Serial Entrepreneur Jeremy Jaech Launches new company with UW Professor Shwetak Patel

 
 

Two years ago Shwetake Patel was on the cover of our magazine as a "Top Innovator" for his work on sensor networks in the home. Now he is helpiing to launch a new company that will commercialize that product with backing from Madrona Venture Group. One of the first applications will be a moisture sensor that can warn the homeowner when there is a possible leak. Moisture from flooding, roof leaks or appliances is a huge source of costly damage to homes. Check out the website of UW student Gabe Cohn who has been working on the technology.

 

Here's the press release:

Industry Veteran, Jeremy Jaech, Lands $1.5 Million from Madrona Venture Group and Radar Partners for Innovative Low Power Sensor Technology; Founds SNUPI Technologies

Developed at the University of Washington and Georgia Institute of Technology, SNUPI Technology Enables Home Monitoring at Low Power and Low Cost

December 11, 2012 -  Seattle, WA  - SNUPI Technologies, a new company that takes advantage of the wiring already in homes to create a wireless sensor network, launched today with $1.5 million in funding from Madrona Venture Group, Radar Partners and the founders.  The technology, also called SNUPI (Sensor Network Utilizing Powerline Infrastructure), was developed at the University of Washington and Georgia Institute of Technology by Professors Shwetak Patel and Matt Reynolds and others.

Co-founded by Jaech, Patel, Reynolds and UW graduate student Gabe Cohn, the company will use the financing to build the team, and to design and build the hardware and software implementations.  SNUPI Technologies is based in Seattle.

“SNUPI is an incredibly innovative technology that promises to provide low cost and reliable sensing technology that everyday people can take advantage of,” said Jeremy Jaech, CEO. “As our day-to-day lives become increasingly measured and recorded, SNUPI will make people’s lives better by providing insight into what is happening in their home and alerting them to potential hazards.  I’m very excited to work with Dr. Patel and Dr. Reynolds to bring this technology to market.”

“Madrona Venture Group has a long track record of supporting the commercialization of the remarkable technology that comes out of the University of Washington,” said Tom Alberg, Managing Partner, Madrona Venture Group.  “This team combines Jeremy’s business acumen with technological brilliance from highly esteemed professors and institutions.  SNUPI is positioned for growth in this emerging market of advanced sensor technology.”    This investment marks the 11th company Madrona has funded that is based on technology developed in the University of Washington’s Computer Science and Engineering department.  Previous investments have included Farecast (acquired by Microsoft), AdRelevance, and Skytap. 

Co-founders and Professors Shwetak Patel from the University of Washington Computer Science and Engineering department and Matt Reynolds from Duke University’s department of Electrical and Computer Engineering first developed the technology through collaboration with Professor Gregory Abowd’s research group at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  The technology was further developed at the University of Washington.

Jeremy Jaech is a successful, longtime entrepreneur, deeply committed to bringing life and work changing technology to the masses.  As a co-founder of Aldus, which invented desktop publishing through its PageMaker software, and of Visio which enabled everyone from engineers to business managers to plan work visually, he changed how industries operate and work gets done.  Since the acquisition of Visio by Microsoft, Jeremy has led several companies including Verdiem and Trumba and has served as the Chair of the Tech Alliance.  Jaech was appointed to the University of Washington Board of Regents by Washington Governor, Christine Gregoire, in the fall of 2012. 

Dr. Patel previously co-founded Zensi, Inc., an energy and water monitoring company that was acquired by Belkin, Inc. in 2010. Dr. Patel received a MacArthur Fellowship “the genius grant” in 2011, was a 2012 Sloan Fellow, and is widely seen as one of the most promising thinkers and inventors in this arena.

The company’s CTO is Matt Reynolds from Duke University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Reynolds previously co-founded ThingMagic, Inc., an RFID systems firm, acquired by Trimble, and also co-founded Zensi Inc. with Dr. Patel.  He holds 10 patents and 20 pending patents.

Gabe Cohn, Ph.D. student in the UW Electrical Engineering department where he is advised by Professor Patel is the recipient of many awards including the Madrona Venture Group Top Research Prize in 2011 and a Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship. His Ph.D. thesis is partly the basis of the SNUPI technology.

Sponsored

Smart Glasses Improving Workflow for HVAC Projects

Smart Glasses Improving Workflow for HVAC Projects

Wearable technology increases productivity for HVAC technicians
 
 

Sponsored by MacDonald-Miller

XOEye technologies created a smart glasses tool, built specifically for field technicians to capture real-time documentation. When MacDonald-Miller heard about the new wearable technology platform, they saw it as an opportunity to be the first mechanical contractor in the Pacific Northwest to implement these smart glasses into their services.

We interviewed MacDonald-Miller’s Chief Information Officer, Bradd Busick, to hear first-hand how this new technology will be integrated into services and how it will streamline HVAC projects.

What are the capabilities of the smart glasses? 

The smart glasses, MacLens, capture and stream high fidelity audio and visual content, enabling first-person point-of-view (POV). MacLens includes a camera, earpiece, and microphone — all built into a single headset, capturing real-time documentation of equipment, work performed, and recommendations being made. 

How does it work for technicians?

Once service techs arrive onsite, they put their MacLens glasses on to create an intro video communicating where they are, a brief diagnosis or repair identification, and a summary recap for the customer. After the site visit is complete, the tech then uploads the content to the call summary report on the customer portal, where customers can access it at their convenience.

What is the benefit for the end-user?

Building owners and property managers have to trust their maintenance provider is actually doing the work they claim. Most building owners will never see the work being done on their properties, but they will receive a list of recommendations for changes and a bill. It’s a relationship built on trust. MacLens adds a level of transparency and customer experience where we are able to show in real-time what is happening on roofs and in mechanical rooms. MacLens embeds audio and video content into each summary report, providing customers with the peace of mind that comes with unbridled transparency.

What is the vision behind this technology roll-out?

The goal is to enhance the customer connection to the services provided and also enable technicians to connect with each other. There are incredible operational efficiencies that enable mobility and collaboration through telepresence and increased accountability.

How will they affect the next wave of HVAC technicians?

Not only will MacLens increase workflow productivity, but it also offers training opportunities and safety benefits without adding any additional work to service technicians. This is a major educational advantage. Now expert journeyman can train apprentices simply by walking through their daily tasks, recording those sessions and sharing them in our learning management system — it’s the next evolution of training!

See MacLens in action here.

MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions is a full-service, design-build, mechanical contractor in the Pacific Northwest. Learn more about MacDonald-Miller’s recent projects.