Designing IoT Solutions for Hard-to-Connect Places

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

IoT is transforming the way we approach intractable problems like poverty, sustainability, and climate change, especially in remote regions like Africa. But there are many challenges inherent in bringing connected devices to these isolated places.


Jit Bhattacharya, Principal at Factor(e) Ventures, joins the podcast to talk about engineering IoT solutions for areas with unreliable connectivity.


Topics we covered:

- 3 challenges of developing an IoT solution for remote areas

- How lithium-ion batteries are changing the landscape

- The importance of data in developing products and gaining industry buy-in

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While we dream of this extraordinary future, the reality is that this technological revolution seems incapable of solving some of thesereally intractable problems that we have here on earth. You are listening to overthe Air Iot connected devices and the journey, brought to you by vary. Ineach episode we have sharp, unfiltered conversations with executives about their IOT journeys, the mistakes they made, the lessons they learned and what they wish they'dknown when they started. All right, welcome back to over the Air IOTconnected devices in the journey. My name is Ryan processers, CEO vary.My name is Luke Willow, chief product off ser very, and we're joinedtoday by jet, by a charia principle at factory ventures, to discuss theprocess of connecting devices in hard to connect places. Jet, welcome to theshow. Thanks for having me. Ry So, jet, set the scenefor us a little bit. What was the you're in Nairobi. This isnow our second guest from the Silicon Savannah. Talk about, like the decision thatyou made to relocate from California to Nairobe in like just a little bitabout your your background leading up to today. Yeah, well, it's really excitingto hear that I am not the first guest from East Africa that youhave had and you've had on this podcast. I think it speaks to to theexciting things that are happening in that market right now. So I startedmy career in Silicon Valley over a decade ago. I was actually the CEOof an electric vehicle technology company. It was called mission motors. We werea fantastic company developing the highest performing electric motorcycle in the world and and that'sreally a where I got my feet wet and and learned everything I need toknow about how to develop products, how to develop high tech products, wasin that Silicon Valley atmosphere. And the great thing about the Silicon Valley Environmentis that we get to marvel every day at what technology can accomplish. Wecan dream of driverless cars, going to going to Mars, flying taxis,all of these things every single day. But while we dream of this extraordinaryfuture, the reality is that this technological revolution seems incapable of solving some ofthese really intractable problems that we have here on earth. You know, forexample, we are talking about going to Mars in the next decade. Andyet in subs are in a place like Subsharan Africa, and not just Africa, India Southeast Asia, there's over six hundred million people who still don't haveelectricity in their home. So that means they have to go home and lighta kerosene lamp, technology from the eighteen hundreds, just in order to beable to light their home study with their kids. And that's an everyday kindof problem. So I was motivated to go back and take everything I learnedabout technology and start to work on these problems. And what I found isthat, while technology hasn't solved these problems,...

...it is already transforming the landscape.Where we can begin, and cellular and Iot is at the core ofthat. Africa, as an example, has leap frogged landline phones and it'sgone straight to cellular. And a place like Africa now almost everyone, richor poor, has a mobile phone and that phone, even if it isn'ta smartphone, it's way more than a device for making calls. It's theirbank, it's their credit card, it's their ID, it's their connection tothe world. And that transformation of cellular coming into a lowincome market, emergingmarket like Africa. It has transformed. It's created a whole new world forhow we can start to address problems like poverty, like sustainable development, likeclimate adaptation, because climate change is affecting these equatorial countries more than any otherplace on earth. And for me in particular, I became fascinated with thistransformation and how I could begin to apply my experience to solve this problem,especially of energy poverty. So that's what motivated me to get to Africa outof Silicon Valley. So one of the questions I had it in especially ingoing through things with your pre interview, it really struck me that a lotof the technical challenges that you're focused on and that you're solving for our verylike they're things that were also seeing at very in like AGTEC, for example. So, like one of them that comes to mind is engineering an IOTsolution in an area where connectivity is intermittent. You know, we see that alot in the ACTEX space. Can you talk about the journey, someof the challenges that you've faced and had to overcome to be able to solvefor that in Africa and and like the connective tissue? That would tie thatback to rolling out like either industrial solutions or actex solutions in a developed marketlike the United States, but that might see similar issues to what you've hadto face. My current role is I'm I'm a technology venture capitalist. I'ma principle with factory ventures and we are technology VC INVESTING IN STARTUP Company startedtechnology companies working in this space, around agriculture, around energy, around mobility. However, before joining this fund, I was actually the chief technology officera company called Phoenix, and what we were doing a phoenix where one ofmany companies now working on the African continent and similar to companies working in India. We were selling fully off grid power systems to those that six hundred millionhomes. I mentioned, six hundred million people, I mentioned who don't haveaccess to the grid. We were selling fully off grade power system, soa sellar panel, lithium ion battery, the appliances that connected to it,to low income homes in very hard, we hard to reach places in ruralAfrica. Now, solar panels, looking a mind batteries, these are expensivetechnologies and the way that we made them affordable was by financing the sale,and that financing was made possible through cellular technology. So just imagine for asecond men and women who own a one acre farm. So these are lowincome individuals, low income households. They live over an hour away from theirnearest town and they don't have cars,...

