How Onstream is building the brains for smart devices
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Photo Credit: Onstream

This Nevada-based company is finding new ways to make average devices more intelligent

Creating a truly smart device means more than simply connecting an otherwise “dumb” mechanism to a network and calling it a day. To optimize a network of devices and draw out their potential requires a system that can speak with the units in the field and deliver a higher level of performance.

With this goal in mind, the Reno-based team over at Onstream believes that their device intelligence framework can help teach old devices new tricks.

Creating device intelligence

If the first generation of the Internet of Things was for devices to be connected to the network, this is surely the next stage in the evolution. Onstream’s vision was to establish a new concept of the smart device wherein the device not only communicates with a backend database, but can also be given a series of updated and detailed instructions on how to perform at its location. By creating a communications loop where there is a back and forth between the operators and the devices, their clients can now optimize and automate their systems as a part of their greater network for more efficient results through smarter device behavior.

Founded in 2015, the company is a white label backend solutions framework provider, working primarily with original equipment manufacturers and solutions providers. Their technology is currently being utilized in sectors managing wine production, water-based safety systems, and mining.

For example, mining solutions company Cirrus Systems has implemented Onstream’s technology for automating traffic management for vehicles at their sites. By communicating with the network operators, trucks, and stoplights, the system can monitor the fleet, knowing where the trucks are, what they are carrying, and which ones are high priority for passage at crucial intersections. Through adjustment of the stoplight in accordance with this data, Cirrus makes their operations safer and more efficient.

Setting up for business in Reno

In a less than typical story, Onstream’s CEO Craig Macy moved to Reno after a long career in Silicon Valley. Having first moved out to the tech capital at the beginning of the Internet explosion, he left Silicon Valley in 2005 before the big slow down. He says that he chose to move to Reno since it was still close to the Valley and allowed him easy access to his other businesses in China. While many believed then that Reno could be the next big thing, the economic downturn put a hold on growth for nearly ten years, Macy tells Geektime.

More recently, however, he explains that Reno has started to develop into a better ecosystem for tech. He notes that the city has drawn the attention of big corporate players like Microsoft, Apple, and Tesla, who have all set up operations there now. Macy believes that these companies received significant incentives for bringing their businesses to town. He notes that Nevada does not have state income tax, which can be a definite perk for high wage earners.

As many of the bigger companies have set up shop, it has helped to bring in others from the tech world, slowly building the community there.

Connecting with the local ecosystem has brought on numerous opportunities for Onstream. In August, as reported in MarketWatch, they announced that they had received $2 million in funding from the Nevada-based Traynor Family Enterprise, whose portfolio of companies includes Cirrus Systems (we wonder who made that connection) and Brita Hydration Stations.

Moving forward

Onstream brings with it a number of key advantages in the device intelligence market. As a white label provider, they offer their clients an easy to implement solution that saves them the time and costs of development that would otherwise be needed. The fact that it works with existing infrastructure and does not explicitly require an expensive overhaul is a big plus.

The company recently highlighted a wide range of usage for their solution in a video by adding the technology to a ping pong shooting robot, calling it Pongzilla, that was able to learn and adjust according to its opponents.

Secondly, they do not lock their clients into long term and expensive data storage contracts, giving more agility according to their individual needs.

Onstream is still in the process of bringing their solutions to the wider market. They appear to be well positioned in moving forward, having partnerships with large-scale actors like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft. How they are able to introduce their product into new sectors, bringing new levels of intelligence to otherwise standard devices, will be worth watching out for as they continue to grow.

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Gabriel Avner

About Gabriel Avner


Gabriel has an unhealthy obsession with new messaging apps, social media and pretty much anything coming out of Apple. An experienced security and conflict consultant, he has written for The Diplomatic Club, the Marine War College, and covers military affairs with TLV1 radio. He mostly enjoys reading articles wherever his ADD leads him to and training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. EEED 44D4 B8F4 24BE F77E 2DEA 0243 CBD1 3F7C F4B6

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