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UnaBiz@CES2019: The IoT revolution is underway
Other innovations 12/12/2018

UnaBiz@CES2019: The IoT revolution is underway

UnaBiz is a startup created in 2016 by Henri Bong and Philippe Chiu, who have been settled in Asia for more than 15 years. Their aim was to massively develop the use of IoT to connect the world in a sustainable and inclusive way. UnaBiz will be at the ENGIE & Partners booth at CES 2019, and we asked them to explain what they are doing.

UnaBiz’s commercial model is based on 3 main axes:

The deployment of IoT networks using Sigfox technology. Within a year, UnaBiz had deployed a telecommunications network for connected objects based on Sigfox technology in Singapore and Taiwan. These Sigfox networks are installed locally by local operators like UnaBiz and M2M (which will also be at the ENGIE & Partners booth) for Belgium. Subscriptions to the network cover more than 60 countries worldwide.

Developing solutions that include sensors. To collect data from millions of sensors and make it available to customers in the cloud, you need to be low-cost from end to end.

As a former Sigfox employee, Henri Bong relied on the technology to connect objects at very low cost in order to develop inexpensive sensors that allow massive rollout of IoTHe moved to Singapore, a model smart city and technological showcase, and then Taiwan, to get the best of the Taiwanese ecosystem that now manufactures all phones and laptops.

During its first two years, UnaBiz produced most of the basic sensors requested: temperature, movement, GPS tracker, etc. These sensors are sold less for than $10 per unit, which unlocks a series of uses.

IoT expertise: the company also uses its expertise for consulting and integrating complex solutions for B2B customers who want to optimize industrial processes with connected objects.

Having signed contracts on these three axes, UnaBiz’s story attracted enough investors to complete a first fundraising round of $10 million in August 2018.


Tell me about the history of UnaBiz with ENGIE.

When UnaBiz was created in 2016, the original investors were ENGIE and Sigfox. ENGIE has been there since the beginning of the adventure! When fundraising started in August 2018, ENGIE confirmed its interest in UnaBiz by investing again.

Locally, UnaBiz has worked closely with ENGIE teams, including ENGIE Services Asia, which is very well established in the hospital sector in Singapore.


What will you show at CES?

Our aim is to show how the collaboration between ENGIE, the CNRS and UnaBiz is helping elderly people with very limited means to live in their homes as long as possible using a sensor system that monitors their activity non-intrusively and warns caregivers when an anomaly is detected. This is possible because of our connected sensors.

We will give our visitors an opportunity to experience it in real time by sitting on a chair equipped with a sensor that will measure a sitter’s heart rates and blood pressure when they sit.

The project is especially important for UnaBiz, because in Asian cultures it is important to look after the elderly.


What does CES represent for UnaBiz?

The CES will mark two developments for UnaBiz: it’s outside our original geographical boundaries, and what we’re showing expands beyond our B2B activity. And of course, CES is a place rich in business opportunities!

UnaBiz is a B2B player that offers very solid, tangible solutions for predictive maintenance and data analysis for industrial customers. At CES, we want to show very practical and economically accessible applications for end consumers, with the example of home care for the elderly.


What does connectivity look like to you in 2030?

By 2030, the Internet of Things will be an integral part of our lives; it will be invisible yet omnipresent. It will be free, or even bring us passive income thanks to the data collected. It will no longer need batteries and will seek out the energy it needs in its own environment.

Its impact will be much greater than that of the Internet in the last 15 years. If the Internet as we know it is a kind of global connected library bringing together all of human knowledge and productions, IoT will go even further. It will be a network of objects collecting an infinite amount of information directly from our environment, information we will have to learn to use. Coupled with analytics and artificial intelligence, the data will help us better understand our personal or professional environments to make better decisions faster. I am convinced that 90% of applications do not exist yet. The IoT revolution is still ahead of us!

Source: Christine Leroy

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