...so they're waiting for a bus ora motorcycle to come pick them up take them to that town, since it'sa really hard to reach place. And what our technology, combined with cellular, enabled was it allowed us to sell them this solar panel and battery system. Over time. The customer would make a payment from their home using theirmobile phone, using something called mobile money, and then the off grade energy systemthat we developed was cellular connected. So once they made a payment,we were able to apply that credit to their system over the air and ifthey ever ran out of credit, the system would automatically lack at lockout.So we could create an incentive for payment in that way and in this mannerwe were actually able to create an effective financing scheme with manageable risk. Andthen the best part is that with each payment that these homes made, theywere actually building equity in the system. So after one or two years theyowned their own source of energy. And this was a home that up untilthey own this energy system. There were using caresy. Now Cellular was keyto all of this. Through the IOT connection, we were able to monitorthe performance of this system because if it ever broke, it was very difficultfor us to get to this home and be able to repair it or replaceit. We were able to monitor how customers were using it. Through theIOT connection, we were controlling access to this device and we should actually evenmanaged we developed a technology to manage other devices through that IOT connection and thenthrough a local RF network. So we were actually in the process of managingmultiple devices, financing multiple devices. Now, the challenge we faced is in developingan iot product and effective iot product for this market. We had todeal with three enormous challenges, and I think these challenges are very similar towhat you will see in the act text space in a place like the US. So number one, we had to assume unreliable connectivity and coverage when you'reworking in rural areas. Even with the massive amounts of money that they're goinginto cellular networks across the world and especially in emerging markets, you still cannotcount on coverage in all of these places. These are very difficult, very remoteand even when there is coverage, the coverage is going to be unreliable, so it will be intermittent. You cannot count on a persistent connection.Will Give you an example when here we're developing a device where a customer makesa payment and they are counting on that device to be unlocked so that theycan turn on the lights in their home. But what happens if they don't havea cell connection? All of a sudden we can't send the signal tounlock that device. So we had customers picking up their device some of ourprototypes when we were testing this out. They were walking around rural Africa witha battery in their hand trying to find a cell signal. That is notsomething we first predicted and really taught us. Okay, we are going to needto build in a back up here. We need to think about our userinterface, we need to even think about our business model so that whena customer makes a payment they're able to get power, because that's the fundamentalservice were providing. So I was one huge, huge area that we hadto deal with in this also created gaps in the data that we were collectingon how the device was performing. So as we were trying to build thismap and this picture of how the batteries,...

