AwareAbility: Self-powered Solutions for the Internet of Things


What could your business or municipality do with a self-powered device that monitors its surroundings, provides remote data access and retrieval, and runs for decades in places where you don’t want to (or can’t) replace batteries or run wires?

AwareAbility, a Columbus-based startup that is at the forefront of creating a new class of self-powered solutions designed for the Internet of Things, is talking with companies that have lots of ideas.

IOTApplications could include environmental monitoring, infrastructure protection, surveillance, or motion detection.

A dumpster gets moved. A gate gets opened. An unauthorized vehicle passes over a private road. The temperature in a remote storage facility climbs to 102°F.

It’s easy to see why Gartner consulting group predicts that by 2020, there will be more than 26 billion connected devices.

Advances in communications, transmission and power required.

For 26 billion devices to happen, there must be advances in communications, transmission, and especially power—the foundation of all things Internet.

“Folks get upset with six or eight smoke detectors when they chirp,” Becker said. “Imagine thousands of devices running low on batteries.”

At the core of AwareAbility’s solution are self-powered sensor devices that harvest light either outdoor from the sun or from indoor lights.

“Since we have the sun only part of the time, the trick is to create a reservoir so that a device that depends on solar power will continue to run in the dark,” Becker said.

But the AwareAbility solution isn’t just a hardware play. It’s an end-to-end solution. That’s good because Gartner also forecasts that those 26 billion connected devices will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion, mostly in services.

AwareAbility provides software and firmware in the microcontroller that’s smart enough to manage the duty cycle of the device to adapt to the energy the device harvests—there’s lot of sleeping and waking up to record and communicate data. Sounds simple, but it’s not.

Plus, AwareAbility is adding even more value that.

“The software management is tuned each customer application,” Becker said. “That way, our solution is based on our customers’ needs.”

AwareAbility graduated from Concept Academy in 2014. Read more about their exciting progress in market validation here.