The future of smart products

NEW YORK--Last October 13, OLC attended the Tech in Motion Panel at the Verizon Building in the financial district. Grind, a new co-working space to be completed in early 2016 and Verizon, a phone and internet conglomerate you’ve likely heard of, co-sponsored the event. The co-sponsors bribed us to attend with Domino’s Pizza and Dales IPA, but the bribe was unneeded due to the all-star panel.


Samantha King from Tech in Motion ran the panel on the “Internet of Things.” Her questions were designed to allow at least one of the four panelists to extrapolate where tech is going, from where they have already been.


Jamyn Edis, founder & CEO at Dash, provided insights into his experience as a software designer specializing in the application of data analytics. Dash is a software that tracks how a person is driving using a sensor easily plugged in behind the steering wheel. Dash utilizes sensors that he readily admits to being “rudimentary” and has thus made it hardware agnostic. He asserted that although hardware was a necessary component to innovation, the most room for improvement was in software.


Ed Maguire, a research analyst for CLSA, applied his broad scope of knowledge on all facets of the tech industry on a macro level. Maguire asserted that there has been an explosion of wearable tech in the past several years, but he saw the “Smart Home” as the next big wave. He referenced a $500 dollar remote, which could control over 300,000 devices as an example of the next big wave.


Maguire referenced his metric for determining whether or not a company will succeed. Before investing, Maguire checks to see if the product is a platform, if it’s applied analytics, or if it’s an application. He claimed, “One is sustainable…All three is great.”


Ted Ullrich, founding partner at Tomorrow Labs, approached the questions from an engineering perspective. Ullrich spoke to the increasing need for connectedness in the upcoming years. He identified a problem area, that the internet, and wifi, would not be enough to keep us connected and that another system would be needed to appease increasing demand.


Thomas Gillie, a serial entrepreneur currently working as CTO of, addressed what it’s like to work in a startup. During the Q & A, he was asked how he kept big companies at bay; how he kept companies with superior resources and manpower from reverse engineering his products and making his companies obsolete (How did he prevent from reinventing pied piper for Silicon Valley fans?). He first claimed that they were slower moving than many entrepreneurs anticipated. saying that it would take a year and a half before they even made an attempt. After this point, his fix was simple. Make them "frenemies." The veteran's Machiavellian advise was famously articulated by the Godfather's Michael Corleone, "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer."