TECTERRA: Tell me about Campbell Scientific Canada
Stanford Hsu: Campbell Scientific Canada is a company that develops and sells environment measurement systems. We serve global customers around the world that use our equipment to measure air temperature, humidity, and environmental factors for their businesses.
TECTERRA: What did TECTERRA help you build?
Stanford Hsu: TECTERRA funded our innovative solution called Weather Brain. This funding helped us find specialists and experts in the areas of environmental intelligence solutions - programmers, geomatic specialists, etc. - and we use them to help develop our Weather Brain solution for smart cities. Weather Brain is an industrial IOT solution. It is delivered through subscription software as a solution platform. The key there is that we provide environmental intelligent solutions for our customers that make decisions on a daily basis, whether it's for road operations, road transportation, or public safety. They use our platform's solutions to make better decisions. Weather Brain really addresses public safety for municipalities that have to provide public safety information, especially during winter months where you have extreme weather events. Weather Brain provides that raw information and provides visualization and data analytics so that operators can make safety decisions and notify their municipalities about extreme weather and upcoming events proactively.
TECTERRA: How has the product performed in the new marketplace?
Stanford Hsu: Weather Brain is a very innovative, leading edge solution. And so we are in the stages of pre-commercialization. But the market interest is actually quite positive, and we've talked to many municipalities across the country. Right now, I believe we're in 50 plus municipalities. Our solution is delivered through all of them. Traditional large weather stations are of high cost both in capital expenditure to purchase and then to operate. So we're talking in the ranges of 150,000 to $250,000 for a full blown traditional weather station. And so Weather Brain is based on a subscription service and the factor in terms of its physical size is probably the size of a standard shipping box, versus one that's probably 50 feet high. So cost-wise, it's also multiple factors cheaper, so much more affordable. Size-wise, much more easier to deploy in the field. And so those are I think big factors. Another interesting point about Weather Brain is that we've developed proprietary algorithms so that in the measurement of our environmental factors like humidity or snowfall, it will allow our customers to easily look at the visualization of it and understand sort of maybe rate of change and the amounts or volumes so that when they are making business decisions, for example in transportation, the amount of snow, when, where, I think really affects their operations. So the algorithms are key. And secondly, I think delivery through sort of our cloud IOT platform allows for scale. So that means that our customers, large or small, can access our technology on any sort of device, mobile or otherwise. And so access to information at speed will also help them in making better, faster decisions.
TECTERRA: How does Weahter Brain compare to traditional weather systems?
Stanford Hsu: I think a big difference for Weather Brain is that compared to traditional weather systems, the sizing is multiple factors smaller, so miniaturization of the technology. As well as the cost, which is also multiple factors cheaper than what traditional solutions are today.
TECTERRA: What does it mean to be nominated for the Mastering New Markets Award?
Stanford Hsu: Wow. So I think first of all, it's an honor. And I think it really helps highlight our story and what we're trying to do with Weather Brain. The solution is fairly leading edge and I guess we're really honored that we can get the word out there to customers who are looking for our solution.
TECTERRA: How does this technology represent a big leap in geospatial technology?
Stanford Hsu: Traditionally, customers would have to gather all the data through a very manual process. And they'd have to have experts on staff to interpret that data. So what Weather Brain does, is we condense that processor and bring all our 40 years of history and expertise and using technology to leverage that. And so we shorten that cycle for customers. And push that data to the cloud and we provide the analytics portion in near-real time. We, also visualize the data so that it's very easy to consume for our customers so that they can make faster, higher quality decisions.
TECTERRA: How is the geospatial industry changing and how is your company responding to this change?
Stanford Hsu: Almost every market in the world is being disrupted. With TECTERRA's funding and our experience, we're really leveraging technology to shorten the cycle to decisions. From the sensor to decision, we can add a lot of value so that our customers can make better, faster, higher quality decisions in any area that requires environmental intelligence. Our adaptation strategy is to leverage leading technologies like cloud and artificial intelligence and future machine learning to enhance our customers' ability to make better quality decisions in the field that factor in environmental intelligence.
TECTERRA: What does it mean to be nominated for the Most Disruptive Technology Award?
Stanford Hsu: It is very exciting to be nominated for the Most Disruptive Technology. As I've said, Weather Brain is a leading edge solution. And so I say leading edge because it's a service that customers have been demanding but unknowingly. And so we've been trying to address sort of the unspoken need where customers want to get to the data and have insights rather than manually trying to gather just so they can make a decision. So we're skipping that first part and helping our customers get to the insight so they can make better decisions.