The Internet of Things may be an ever-evolving gray area, but if you ask Boston company Digital Lumens, the future is, quite literally, bright.
Founded in 2008, Digital Lumens produces intelligent lighting systems and smart-lighting software for industrial and large-scale commercial customers, which use the company’s connected lights for energy savings, security and a platform for business intelligence. And now, they're looking to IoT.
Imagine walking into a room and a camera connected to the software and thermostat might know who you are and adjust the temperature to your preferences. That's what Digital Lumens is banking on.
In February 2017, the company moved its software to the cloud so its platform could support a wide variety of applications that the future of the Internet of Things might hold.
Moving its software to the cloud has also allowed Digital Lumens to push updates to customers more rapidly, iterating and improving upon the connected sensors companies use in a matter of weeks and months, rather than years.
Digital Lumens CEO Tom Pincince said he looks forward to the apps that could emerge in the near future to help companies improve their operation’s efficiency and security.
“Once you have software and sensors everywhere collecting data, a whole new set of apps will emerge that we can’t even imagine yet,” Pincince said. “I think we’re in transition between IoT being a buzzword and becoming the real world.”
Every one of Digital Lumens’ lights has a computer brain in it that senses the environment around it and communicates with a central management platform, which decides locally what to do and collaborates with other sensors in the environment to make decisions.
So if you walk into a room using Digital Lumens software-enabled lights, the platform knows which lights to turn on, Pincince explained.
“In the future, the system will know who you are,” Pincince said. “People will experience their work environments like Bill Gates experiences his own home — how bright the room should be, whether you like the shades up or down. In the future, sensors may look even deeper into data. So it might ask how you’re feeling and change the light accordingly.”
In total, Digital Lumens’ customers cover 500 million square feet of space and the startup has raised over $65 million in private funding.
Digital Lumens anticipates that the data culled from its sensors will help companies run their warehouses, manufacturing plants and even sporting facilities more efficiently and securely. For example, cameras could track whether teams are working together as often as they should, or detect when a person who doesn’t work for the company enters a room.
The team of about 75 in Boston’s Seaport is currently focused on expanding its product globally, but Pincince said the IoT space is moving so rapidly it’s hard to say where they’ll be in just 10 months.
“The one benefit we have is that we’ve been in this business for awhile, so we’re able to collaborate with our customers and figure out what they’ll pay for and which apps make a difference to them,” Pincince said. “I’m just as excited for the apps we haven’t even thought of. Security is obvious, as well as people tracking and asset tracking. But what are the unexpected apps? Those are the most fun.”
Photos via social media