Smartdust puts smartness into sensor nets, says the business is growing
Jaanus Tamm, Jürgo Preden and Tauri Tuubel founded the company in 2006 and have worked the it up from a startup to a stabile business.
"Smart dust motes" (one is pictured above) are the building blocks of a wireless sensor network - a network of small devices that can communicate with each other through wireless medium and that may have one or more sensors for measuring physical phenomenon.
These can include temperature, humidity, pressure or movement. With a network of such units you can measure processes in a factory, measure road conditions, build burglar alarms for large areas. The possible list of applications is long.
They say their business is growing. Seven engineers employed today and are looking for more. So if you are an embedded systems engineer looking for a job then they are hiring!
The company has built a number of solutions and has many customers. The most interesting one is probably the Estonian Border Guard with whom they are building a border monitoring system.
Until now Smartdust has concentrated on developing, building and installing customer specific solutions. This involves both hardware integration and software development. Smardust Solutions is developing their own networking platform - a loosely synchronized sensor network superior to what the competition can offer.
No big "IBM"s
This would pave the way for a breakthrough in the whole industry as today the industry can be best described to be like the computer industry in the 70s - not standardized, a lot of hardware and software is in the experimental phase and there are no big "IBM-s" offering "smartdust in a box". So a standardized turnkey solution would be an improvement like an Ethernet network or a standardized PC in the beginning of 80-s.
One of the most challenging problems to work on in the smartdust industry is the energy efficiency of the network units - the motes. As a future networks can consists of tens, hundreds or even thousands of units that cover a big area then changing their batteries is not something you want to do on daily basis.
Some experience to share
SmartDust guys are giving us a piece of advice.
If you plan to develop a technology product then do get experience with real-life solutions. Building real-world customer specific solutions and getting the experience is a must before you are able to make products that will be useful for the end-customers and that actually also work. So it is wise to start as a project based business, gain experience from customer needs and address the technical problems before beginning to develop your own product.
Smartdust has a principle of talking AFTER they have accomplished something. This is actually quite unusual in the technology sector and might be sometimes even boring for the general public, but makes a reliable image for the customers.
On the other hand beware that most technology and IT companies of the world do not follow this principle and advertise their products that are still in the testing phase. So if you plan to use cutting edge technology don't believe the media, but rather test it thoroughly.
And lastly - to be successful you have to work hard and learn a lot.
Märt Ridala is a new Author in TigerPrises.com