...especially we're degrading. We had todeal with the fact that, okay, the cell connection for some of ourhomes might be out more hours of the day than it was on,and so how are we going to go through and build in data buffers,package data in a in an effective way so we can still build a completepicture despite the fact that count activity is going in and out. so thatunreliable connectivity is probably the biggest issue that we face and has to come intothe product design when we're designing Iot for these markets. Second is we aredealing with connections that are low bandwidth, and not just low band with butalso expensive bandwidth. So when we were connected and collecting data from the systemor transmitting data to the system, we had to think very carefully about everybite of data that we were transmitting. It all had to be intentional andwe even had to think about how we were packaging that data. So wewere think of looking at very simple compression algorithms, compression schemes that we couldimplement on thirty two bit micro controllers. Not something that we predicted when wefirst started this project, but the only way in which we could get thesystem to ultimately work and function the way that we promised the customers. Andthen last and just as important, in something that I know that the adtext space faces quite frequently, is limited power availability. So remember, whatwe were selling was an off grid power systems. That means every ounce ofbattery capacity inside that device was ideally going to be put towards lighting the customershome, charging their phones, running their television or some other appliances. Everyounce of power that we used for the IOT connection was power that was notgoing to the customer in this off grid device. So and and the GSMmodems that we were using were power hungry. So one of the other issues,even though we had unreliable connections, the other reason we couldn't rely ona persistent connection is we could not keep the GSIM radio on the entire time. So how do you design these solutions to be incredibly power efficient so you'remaximizing your battery capacity in your battery life, even if you're not selling the energyfrom the battery to a customer. If you're using a battery in adevice that needs to last days before it can be recharged. That has tobecome part of the design specification now, an important part of how you're configuringthe technology. So those three key issues, you know, working in these inthis context. Unreliable connectivity, low band with an expensive bandwidth and thenlimited power available for your IOT connection. These are key to making us anIOT solution work within this context. So, jet, you have answered questions onethrough seven. So I think luke and I each had one curveball.To keep your end metos. Luke, go ahead. What was yours?I guess I was thinking without obviously going in anything proprietary, but if,for Gent, two of your product other than probably backpack straps. They canwalk around but their whole unit on their bag, what other product evolution featuresor technologies did you kind of push into that next generation to help solve someof these connectivity or power efficiency problems?...

Yeah, so, on the connectivityfront, the only solution that we could really especially when you have something thatneeds to be immediate right. So when a customer makes a payment, youwant to make sure that they can use the energy or use the device right, like we were selling a power system, but this applies for any device wherecustomer makes a payment, you're relying on an Iot connection for them tobe able to get access to that device. What we found is that when you'rein a low, low connectivity environment, you have to have a backup,you have to have an alternative, otherwise your customer experience is just goingto degrade. So, in parallel to the IOT solution, which the Iotlock and unlock, was by far and away the most effective solution for usin developing this product, we also developed a more manual scheme where they couldenter a code, we could send them a code to their phone and theycould use a code to to be able to lock and unlock their device.Newer solutions that I know a number of companies working in these environments are lookingat is now you're starting to see an uptick in the number of smartphones thatare available in these markets. So most of our customers were still not usingsmartphones. They're just using regular, old mobile phones. But with smartphones,who are you now have, as you have the opportunity to leverage the Bluetoothfrom the smartphone, and so can you actually create a connection to the usersphone and then use that as an alternative means of transferring data when the devicesIOT connection is not available. In every single product development that I have beenpart of or now that I'm interacting with as an investor, we are findingthat the teams are having to continue to consider these alternatives in order to getover the the lack of reliability in the connection makes a ton of zones.Yeah, I had a question related to I guess what I would characterize issilver lining. So you're in a development environment that's got a lot of uniqueenvironmental challenges. The ones that aren't unique are definitely there's some difficult challenges.What silver linings have you uncovered in terms of like rolling out devices in Africa? Are there? Are there things where you're like wow, this is ayou know, for example, I know you've mentioned like the lack of landlinetechnology. Nobody cares in the two thousands, you know, because they jumped rightto mobile. So you know, were you guys able to land onany characteristics of the environment there that led to faster development, better solution,something like that? I think the silver linings are there. I would saybroad and macro. Number one is the amount of investment going into the overallcellular landscape right now in in emerging markets, because the entire economy is now beingbuilt on the backbone of cellular. What you're seeing is very appid expansionof coverage. You're seeing, I guess, a much faster expansion of say,three g availability. Yeah, we're still in really a tgthree g worldfor the most part. We're starting to see some for G and in cities, but it's mainly to G and three G and in rural areas. Whatyou're starting to see us three G is becoming more available much faster than wewould have expected, especially in these rural areas, and so we're able tonow start to leverage that as we design...

