In our latest real estate tech entrepreneur interview, we’re speaking with Dan Ryan from VergeSense.
Who are you, and what do you do?
I’m Dan Ryan and I am co-founder and CEO of VergeSense – an AI-powered sensor-as-a-service platform for commercial real estate.
I am an entrepreneur with a passion for disrupting the intersection of the physical and digital worlds. I previously founded ByteLight, a pioneer of LED-based indoor positioning systems, which was named one of the most innovative companies in the world by Fast Company before being acquired in 2015.
Our team at VergeSense is now focused on reinventing the future of the data-driven workplace by combining AI software with computer vision hardware for the first time.
What problem does your product/service solve?
VergeSense helps businesses reimagine their office layouts and workspaces, helping them come up with solutions that work best for their specific company based on real data.
We use smart sensors that utilize motion and computer vision components , coupled with an AI-powered cloud platform, to measure people’s utilization of rooms, desks, shared spaces and specific assets/devices (such as a printer or copier). Our pre-trained machine learning models and AI run on the hardware, then take over to analyze the data and suggest or automate actions based on utilization.
It’s solving real-time problems. For example, VergeSense data can be streamed to a room booking solution to free up a conference room when no one shows up for a scheduled meeting.
It can also help businesses solve problems at a broader level. When we collected data from millions of square feet of workspace last year, we found that the average utilization of the office was just 40%.
This is not only mismanagement of a major asset, but it shows that the majority of offices don’t have what employees need or want. Our sensor-as-a-service platform helps employers figure out what their employees need to succeed in the office while maximizing the use of what is often a company’s second-biggest asset.
What are you most excited about right now?
We recently launched a new learning capability that allows our sensors to report true occupancy within buildings and office spaces by analyzing both people counts and signs of working.
Called “TrueOccupancy”, this update utilizes computer vision technology to factor employee items into the workplace utilization equation. For example, it can pick up a coat on a chair in a conference room, a laptop messenger bag strewn across a hotdesk, or even a coffee mug left alongside a scanner.
I’m really excited about this because now our sensors can identify the work-related items employees are bringing into or leaving within workspaces for the first time and pairing that with people-counting data can form the complete story on space utilization.
What’s next for you?
Our technology is constantly evolving. As the platform collects more data, it gets smarter with recommendations over time. In addition, as more powerful machine-learning modules become available, software updates enable the sensors to learn to detect new types of events.
This will enable us to get working on some new modules and applications which I hope to be able to share soon!
What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
My wife and I recently welcomed a newborn son to our family, Matthew Ege Ryan. Between him and VergeSense, I have my hands full 🙂
Thanks to Dan for sharing his story. If you’d like to connect, find him on LinkedIn here.
We’re constantly looking for great real estate tech entrepreneurs to feature. If that’s you, please read this post — then drop me a line (drew @ geekestatelabs dot com).
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