Issue: The 10 Companies Beyond Business Transformation

The Inception of an exceptional idea; all thanks to a few ants.

Libelium: The IoT gamechanger

Change is fundamental to life and in these rapidly changing times, the technological world has been constantly shifting its tectonic plates, which has unlocked a plethora of opportunities for those who have a thirst of innovation.  In this cut-throat competitive world, we need technological innovation and productivity to survive this race of success.

After IoT and Big Data have stepped into the arena, the floodgates of the tech world have been gushing with opportunities and challenges for many companies. To keep up with this fast-paced world, Libelium has envisioned that IoT will drive a new form of society, with more transparency and more freedom. Thus it has ventured into the world of the Internet of things, smart cities and M2M platform provision while creating a unique window of opportunity for the future of technology. Being one of the most successful wireless sensor platform providers, Libelium has created a healthy and rational relationship between developers, integrators and innovators while being completely client-centric. Herein, we look at the story of Libelium and what drives this company to continually strive better and dream more.

A man and his ants

David Gascón, Libelium CTO, was only 23 when he observed the behavior of the ants that create the most efficient algorithm of trying to find the minimum distance between two points. David was inspired by this algorithm and proposed the idea of expanding the limits of the internet and allowing objects and the environment to be part of it using small sensors which send information in real-time to the internet. Acting upon the metaphoric light bulb that lit above his head, David made Libelium (which means dragonfly in Latin) his brainchild.

Libelium’s smart sensor platforms are branded by their capability to operate over long distances and low consumptions since they can last up to 10 years with the battery of a single mobile phone. Ever since the inception of the company, the powering of the IoT revolution became real thanks to visionaries such as Libelium who realized its potential from the very beginning.  The company is now playing in the world’s ‘first division’ and in the next decade, their goal will be to get the technology to reach the maximum number of people.

Libelium’s strategy to offer high value-added services to the entire chain of IoT key players has led them to release a new service called “The Hive”, a unique Internet server, which allows users to send information from any IoT device to the main worldwide cloud platforms without having to implement each specific cloud protocol or authentication. Highlighting the greater connectivity, enhanced data security, and online device control, the new “Hive” service allows devices to have direct, secure and reliable connectivity to the cloud concurrently guaranteeing end-to-end data privacy.

By using a unique HTTPS request, any device can connect to the main worldwide cloud platforms just by sending the data to – The Hive which strongly promotes that security is a key factor. “All the messages are point-to-point encrypted so developers do not have to cope with security issues,” points out Gascón.

Thinking beyond the horizon

David Gascón, who is used to work with disruptive technology, has constantly focused on the future and what is coming next, which has formed the main driving force in his career. This aspiration for growth has been a dynamic game changer for him here at Libelium as well. Gascón highlights, “The most important thing is the path we follow, more important than the goal. We must always be moving forward.”

Inspired by ant colony and other swarm insect behaviors, David mainly researched on the Wireless sensor networks (now commonly known as the Internet of things) and Mesh networks and Self Emergent and Auto organizational Complex Systems. For his revolutionary innovations, he has been awarded by the MIT with the TR35 prize as the most important innovator under 35 (2012) and the “Juan López de Peñalver” in 2018 by the Spanish Royal Academy of Engineering. These awards grant the most outstanding engineers under 40 in Spain. In 2013, Libelium Sensors successfully launched ArduSat, the first open source satellite that allows private citizens to design their own applications in space.

Libelium has been a pioneer in the world of the Internet of Things for over a decade now and has continued to revolutionize the digital world with their vision for the future of technology. Identifying IoT as a breakthrough for their company, Libelium has found new ways to solve the problem of interoperability of any IoT project. Furthermore, it has focused on organizing its relationship with the ecosystem and has launched more partnership programs than ever. The most striking quality about Libelium’s Smart Sensor platforms is that they can be utilized for a variety of purposes, from monitoring cities to precision crops.. David Gascón and Alicia Asín, CTO and CEO of Libelium, see IoT as an untapped goldmine that is just starting out on its own path and is still at a very early juncture but with the right set of innovative minds this can really be a breakthrough for many consumers and providers. Until now the transactions have been more between professionals and companies but Libelium dreams of making the technology accessible to anyone and everyone in the years to come.

Turning an idea into an accomplishment
Libelium is a strong believer of the ecosystem approach and believes that small companies need to focus on what holds you back and work on these shortcomings to better themselves in the future. Their primary focus used to be on hardware and sensor devices; it was only later in their journey that they grew to understand the nature of the market and what clients really need. Through this journey of understanding, Libelium dug out other underlying shortcomings as well. For example- System integration; the customers did not want to start putting things together instead they desired a turnkey solution. The chief focus of most companies in the IoT industry was finding software solutions which made the customers wonder about the data generated by the hardware and collected by the sensors. This is where Libelium stepped into the picture to fulfill their customers’ needs; Libelium became more aware of the potential of the market, hence gaining relevant partners to their business. In order to connect everyone in the same way, a compelling program was required. That is when the cloud partner program was created wherein anyone who got a cloud gateway from Libelium could connect to all partners that the company had on the cloud and enhance business.

A bright future

After years of deploying their sensors all over the world, Gascón visualizes the sensors to have a collective global brain that equips them with intelligence and decision making abilities in anticipation of new situations. Gascón claims. “There will come a time when there will be billions of sensors that are interconnected”. Libelium can be given credited for having a big impact in shaping the IoT industry in different developing countries. For instance, fish farms in Vietnam were monitored by controlling water quality in ponds and lakes which led to the reduction of the number of lost animals and improved the product quality.

IoT’s primary advantages being efficiency and cost saving, the other underlying advantages are generations of new jobs and greater opportunities. Thus a society based on data can optimize many things and the biggest legacy of IoT will eventually lead to greater democracy and greater economy.

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