...products and solutions. So that's onesilver lining here is the amount of investment that's going in, because the entireeconomy is now being built on the cellular backbone, especially because cellular is beingused through this thing called mobile money, mobile money, there are more mobilemoney accounts in Subsahar in Africa right now then there are traditional bank accounts byalmost in order of magnitude. And so when you have this dependence on cellular, it means that the network is going to be getting better very, veryquickly. So that's one silver lining. The other silver lining, I thinkworking in emerging markets is that you find customers are incredibly adaptable. So they'restill customers. You need to really put them first and think about exactly whattheir needs are make life as convenient for them as possible. But one ofthe things that you find is, and we found this with those customers whowere taking our prototypes and walking around trying to find a cellular connection. Formany of them they were they were okay doing that. They were like yeah, well, this is just what it's like to live in a rural areaand live in and and try to get the benefits of these connected technologies whileknowing that we're not always going to have connectivity. See, what you findis actually the customers are quite adaptable as well and and help you solve someof these problems alongside. So I would say those are the two silver liningsthat we really learn from our experience. Shifting gears a little bit and andlike talking about this idea of servicing, or, let's say, deploying assetsin hard to reach areas, in remote areas. Here in the United States, the forest service is like sort of the Og's of deploying like assets inthese impossible to reach you know, so I've come into you live today fromBoseman, Montana. These for service lookouts, you know, these cabins built onthese tall peaks in really remote areas. I'm always struck when I wouldn't wehike up there, you know, we barely make it healthinpuff and whatever, and it come to and then there's a cabin there, you know,and somebody has slept up all of the the material. It really drives onthe point that like servicing things and hard to reach areas is a really difficultproblem. How, like can you talk about that, particularly through the Lensof battery powered devices? You know, how are you guys thinking about that? What are some you know, for folks out there listening today that aresaying, Hey, look, we're like this sounds like my problem. I'vegot a battery powered device. It's going to be primarily deployed in, youknow, difficult to access areas. What are some things that that they shouldbe thinking about or like problems that you guys have had to solve for alongthe way? Yeah, well, right, actually, I'll give you an examplefirst, not one that I have directly had to solve for, butI think it's just it's relevant to what you were just describing about Boseman,Montana and these lookouts. So one of the challenges that we have here.We talked about connectivity and lack of connectivity. As these telecoms are expanding coverage,oftentimes they're expanding coverage using off grid telecom towers. So Imagine Cell Towersthat are not no longer grid powered,...

...they have their own solar array,they've got their own battery and these are really important assets. Everybody is relyingon those assets to to be available and up and the power system that ispowering those telecom towers. It's now one of the largest markets that you seehere in emerging markets for for offgrade energy systems is actually powering these telecom towers. There's a big shift happening over to lithium ion batteries. Now lethiumian batteriesare incredible technology. They are lower lifetime cost overall. The biggest thing theydo for these off gride telecom towers and remote areas is they reduce how frequentlythe tower operators need to go and and service the batteries. When they weredealing with let acid batteries, they were having to go all the time toservice these batteries. They were dying after a few years. With theumion batterieslast a long time, but let themion batteries, as we know, they'restill somewhat of a fragile technology. The fact that now were able to remotelymonitor, control even optimize how those batteries are being used, so every singleday of use is building another data point and how that battery is performing.It's giving us a little bit more insight into how we should be managing thatsystem, some of the choices that she be made, either at the designside or in terms of operations. Remote monitoring and control is completely changing thatlandscape and we saw this on a much more microscale with what we were doing. So one of the one of the great things with remote monitoring and controlis we're now able to take a lithium ion battery system and sell hundreds ofthousands of these into really difficult to reach places. Normally that would seem incrediblyrisk what happens when these start to fail left and right? How do youtell if something is breaking? How do you tell if actually somebody is actuallyjust trying to break into the box to be able to avoid the payment mechanism, and so that way basically tamper with the system get free access to theenergy. These were things where if we were not able to remote get data, remotely monitor these systems and really build a picture of what's happening on asystem by system basis and then for the entire population, this would be waytoo risky a proposition for us to be selling these types of lithium ion batterysystems on a one to two year loan into these homes. So the wholebusiness would not exist without remote monitoring and control. So I think it's reallyinteresting how, on one hand, what you're describing, we have to solveit for the whole for the connectivity piece itself by powering these Telcom Towers,and yet ran the connectivity is also helping enable us do this deploy these morefragile technologies. I bringing up with emion batteries, but you can make asimilar argument for some of these remote sensing technologies that are now enabling add techor health tech, you know, health systems and health centers in really remoteareas, all of these fragile technologies. As a result of being able tomonitor control them remotely, we are able to deploy them with manageable risk,whereas before we were not curious. In the you know, I spent alot of my life in battery systems, as you well know. But I'mcurious in the United States, cell towers are typically, we're frequently now backedup with battery systems as well for the exact same reason that you're outlining.These are connected to the grid, but...

