Feature Articles

#HardwareMerdeka: Four budding Malaysian startups with a passion for disruption

By Peter Chu - 28 Aug 2017,9:00am

Introduction, Atilze, Future Integrated Networks (FIN)

From L-R: (back row) Jeremy Chong, Managing Director, PrimeKeeper; M. Afiq Hazman, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder, TrackerHero <br> (front row) Devan Kumar, Head of Operations, Future Integrated Networks; Melanie Loh, Special Projects, Fantastic Moves International Inc.; Michael Tan, Director of Stakeholder Engagement, PrimeKeeper; and Mahadhir Aziz, Head, Technology Hub Development Division, Cyberview Sdn Bhd.

Getting a startup off the ground isn’t as easy as it sounds. Having a brilliant idea in mind is one thing – you’ll also need to figure out exactly how you’re going to execute the idea, which is where companies such as Cyberview Sdn Bhd steps in. 

The Cyberjaya-based company does this through its Living Lab Accelerator, providing selected startups with all the assistance they need to turn their ideas into reality – from advice and mentorship, to building connections with potential investors. In fact, these startups will even be given the opportunity to test-run prototypes of their solutions or services in Cyberjaya itself.

With that said, allow us to introduce to you four startups who were fortunate enough to be taken under the wing of Cyberview. There’s Atilze and Future Integrated Networks (FIN), who are both Internet of Things (IoT) solution providers; PrimeKeeper, a FinTech startup focused on developing micro mobile payment services, and TrackerHero, a fully-integrated advanced security and building management platform for both commercial and residential estates.

 

Atilze (Gerard Lim, Chief Executive Officer of Atilze Digital Sdn Bhd)

We’ve all heard numerous stories about how IoT devices can revolutionize the way we live at home, but hardly do we ever hear about how they can improve the welfare of entire cities, or even the farming and aquaculture industry as a whole. Here to change our perception of IoT devices is Atilze, a startup that intends to turn ordinary cities into smart cities through the implementation of its IoT solutions.

Does Malaysia have the necessary infrastructure to support smart city development?

As a developed country, Malaysia has the necessary infrastructure to support smart city development, especially with the development of the LoRa network.

We now have a total of 29 LoRa gateways in the Klang Valley, including Shah Alam and Port Klang. The LoRa gateway has made IoT Smart City application possible. Take, for example, Cyberjaya that now has two LoRa gateways, and we have successfully implemented 10 environmental PM 2.5 sensors with the deployment of the LoRa solution.

The PM 2.5 sensor enables the provision of detailed and reliable data on key environmental parameters, such as temperature, humidity, and air quality in real time. The real-time data extracted from the environmental sensors can be viewed from the public dashboard via Cyberjaya Malaysia website.

What about the mentality and mindset? We’ve seen the recently opened MRT facilities being abused within days of its opening, are there any aspects of the smart city that could potentially be taken advantage of?

In terms of the mentality and mindset, I would say that the acceptance level of IoT takes time. People are skeptical about the LoRa connectivity, especially when it comes to security. However, I am positive that the IoT will take off in no time. In fact, even our smartphone is an IoT device, and everyone is using it now.

What about security? It’s mentioned on your website that you develop trackers for valuable assets and even people – what are the possibilities of these IoT sensors being hacked, and their data stolen?

Security is the main issue that everyone is concern about. However, the LoRa network and all the IoT solutions are designed and built with security in mind. It is secured and encrypted right from the beginning – at the starting point of the data collection process. The data is also secure when it’s being transmitted into the gateway, and back to the cloud servers.

Having said that, there have been occasions where even big companies were unfortunate enough to have their data compromised. However, we believe that our solutions will be improvised and improved in a timely manner.

Is there development timeline that you can share with us? When do you foresee the concept of smart cities going full-scale in the country?

