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Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence: Spotlight on Simularity

Recently, we learned LISNR was selected to the Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (Cisco EIR) program. This is a unique 6-month startup initiative supporting entrepreneurs working on the next big ideas in the Internet of Everything (IoE) and other transformational opportunities strategic to Cisco.

5 companies joined this latest round, selected specifically by Cisco to develop ground-breaking innovations.

LISNR was selected because our disruptive approach in sending data over inaudible sound waves redefines “right place, right time” messaging. Unlike other wireless data communications, LISNR’s SmartTones are delivered through existing speaker infrastructure. No new hardware or other costly implementations are needed to turn any audio speaker into a beacon capable of sending video, data and messages.

Through the Cisco program, I met the team behind Simularity, an artificial intelligence startup. I sat down with Peter Koning, vice president of sales, to learn how they’re using artificial intelligence that learns over time to become a cost-effective predictive analytics solution.

How did the idea for Simularity originate?

Peter Koning: Simularity’s co-founders, CEO Liz Derr and CTO Ray Richardson, have deep experience as technology executives and programmers. After building a recommendation engine for Alibris, a leading ecommerce site, they realized the more relevant information you have, the better predictions you can make. These analytics and intelligence became the heart of Simularity.

What are some of the most interesting applications?

PK: Simularity works by looking at large volumes of data and learning what’s normal. The more data it observes, the smarter it gets.It also learns to detect what isn’t normal, and it can predict when something might happen – like a system failure.

Especially in the IoT space, the applications are limitless. Let’s say you’re an industrial company with many facilities filled with expensive equipment. With sensors placed on every piece of equipment, our software analyzes thousands of data readings per minute in real-time to learn what’s normal.

That data can then be used to identify maintenance for the equipment before it’s needed. So instead of scheduling maintenance every two months, the data recognizes the pattern of a pump before it actually fails. The data tells you to make repairs before it’s necessary – helping avoid post-failure clean-up, which usually costs significantly more time, money and resources.

Why is this concept so disruptive for “big data”?

PK: Usually, data scientists apply statistical modeling to make sense of big data. But that entire process is time consuming and expensive, and data scientists are in short supply. Simularity shortcuts the whole process so organizations can quickly deploy a more cost-effective solution – which by the way, also learns over time.

Plus, our software is more dynamic and flexible. So if you want to add in other data, you can. In the current model, you’d have to start from scratch – an expensive and time-consuming process.

What’s does being selected to Cisco EIR mean for Simularity?

PK: Joining the Cisco EIR program provides validation that what we created can bring value to the world. For example, we just won first place at the Meeting of the Minds. We proposed a mobile sensor and analysis system that attaches to vehicles to help cities get a better handle on air quality.

We’re also raising a seed round of investments. And collaborating with Cisco EIR in the IoT space will allow us to engage with new partners and customers.

Stay up-to-date with developments in the IoT space by following @LISNR.

LISNR is a high frequency, inaudible technology; a new communication protocol that sends data over audio. As the leaders of the Internet of Sound, we use inaudible sound waves called SmartTones™, to transmit information.  LISNR essentially transmits customizable packets of data every second that enable proximity data transmission, second-screen functionality, authentication and low-fi device to deviceconnectivity on any LISNR enabled device.  We enable this functionality better and more efficiently than bluetooth (proximity), ACR (2nd Screen), and NFC/RFID (authentication). As an integrated software partner, LISNR can power devices to connect with world around better than ever before.