...the grid goes down because so manypeople have ditched their pot plan will televione services in love just having a connectedcell device. That's now critical infrastructure, and so most of those are onbattery backup and I'm curious if there are kind of lessons learn going back andforth, of lessons learned from kind of things you've done in Africa and theseroyal areas that are in emerging markets versus the royal areas and the US versuslike, frankly, cell phone towers are not just in rural areas and there'sstill on dittery backup. If there's like kind of an ecosystem where all thoselessons are being learned and fed back and forth and in each way, andI think that applies probably some of the other technologies that you're describing as well. I would say that the biggest lesson learned right now is the importance ofdata as we're starting to make this these decisions in this transition. So thetraditional, for example, these offtwad energy systems powering telecom towers or sometimes evenother, you know, other applications. It's just the Telcom Towers happens tobe one of the most prevalent. One of the things that's happening is thetraditional system you use, like I said, with let acid batteries, especially ifit was off grade, use let ascid batteries, even if it wasback up. In a market like the US, it was using typically letacid batteries. In the offgrade context, it was using a diesel generator andhonestly, a lot of the power was mostly coming from the generator. Nowwe're starting to see that shift over to solar. Now we're starting to seethe shift from let ascid the with you my on and yet a lot ofthe industry, as you know, has been very hesitant to make that shift. Let acid is a wellknown technology. It's really low upfront capital cost.Here you're coming in and saying, well, trust US technology, this technology isgoing to last it's going to save you money in the long term,but it's more expensive up front the more data that we have to show.Yes, let's show you how this is performing, let's show you how it'sreducing your diesel consumption, but show you how it's easily going to last thelifetime. Plus, collecting that data is making the business case, because otherwisethe business case was purely speculous. I think that that was the biggest lessonlearned, as you have to have the data in order to get the buyin from the industry. That makes it tenses. That's excellent. Yeah,so jet transitioning to, you know, what I would call like connective tissue. So you're making these venture investments. You had A, you know,pretty amazing career in tech up to this point. One of the things thatI was through interested to hear you expand on a little bit is this ideaof data use. I know that when you guys during time it mission motors, that was like, I mean, you're it's an ev connected or it'san electric motorcycle. I think at one time had like a land speed recordon a fairly prominent test track, like a hundred fifty three miles, anhour. Mistaken. Hundred and sixty two. One hundred and sixty two. Yeah, all right. So and what's nine miles per hour between friends?Can you talk a little bit about some of the lessons learned from then tonow that you know have been disproportionately relevant maybe in surprising ways? I wasthinking about it even as as Luke as that previous question and and going backand thinking about mission motors. Mission Motors was my first experience with a trueIOT device. We we weren't necessarily calling...

