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November’s 2018 Featured Hardware and IoT startups by StartupBlink

As every month, Startupblink selected the most innovative Hardware and IoT startups that shared their projects with us recently. November’s Hardware and IoT startups are working in the fields of real-time voice telecommunications and embedded systems.

Through our regular Online Pitching Events for Hardware & IoT Startups we give the opportunity to ambitious and brave entrepreneurs to present their ideas to a wide audience of hardware enthusiasts, investors and mentors, receive feedback and expand their network and increase their exposure.

If you are interested to register to our next Free Online Pitching Event, you may sign up here. The event is partnered with ANSYS, the world’s leading provider of virtual prototyping and engineering simulation software. ANSYS with a specially designed Startup Program provides innovative hardware entrepreneurs with the distinctive advantage of cost-effective access to the full portfolio of their next-generation multiphysics simulation bundles.

Let’s get a glimpse into the world of November’s inventive Hardware & IoT startups!

People, from the ancient times, have been facing the need of technology that could provide communication in the instant-call paradigm (instead of session-mode paradigm used in telephones and messengers like Skype). Two-way radios are popular in the field. But they have a number of flaws, such as a limited range of communication, a need for power amplifiers and bulky antennas, an unstable signal quality, and so on. At the moment, that’s limiting the area of their use.

TreeTalk’s team has been working for a long on radio telecommunications, with each member being committed to offer the very best tools to the startup’s clients. By continuous modifications and add-ons for CB/LPD/PMR two-way radios, the team developed and manufactured more effective antennas in order to reduce the disadvantages of conventional equipment. However, all these improvements had only offered a partial approach to the need of a reliable real-time voice telecommunications solution.

Until a beautiful sunny Siberian day when Igor Yanovskiy and his team realized that existing solutions are hopelessly outdated and have to be radically improved. They came up with an idea of TreeTalk as the universal, digital, cloud-based new global telecommunications ecosystem that works under the paradigm of constant connection and instant (group and individual) voice calls.

TreeTalk has built a cloud platform as an engine for the communication devices trying to revolutionize the industry of two-way radios by using the network as a transport medium.

Developing and patenting voice compression and transmission technology, allowed TreeTalk to use even the narrow-band mobile networks of 2-3 generations. The protocol, developed primarily for communication among the devices and apps, appeared versatile enough for using not only for that. Besides the personal and group calls, it allows the sending and receiving of files, pictures, setup packages, and remote control commands, in real time. Thus, the platform may be used for a variety of other applications, including data collection from connected devices and sensors, connection between IoT hubs and end-user software etc. These resources may be used by third-parties as well.

As a next step, the team plans to expand the product line and rapidly branch out into adjacent niches that also require a permanent connection and high-quality voice communication: handheld communicators, communication modules for ATMs, parking meters, self-service kiosks, elevators, and so on.

The best moments for this ambitious and hardworking team has been the successful completion of their first R&D, winning in the contest of Bortnik Foundation, and finally finishing the working prototype of communicator “The Terminal One”. The field tests and demonstrations of the prototype in professional events proved to the ambitious team that their initial concept was realistic and achievable and provided them with the inspiration for their future endeavors.

As a valuable tip to young hardware startups, the TreeTalk’s team underlines the importance of outsourcing professionals right from the beginning of the project (for accounting, administration, supply chain needs etc.) in order for the founders to concentrate on the product’s research and development.

TreeTalk’s headquarters are based in Rome, Italy and their R&D lab is located in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

krtkl inc.
krtkl from San Francisco, CA has been working on embedded system consulting for various medical devices, robotics, and consumer electronics companies for a long time when Ryan Cousins and his team found themselves building the same core component (the “brain”) again and again. Growing frustrated with the lack of practical and usable embedded computing options that fit between the super low end and ultra high end, they decided to build something that would “solve all of their problems”!

krtkl’s products and technology lie at the center of future “intelligent” systems. The startup increases the capabilities of ‘edge’ applications (cyberphysical products people interact with in the real world vs. virtual systems in the cloud) by providing higher performance computing at a smaller size, lower cost, and reduced power footprint.

Access to capital has been the hardest challenge for krtkl. Founder Ryan Cousins shared their experience: “As much funding as there seems to be flowing around the Valley – and as much as everyone loves to talk about a “hardware renaissance” – there is zero appetite for hardware designed for applications like AI, computer vision, automation, etc. Every investor lives and dies by software. For whatever reason, the only luck we’ve had with fundraising has come from overseas”.

Despite the difficulties and the trials, every time krtkl’s team receives a new piece of hardware that they’ve spent the last several months, even years developing – it is like Christmas morning for them. “As hard as hardware is, holding your newborn creation in your hands after pouring so much of your blood, sweat, and tears into it is a pretty unique feeling”.

We, in StarutpBlink’s team as Hardware & IoT fans and supporters can feel nothing but admiration for the brave founders and innovators of the hard indeed, hardware industry. We’d like to thank the startups that took time out of their busy schedules to share their projects with our audience and wish them every success for the future. If you are a hardware or IoT startup looking to pitch your idea for our next event, please sign up here.