This is our first project with Cyberjaya. We are unable to give you a timeline as this is an ongoing project. Nonetheless, our pilot project involving the environmental PM2.5 sensors has proved to be a success, and we are looking forward to commercializing it across Malaysia.

You’ve recently announced a collaboration with U Mobile to bring connected car solutions to Malaysian businesses. Does it work similar to Digi’s iFleet intelligent fleet management solution?

Our recent collaboration with U Mobile offers many data-driven applications, including real-time diagnostics, predictive maintenance, driving pattern analysis, Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), and in-car Wi-Fi.

ADAS is most suitable to be deployed in the commercial vehicle industry. Its technological systems and safety applications protect drivers and reduce accidents with its monitoring, warning, braking and steering tasks. The installation of ADAS is equipped with multiple safety alert systems, such as the Camera System, Front Collision Warning System, Forward Proximity System, and Land Departure Warning System.

Our solutions are very different compared to the basic telemetry (tracking) solution offered by Digi’s iFleet.

What’s next for Atilze?

We are constantly looking for opportunity to further tap into the IoT space. We are also looking for partners who can help us build an ecosystem business. IoT comprises many things, and we at Atilze are focusing on connected vehicles, smart living city, and smart farming.

We are offering our Atilze IoT Fabrick Platform to developers, partners, and enterprises, which can be used by all individuals and companies to run their IoT projects. We won’t be stopping in Malaysia, as we are also tapping into the Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam markets.

 

Future Integrated Networks (FIN) (Melanie Loh, Special Projects, Fantastic Moves International Inc.)

Future Integrated Networks (FIN) operates in a somewhat similar space as Atilze – in the sense that they are likewise an IoT solutions provider – but they cater to a completely different market segment altogether: home owners. FIN has a multitude of IoT-enabled products in its repertoire, ranging from security cameras and vibration detectors, to smart power sockets and RGB light bulbs – each with the purpose of helping you creating a connected (and automated) ecosystem at home.

How secure are these connected devices? Were they developed and manufactured in-house or in collaboration with a third party?

FIN Devices are connected to the FIN gateway using a ZigBee wave and private protocol, which means no other person will be able to add additional devices to the connection other than FIN and the respective user. We are using a 128-bit Blowfish encryption for our accompanying FIN mobile app. Our products are manufactured in-house by our partner, Dynamax.

The FIN app has to establish a connection with the FIN Server before the FIN Gateway at home. Is there any data stored on the FIN Server and is FIN able to access them?

Data is stored locally in the individual gateways that are installed in the homes of our customers. FIN does not have access to them. Only our customers are able to access the data through the FIN mobile app.

How has the reception and adoption rate of FIN products been like?

People are interested and curious about the concept of smart living, but many Malaysians are slow to adopt it as their understanding of the technology is limited compared to first-world countries. We are currently in the stage of capturing early adopters, particularly first movers who are tech savvy. Imagine back when electric gates were newly introduced – only a few homes had it. Today, it is the norm for most houses. So it's not a matter of ‘if’ but more of a matter of ‘when’. However, our mother company, Dynamax, is doing extremely well in Jakarta and China. In fact, in China, Dynamax have been tasked to build model smart cities involving tens of thousands of installations.

Let's say I wanted to automate my entire home with FIN products – surveillance cameras, light bulbs, plugs, everything. How much would it roughly cost?

Our starter package is priced affordably at RM4,140. It comes inclusive of a Smart Swivel camera, a Smart Fixed Camera, smart switches, a portable socket, a temperature sensor, an infrared transmitter, a multipurpose button, and RGB light bulbs. A security package is available for a small additional fee of RM2,140, and it comes with an alarm, a motion sensor, a smoke sensor, a gas sensor, a vibration sensor, and a magnetic sensor.

What's next for Future Integrated Networks (FIN)?

FIN will continue to educate and work closely with strategic partners who are dynamic and at the forefront of technology to introduce and drive the smartphone initiative. Together with the support of Cyberview, we are confident that smart homes will be the norm sooner rather than later.