...at that at that time, becausethis was back in two thousand and nine, two thousand and ten, but themotorcycle that we built as a platform for developing our electric vehicle powertrain technology, as a platform for demonstrating what it is that we could do. Oneof the things that we did very early on was we made sure that thatvehicle was going to be fully connected and we could monitor everything that was happeningand fairly high resolution whenever our protype motorcycles were were taken out for a drive, and whether that was driving on the track or whether that was just goingfor ride around town to test a new algorithm or something like that, andwe built an entire data platform in the background. So we were streaming thatday alive. Every time that motorcycle turned on, we were streaming that dayalive. It was going into a web portal that we developed internally and atthe time what I didn't realize is, yeah, that was my first experiencewith with building an Iot device and the power I think for me that fundamentallychanged everything in my approach even to product development, seeing what we were ableto learn and understand from that data pipeline coming from that vehicle, being ableto monitor a both in real time and then be able to analyze the dataoffline after the fact. It gave us so much insight into improving our powertraintechnology, improving our batteries or power electronics are motors. I cannot imagine developinga product without that type of data anymore, and so for me the biggest lessonlearned here is just it feels to me like for any consumer electronics product, for any electronic product be to be or B Toc some aspect of thatdata connection, that data pipeline, has to be part of the product conceptfrom the very beginning and especially important at the prototype stages where you're really tryingto learn and and so ever since developing that data interface, it is nowa part of every single project I work on. is how quickly can weguilded to get a data pipeline together from whatever product we're making up into thecloud where we can now start to to analyze in assess? Yeah, Ithink it's it's like with most complex features, the earlier you think about it inthe design requirements prototype base, the better you can integrate that solution andI think that that's a very valuable ass it. It's also not an easything to like patch in later if you didn't think about it early on.So I think of those drive that need to be thinking about that very earlydesign process. Yeah, jet, I know you know when I was askingyou in the preaterview what are some of these like, you know, inyour opinion, connective tissue type moments where you're like to solve problems here andnow I'm pulling back from, you know, this previous time in my career.One thing you mentioned that I strongly subscribe to and I think it's likeone of the great underrated elements of a successful company or project technology is justgetting the ORG design right, like the Technical Organization expand on that and whatyou've seen. You know, the good,...

...the bad, the ugly. Yeah, I think one of the things that I have seen now and thatI feel like I've learned from, from experience and and from getting it wrongpreviously, is the importance of product thinking and product management very early in aproduct development process. And specifically, I think this relates more to start ups. So it's start ups. A lot of times entrepreneurs are when we're foundinga company, we are the initial product manager. We have an idea fora product or technology and how we think it can change the world or transformermarket, and so we are basically getting started as product managers, just tryingto get that initial idea a little bit of oxygen in order to see ifit can work and the kind of impact it can have. But then themoment that that product starts to move forward, starts to gain a little bit oftraction, and especially as entrepreneurs and executives, we need to move tobroader priorities. So I building an organization, I'm raising money especially I think it'sreally important that we recognize we need that product function in order for theoverall product Development Organization to thrive. I think too often there's a focus explicitlyon engineering and just getting in really talented engineers, but somebody needs to bethinking about, okay, how is this actually relating to the customer? Howare we making decisions about this product that really are ultimately going to affect thecustomer? And so one of the things for companies in our portfolio, companiesthat I work with and advise, I encourage them to pull in the productmanagement function into their product development teams earlier, and when they do that I havefound in general that those product development teams are much more successful in thefirst iteration of their product, being much closer to what is going to reallystart to scale in the market, rather than requiring two to three iterations beforethey're able to get there. So I think in terms of that organizational design, I think it's that product management piece that's quite often missing and that Ialways encourage people to prioritize a lot, a lot earlier, beyond just reallytalented engineers, which of course you also need. Totally agree. All right, so we're we're moving to to close. Couple of quick questions for you.You know you've seen a lot in your career batteries to bandwidth, cellservice, solar. As you look at the landscape right now, what thingor company do you think is super cool but that nobody's talking about yet?Oh, what thing or company is super cool that people aren't talking about yet? Well, I'm going to have to put this in, you know,in the context of the market in which I work. Unfortunate, sure,so. Living in East Africa, I think sometimes we're not as well versed. I am not as well versed in what's happening in in silicon value.I'm sure there's incredibly cool things happening in Silicon Valley right now. I willsay that the thing that's very, really cool happening within our in emerging marketsright now is over the last decade we've...

...seen a really big transition to distributedenergy systems and new ways of bringing the making those available, inclusive and accessible. The next big shift that's happening now is in electric mobility. In placeslike Africa and places like India specially, electric mobility is already taken off andwhat you're seeing now is electric mobility and places like Africa. And the reallycool thing, the reason that I think it's particularly cool, is we areseeing business models that were tried in the US and didn't quite work. So, in particular, I'll just give you an example of one story back inthe US in you know, sometime in the I want to say two thousandand eight to two thousand and twelve period, there was a company called project betterplace that was trying to do battery swapping for electric cars. Actually raised, I think the company raised almost a billion dollars and had a really bigproject working in Israel, but ultimately it didn't fly, for for any numberof reasons. It didn't fly. And and in general I think we've seenmost companies in the electric car space in the US move away from battery swapping. And yet battery swapping is now seeing a resurgence in a place like EastAfrica, but not for cars, actually for motorcycles. In East Africa oneof the most common modes of transportation is actually motorcycle taxis. So after buses, motorcycle taxis are really common way for people to get around, sometimes withas many as three to five people on the back of the motorcycle, behindthe behind the driver, carrying all their groceries and everything else. It's prettyit's a pretty remarkable site to see, something you've probably seen from photos ofVietnam and Southeast Asia as well. The cold thing is there are now anumber of companies working in east Africa, including one of our companies, ampersandin Rwanda, that what they're doing is they're taking an electric motorcycle with aswappable battery, they're selling the motorcycle without the battery to motorcycle taxi driver andthen these taxi drivers pull in to a swap station and in sixty seconds theyswap out the battery, pay a small fee and then go on their wayand in the process, basically what you have now is an electric mobility companythat basically requires no behavior change on the part of these taxi drivers and couldresult in the complete transformation of the motorcycle taxi industry in a market like EastAfrica. So I might the reason I bring this up is I don't thinka business like this is being talked about in the US, and yet itis incredibly cool. It's taking a concept that was first originated over a decadeago in the US and it's going to have transformative impact in in emerging markets. So that's the one that I would bring up and say I'm most excitedabout so for for a long time, ev enthusiasts like me, they've beenwatching the space. I want to say project better place. Is that thename of the Israeli startup that went really heavy on yeah, swamp for thethe the car space. Totally Shyagon's and and then, Luke, you hada follow up comment, I think now. I was just going to say that. The market the idea that you're...

...outlining now. So I was atUber before I joined very and as part of the jump program there, whichultimately got sold off. There are, and I know kind of so oicswere gone this with people in Taiwan, but they're doing a lot of thatfor scooters and for any bikes and things like that, where they're working toset up kiosks and that sort of thing. We can go and swap it outand get credit actually for bringing it, if it's load, to get itcharged up in the kiosk, because that's a that is the thing that'sstarting to make make its way through, certainly in Taiwan and also a bitin the US as well. All right, Gent last question. You might havemissed this, but here in the US a Saturday night. Late nighttelevision viewers retreated to Elon Musk's debut hosting a Saturday night live is very invogue to say that snl isn't funny anymore. I think we're now twenty years intothat being what people say every time. Other than Will Ferrell and Chris Farley, in your opinion, who's the funniest person that's ever been on Saturdaynight live? Oh Man, funniest person who's ever been one? And Ican't and I can't be will Ferrell or Chris Farley. No, I meanit's this is like I'm saying who's the best basketball player, but you can'tsay Jordan or Lebron, you know, like those are the two obvious ones. Will Ferrell Chris Barley off the table. Funniest SNL CAST member of all time? Well, I mean, I don't know, Ryan not. Thismight be a little provocative and and politically incorrect or politically very correct, butfor me over the last four years it was definitely Alec Baldwin and I willI will leave it at that. So as I'll let you decide if youwant to edit that one out. No, I love it. Will make that'sthat's a great one, and and bonus points for choosing a host.Not So. I don't think he was ever ever cast that star. There'sa that's very yeah, I think he's hosted more than anyyone else. Okay, jet. Thank you for those that want to keep up with you andyour journey. Working folks follow along. Yeah, the best place this tofind me on Linkedin. Just look up chip out of Charia. I shouldbe fairly easy to find and and thanks again, Ryan for having me cool. Thanks for being here. All Right, folks, that's it for today.Thanks for listening and we'll see you on the Internet. You shouldn't haveto worry about IOT projects dragging on or unreliable vendors. You've got enough onyour plate. The right team of Engineers and project managers can change a pivotalmoment for your business into your competitive edge varies. Close Knit crew of ambitiousproblem solvers, continuous improvers and curious builders know how to turn your ideas intoa reality on time and up to your standards, with a focus on mitigatingrisk in maximizing opportunity, will help you build an Iot solution that you canhang your hat on. Let's bring your Iot idea to life. Learn moreat very possiblecom. You've been listening to...

...over the Air Iot connected devices andthe journey. If you enjoyed today's episode, make sure to hit subscribe in yourfavorite podcast player and give us a rating. Have a question or anidea for a future episode? Send it to podcast at very possiblecom see younext time.

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