transport Solution for Renting Smart Bikes

The Israeli startup company hereO has developed a platform that adds smart capabilities to a wide range of consumer products, from wearables to vehicles and everything in between

 

Allon Gladstone, founder & COO, HereO, Photo Credid: Anthony Upton

Allon Gladstone, founder & COO, HereO, Photo Credid: Anthony Upton

The Israeli startup company hereO has developed a platform that adds smart capabilities to a wide range of consumer products, from wearables to vehicles and everything in between. For example, the hereO Core solution can transform any bicycle into a smart bike enabling operators to know at any given moment where the bicycles are and what condition they are in. This development will make it easy to incorporate electric bicycles into a municipal fleet.

hereO is one of the eight Israeli companies to have made it to the finals in Visa’s recent Everywhere Initiative held in Copenhagen, out of nearly 200 companies from all over Europe. The participating companies had to demonstrate how they would use Visa’s APIs in the solutions they are offering in three categories. hereO competed in the Regional Intercity Challenge category.

Allon Gladstone and his two partners set up the company a few years ago to develop a ‘Children’s Ituran’ (or geolocating device) for locating children separated from their parents in crowded locations.

‘The initial funding for the company came from a crowdfunding campaign in 2014”, says Gladstone.  “We set out to raise $100,000 and we ended up with $215,000. In 2016 we started sending the product to our backers and to customers who bought the product after the crowdfunding exercise. After receiving feedback from 60 different countries, we upgraded the device’s core technology to overcome cellular reception issues prevalent in many regions around the world, including in the United States.”.

“After having sold about ten thousand devices we joined forces with Intel to develop our next generation IoT device. With a powerful on board machine learning engine supported by Bluetooth Low Energy, Wi-Fi, GPS, cellular connectivity and a wide range of sensors including temperature, humidity, barometer, compass, accelerometer, and a gyrometer, we realized that the initial application we had designated for the device was merely the tip of the iceberg. In fact, the Core system can support many different use cases including the aforementioned secured payment platform for shared mobile equipment”

“Managers of urban bicycle rental systems, for example, will be able to know at any given moment where the bicycles are, rather than only knowing that they have been placed in their docking stations. It will also be possible to scale up the renting of electric bicycles and scooters, which at present are not used due to their high cost, in the absence of an efficient means of theft prevention. Bicycles can also be deactivated remotely, so that they become totally immobilized. We can even identify rough handling of the bicycles and ultimately provide the operators with a user score card”, explains Gladstone.

The company plans to trial its IoT platform together with electric bicycle and scooter manufacturer Inokim at the Herzliya train station..  Chinese Inokim, a manufacturer that has ordered the theft-prevention chip, has decided to use it in shared drive projects for electric bicycles. The idea is that the users will be able to rent the devices, leave them anywhere they choose, rather than in a specially designated station, and the next user will pick them up from there.  .”

Oded Salomy, General Manager of Visa in Israel, said: “hereO was among 8 Israeli companies that reached the finals and competed for the prizes against another 7 young companies from Europe. The competition was tough but the contestants stood out with their innovative ideas, their advanced technologies and their solutions, which will be altering the way people buy and use money”.

Bill Gajda, Visa’s Executive VP for Innovation and Strategic partners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said: “We looked for, and are continuing to look for a broad range of Fintech solutions. In places like Tel Aviv, Berlin and London there are lots of companies working in these fields. Israel is strong in many technologies, not just in what traditionally is related to security.  Israel is emerging as a world leader in biometrics and now a vibrant bitcoin community is also forming there. And even generally speaking there are lots of good Israeli Fintech companies we would like to work with and accelerate their development”.

 

 

To contact Visa’s Innovation division in Israel, please click here.

 

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