For the third year in a row, Farnell element14 is proud to be an official partner of Startupbootcamp IoT, an intensive three-month acceleration program for tech-based startups. We recently traveled to Startupbootcamp IoT's London headquarters to meet the participating startups for the 2018 cohort.
Introducing Vesta Smart Packaging
Vesta Smart Packaging is a UK-based IoT startup that aims to help manufacturers and consumers to reduce the amount of plastic they consume in their daily lives.
How it works
Vesta's smart packaging product is able to essentially record its own contents, identifying when it has become empty and automating a refill - based on a series of algorithms built into the platform. This means that when the customer has run out of an essential product, they can have a re-order in process before they even realise they need to place one.
Vesta's Smart Packaging solution is based around an ESP32 development board and a combination of sensors inside the packet. These combine to allow packages to transmit their content to Vesta's central system at a very low cost. The platform and back end databases are all built in-house, although as they continue to grow they anticipate moving onto a dedicated platform to better handle a large number of queries.
The biggest challenge they currently face is wireless transmission, specifically the lack of a clear, industry-wide path to adopting Low Power, Wide Area technologies. Consequently they are currently exploring a variety of options including WiFi, Sigfox, NBIoT and more to transmit the data they're collecting as quickly, accurately and cost effectively as possible.
"We're looking to disrupt a very well-established business model" explains Vesta CEO Tom Mowat. "Our solution would allow manufacturers to work more directly with their end users and provide a better service. We've built machine learning algorithms into our platform which will make it a powerful predictive engine once it's being used at scale. The biggest change will come when we start getting more data into the platform, at which point we'll be in a position to add a wide range of new data-led services".
Joining the Startupbootcamp IoT Program...
"What attracted us to Startupbootcamp IoT is that it's a specific IoT accelerator, and there aren't many of those around" says Tom. "It's great to be working in a cohort in which everybody has at least some shared challenges. That and the access to a wide range of mentors, experts and coaches who are really familiar with the type of work we want to do are the main reasons we applied."
We'll be continuing to check in with Vesta Smart Packaging and the other Startupbootcamp IoT 2018 participants over the coming weeks, so keep checking this space for more updates. You can also learn more about Vesta Smart Packaging on their official website and on the Startupbootcamp website.