Smart Objects are Everywhere, Courtesy of MbientLab
Started in 2013 by one Laura Kassovic, the startup is doing everything they can to offer powerful and innovative platforms. Their services aim to make connecting devices to Smartphones simpler than ever before. Laura and her team possess a strong passion for engineering, as well as combined years of industry experience. In short, they are more than up for any challenge.
The Journey Begins
In the two years or so since the start of the journey, Laura has acknowledged that there are some things that you just don’t do. From her own experiences, sticking too far from what you know best is a surefire way towards failure. Not only is the process of making certain products that are beyond your usual range of expertise very difficult, but you may end up creating something that people simply do not want. In short, Laura has learned a very valuable lesson: keep it simple.
Among the innovations that MbientLab has put forth are their sensor platforms. Small and versatile enough to be placed inside virtually anything – ranging from hockey pucks to tennis rackets – sensor platforms are capable of analyzing moves. The data gathered by the sensor is then transmitted to a smartphone for one’s personal use. The company has gone as far as to engage in the creation of the aforementioned ‘smart shoe’ product, where the sensor platforms were placed inside the shoes’ sole. The smart shoe would then gather data, such as a person’s pedometer data and posture.
There have been several opportunities for innovation as far as the company is concerned. At one point, a Canadian hockey team wanted to put sensors in their hockey pucks, for the purpose of seeing just how far they can go on the ice or how hard they can be hit. Another opportunity involved MMA, with specialized gloves that could determine the scale and intensity of a fighter’s punches.
Creations & Innovations
Although the bulk of the company’s projects thus far has involved helping others create their products, MbientLab has begun to work on their own. Considering the love of mountain climbing that Laura and her team has, one of their goals is to create a rock climbing wearable. They envision it as something that is worn on a belt which can provide a myriad of data, including how high you have climbed, how often you might fall, the amount of force exerted on a rope, and various more. The planned name for the product is ‘Whipper.’
On Company Culture
Their history and overall closeness has been quite beneficial to their work. After all, a good grasp of your team’s individual and collective strengths and weaknesses can only mean great things. The great minds behind MbientLab have been able to operate in a certain way that would not be as possible or helpful in a much larger company. They have no manager amongst themselves; they are equals. As similar as they may be, they also possess unique qualities which makes their team incredibly diverse and interesting.
Advice for the Next Group of Entrepreneurs
Laura’s experiences have taught her well. If there was anything she’d impart to others who have yet to embark on their own journeys, it would be this: don’t be afraid to ask for help. By starting on her own, Laura experienced all the difficulties first hand. By virtue of her company’s slow but steady growth in terms of manpower, all the help she could ever need became more and more accessible.
Even if those starting out don’t have entire teams at their disposal, Laura proposes a smaller yet effective solution: have a partner. When one person is down, there has to be another one to help the first up back up. That’s what partners do, after all. It only grows from there.