Digital Catapult helped startup See.Sense to springboard from an internet of things (IoT) concept to selling consumer products that make cyclists safer on the road, and creating technology solutions that help city planners to design better transport infrastructure.
Pioneering use of the Future Networks testbed
A long-standing relationship with Digital Catapult and its regional office in Northern Ireland led to See.Sense being one of the first small-to-medium enterprises to connect to Digital Catapult’s LPWAN testbed. This engagement subsequently contributed to it receiving a highly commended award for projects in Cambridge. From this, the team went on to develop a LoRaWAN device to integrate with Belfast City Council’s bike share scheme, Belfast Bike. Using narrowband (NB)-IoT in collaboration with Vodafone, they have also launched a consumer-facing theft tracking device.
Philip McAleese, CEO of See.Sense said “Early access to technology was of incredible value to us, especially as we could do real-world testing at multiple sites around London. We discovered all kinds of things that would inform future installations – like where (and where not) to put antennae.”
Through Digital Catapult’s LPWAN Testbed and the Future Networks Lab Showcase, See.Sense raised more than £1.1 million investment and won the EU project Synchronicity, created to help cities simplify the adoption of new services that tackle urban challenges. This led to commercial projects in Oxfordshire and North East Lincolnshire.
Philip McAleese believes that “Digital Catapult acted as a catalyst, helping us to clearly define our value proposition and taking us on that journey more quickly. “
The multiple award-winning products created by this innovative business are now used by more than 50,000 people in over 70 countries, and are stocked by major UK retailers, including Halfords and Evans.
See.Sense won a Digital Catapult Platinum Award for IoT in 2019, recognising the company as one of the most impactful advanced digital technology startups and scaleups of the year.
Supporting local authority planning
Up until recently, planners have had little or no information about cyclists. See.Sense products collect never-before-seen sensor data about cycle use, including road surface condition, braking, swerving, collisions, speed and dwell time. This enables planners to make data-led decisions on the design and maintenance of cycling infrastructure, and take into account the needs of the growing cycling population.
The See.Sense team has recently launched an in-app rider data survey that identifies the location of perceived problems (such as potholes, traffic light timing, lack of space). It can match these user perceptions against measured data to help determine actions, and in response to the increased focus on cycling due to COVID-19, they are making this survey feedback freely available to local authorities.
Increased by 2, to 14
Now sold in 70 countries, having won EU project Synchronicity