Originally published by Xconomy, written by Jeff Buchanan.
Scanalytics, a Milwaukee-based developer of Internet-connected floor mats and complementary software that helps customers track foot traffic and other activity in physical spaces, says it has begun working with the Silicon Valley tech giant Cisco Systems to integrate some of the two companies’ products.
San Jose, CA-based Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) recently sponsored a competition in France for startups developing Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. The emerging IoT sector involves manufacturers taking formerly offline devices and updating them with Internet capabilities. Scanalytics was awarded first place in the “Smart Building” technology category of the competition, which took place in Paris in mid-June.
Scanalytics co-founder and CEO Joe Scanlin says that he and Petr Bambasek, the startup’s director of product, traveled to France and worked with Cisco engineers to combine Scanalytics’s sensor-equipped mats with Spark, Cisco’s cloud-based collaboration software. Following its success in the Cisco competition, Scanalytics will continue its efforts to integrate its technology with Cisco’s.
Scanlin says his company was not awarded a cash prize for winning its category in the competition. However, Cisco will likely provide Scanalytics with sales and engineering support in the future, he says. It’s also possible that Cisco could invest in the 15-person startup, or become a customer of Scanalytics by licensing its technology to create new Cisco products.
“Cisco is investing various resources required to make [this] a successful project,” Scanlin says.
Cisco, with more than 73,000 employees worldwide and annual sales of nearly $50 billion, is best known as a vendor of networking hardware and telecommunications equipment, as well as related software and services.
Scanalytics’s SoleSensor mats, which measure two feet per side and can be arranged in a row like floor tiles, help organizations that operate retail stores or host trade shows to track the movement of people, for example. But the company says its digital tools, when paired with Cisco’s, could also be useful in other settings, like corporate offices. In one scenario, the mats could measure how much time employees are spending at their desks. The data could then be relayed, through an application programming interface, to Cisco’s software, which would then send a message to select workers suggesting they consider taking a break to stretch or walk around for a few minutes.
“We spend a majority of our lives indoors and these environments have a huge impact on everything from business efficiencies and productivity to our overall wellness,” says Scanlin, in a prepared statement. “Physical environments need to be properly equipped to capture, store, and access information on how we interact with them, so they can operate like an autonomous nervous system and adjust themselves accordingly.”
Scanlin says he will be returning to France next month to meet with Cisco employees at the company’s office there.
He says his startup, which launched in 2013, will also continue to serve its other customers. They include Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), and Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM). One reason Scanalytics welcomed the opportunity to partner with Cisco was because the company’s products are already ubiquitous in the business world, Scanlin says.
“A big part of this for Scanalytics is that Cisco already has a pretty strong foothold with large commercial environments using their networking infrastructure,” he says.
Scanalytics is among the top 10 fastest growing "Internet of Things” companies, measuring human behavior insights through intelligent floor sensors. The SoleSensor platform translates consumer foot traffic into actionable data through a dashboard interface for real-time and historical viewing of trends in physical spaces. Using the floor sensor technology, brands capture and analyze occupancy, traffic patterns and engagement times to increase conversions and improve ROI.
With over 80 million impressions to date, Scanalytics has deployed SoleSensors across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Southeast Asia. Learn more at: www.scanalyticsinc.com.