IoT start-up profiles: Undersea drones and sound encryption locks

24 Nov 2016

Nicola Hopcroft, COO, Standard Access. Image: Luke Maxwell

At the recent IoT World Europe conference in Dublin, we spoke to two innovative start-ups diving into whole new depths of the internet of things (IoT), working on technology to make us more secure.

The inaugural appearance of IoT World Europe on Irish shores – one of the largest events of its kind in the world –was a testament to Ireland’s place among the global IoT players.

A recent report found that by the end of 2016, 40pc of Irish businesses will have used IoT in some capacity in their operations, while a recent feature by’s editor John Kennedy highlighted not one, but nine reasons why Ireland is such an attractive location for it.

But while established players on the market like Asavie and Cubic Telecom continue to make headway in the growing IoT world, there are still a number of start-ups coming into the mix, both in Ireland and abroad.

At IoT World Europe, the organisers of the event ran its Project Kairos initiative to highlight and support some of the most exciting start-ups through workshops and a pitch competition.

Of the dozens of global start-ups present at the Project Kairos area, the eventual winner of the pitch competition was named as Belgian-based team, Pozyx, that provide indoor and outdoor hardware solutions for accurate localisation.

But before the winners were revealed, we spoke to two interesting start-ups whose projects are very different, but that are both very innovative in their own ways.

A firm sonic handshake

The first company we spoke to was Kerry-based Standard Access, which is looking to overhaul how businesses ensure building security, using a very ‘sound’ idea.

Unlike many door security systems that rely on a swipe card or near-field communication, the system developed by Standard Access can turn an average smartphone into a key that emits a burst of encrypted sound – or ‘sonic handshake’ – that will unlock a specified door.

As the company’s COO Nicola Hopcroft explained, its service is aimed towards landlords and facilities managers to enable them to manage their portfolios remotely using its app.

Opening underwater drones to the masses

The second start-up, Deep6, certainly puts a new spin on drone technology. Rather than sending cameras into the sky, it wants to help us send cameras to the depths of oceans.

As its founder Kohen Judd quite rightly points out, the vast majority of our planet remains unexplored –while water covers 70pc of the Earth, we have only explored less than 5pc of it.

Based just outside Heathrow Airport, New Zealander Judd and his team have developed a platform that can dive to depths of 1,500 metres underwater to capture the sights typically reserved for those with their own private submarines.

As he said on the day, it won’t offer the same capabilities as these luxury items, but “it will certainly open [deep sea videography] to a hell of a lot more people”.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic