A word from our Founder - Hans Stevens.
A couple of years ago, when seeing Simon Sinek’s Tedx talk for the first time I was truly inspired. Sinek explains on a simple flip board how we should start with 'why?' when creating something new.
When I started developing the idea of AI-BLOX, I was asking myself 2 different 'why?' questions. The first one was the personal why: why should I start a new company if I'm settled? It's not the easiest route to take in life. The second was the business why. Could I develop a product which brings added value to customers and make their lives easier?
In this blog, I will try to answer both
After I sold my last startup, I worked for 4 years as a consultant. I was really fortunate to work for some great startups like Cowboy and Nobi. The dynamic nature of these startups was really energetic. At Cowboy for example, we were working with a small team of 4, almost day and night to release the first bike. At one stage, we were even helping in the factory to produce the bikes. It was the vision of the founders that everybody should know how the bikes were produced. So much adventure, so much fun. Looking back at this experience, brings a big smile.
However, there always was this gap. As the team grew, my consultant role became more defined. It’s like you are standing with only one foot in the team. The other foot is already out and ready to walk away. Of course, I have thought about putting both feet into the team and switching from consultant to employee. But in my 25 year working life, only my first year was spent as an employee. After that, I have been working on my own projects. So why would I change this - and more importantly - could I function in an employee role?
The answer to this question would be no. The creative passion to be a 'maker' is so rewarding. In the 4 years I worked as a consultant, this had become clear. So there was no other option than to start a new company. Damn! 😅.
Why should I start AI-BLOX? It was clear that bringing added value to other companies with a hardware product and helping those companies to accelerate their business would bring me a lot of professional joy.
During my consultant job at Nobi I saw the ‘light’. Nobi uses AI technology to detect if elderly people have fallen. This is a noble application, as it is vital to minimise the time it takes for assistance to arrive. Because of privacy reasons, they can’t send images over the cloud to process it. That’s why they were obligated to develop custom hardware which processes AI locally and not in the cloud. ‘On the edge’ as we say.
I truly believe that AI on the edge will become common. With the amount of data being generated these days, the processing of these data needs to happen at the source. Besides that, a lot of use cases simply have limitations that can only be solved by adding intelligence on the edge of the network. To find out what edge technology means, check out our other blog post.
As those applications require specialized hardware, the roll out will go slowly. Developing hardware is challenging compared to software development. This is where AI-BLOX could bring added value: providing hardware blocks for AI on the edge. This would speed up the AI applications rollout, which would improve our living standard.
AI-BLOX believes in the growth of edge technology in the near future. Creative software teams will develop all kinds of applications in various domains like healthcare, mobility and logistics. AI-BLOX will support those software teams with ready to use hardware blox. By doing so, AI-BLOX wants to help accelerating the adoption of AI