Remoticom sensors ready for the big Smart City leap
Remoticom is an expert in the field of sensor technology. The company, that has its own development, sourcing and production facilities in Shenzhen, is operating at the forefront of the Smart City revolution. “We develop and produce leading solutions, using IoT and smart sensor technology, to connect and improve life in cities all over the world, including in China”, says Joost van der Velden, Remoticom’s founder and CEO.
The buzz about Smart Cities gets louder every day. The city of the future is a technologically advanced city, in which activities of humans can be supported by new monitoring and management systems. The key elements are the Internet of Things (IoT) network connections and sensors that register what is going on. In Smart Cities, street lights with sensors switch on one by one when a bicyclist or pedestrian comes within range. And garbage cans are emptied by city workers after a sensor indicates that they are full.
“To many, the smart city concept may be vague”, Joost van der Velden (Remoticom) says. “It is best defined as ‘Measuring the public space to create a safe and comfortable working and living environment’. Smart Cities are being developed to relieve, support and facilitate the people that live there. To them a Smart City is a city that is pleasurable and safe thanks to the latest tech solutions.”
Up the value chain
It is the world of Remoticom, a Netherlands-based company specialized in sensor technology. From developing basic sensors in the early days (8 years ago), Remoticom moved up the value chain. “We soon focused on developing integrated Smart City monitoring and management concepts – based on Vodafone’s standards and platform. Today, international customers in the lighting industry buy our systems to integrate our concepts and sensor products into their offerings to local governments and city managers”, says Van der Velden, adding that light solutions are key to Smart Cities, as they are a main contributor to public safety. “It starts with Smart Lighting, then follow Smart Traffic, Smart Parking, Smart Waste et cetera. It works on electricity, IoT networks and sensors.”
Facilities in Shenzhen
With Remoticom’s business growing, the company decided to start sourcing and own manufacturing facilities in Shenzhen. “Our local team of six engineers, quality controllers and logistics experts work closely together with our 30+ engineers in our HQ in Tilburg, The Netherlands. The Shenzhen base handles production for our own systems as well as offer EMS services for third party products. In China, we still benefit from my own past experiences in sourcing consultancy for other companies: I know how to develop products in China and have them produced in a consistent and high-quality way.”
Choosing Shenzhen for Remoticom’s China HQ made sense and still does. “It is the Silicon Valley of Asia. Moreover, Shenzhen offers access to knowledge. This is where we find talented engineers that support our next steps and that are flexible to work with. The manufacturing capacity, the right price and the right logistics offer – close to Hong Kong: Shenzhen has it all.”
Watch chain closely
What about IP? “We do most of the R&D work in The Netherlands and our engineers follow up in China – while adding their own expertise. Moreover, we watch the whole chain closely, with our own employees and without partners. Our IP is well protected, on paper and in the technology itself – our firmware and codes are registered in an automated way – and we used very specific components that are watched closely.”
Smart City is a big promise. When will this industry come to life? “Cities all over the world are looking for ways to make their environment more sustainable. They make careful steps, but the undercurrent is clear and strong. The Smart City industry may be relatively new, but we as Remoticom have already earned its market share. “We offer our own acceleration platform that allows us to offer a proof of concept of our solution in weeks, instead of months with the competition.”
Tech making progress
Meanwhile sensor technology is making progress in several other markets and industries. With Remoticom Smart Tech, Van der Velden and his team provide smart sensor technology at industrial and consumer installations. “With this sensor technology we make it possible to monitor and control your rooms and areas with NB-IoT connected sensors.”
You may also come across Remoticom’s technology during this summer’s festivals, Joost van der Velden says. “Remoticom Smart Crowd provides smart crowd control via sensor technology in stores and at theme parks, fun fairs, events and festivals. With this sensor technology we make it possible to let event managers know which cash desk, aisle, bar or stage is the busiest. With regards to safety and to responding to accidents in the best and fastest way, our concepts offer invaluable steering information.”