The three reelyActive co-founders built, from the ground up, real-time location systems based on active RFID technology back in the 2000s:
The ideas were solid, the technology was cool.
The lessons were valid, the timing premature.
In 2012, the three regrouped to co-found reelyActive with the mission to create simple, accessible, cloud-based active RFID. The timing was right for an experienced team to assemble the now-mature technological building blocks. In four months we had a functional hardware and software platform.
Three key events occurred at the end of 2012 that would expand our vision beyond a technology platform:
- First, our colleagues in the FounderFuel accelerator reversed our prejudices against automated personal identification. They gladly carried our tracking tags in exchange for visibility on a live directory screen.
- Second, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) emerged as a viable global standard for active RFID, integrated into the smartphones that people already carry.
- And, third, the Internet of Things suddenly became the thing (pun intended), and we were perfectly positioned to surf the hype wave.
In 2013, the moment that Apple enabled iBeacon functionality in iOS 7, we showed the world how the concept could be flipped around, empowering the individual to choose when and what to share. Two months later we'd go on to win the Startup World final competition in San Francisco, taking home to Montréal the "World's Best Startup" trophy.
Our iBeacon hack landed us a keynote at Bluetooth World in 2014 (entitled "Advertise Yourself!"), following which we launched our BLE reelceiver, which remains our best-selling product to date.
By the end of 2015 we had onboarded key talent in operations and scalable cloud services in anticipation of a critical mass of "advertising" devices, numbering in the billions. And in 2016 we launched our Pareto SaaS platform and hardware starter kit to facilitate the widespread adoption of connected spaces that recognise their occupants. As we scale our business, we will never forget the key lesson we learned early in our history:
Individuals will opt-in when you recognise what matters to them.
Hence our continued mission to unlock the value of the data you choose to share.
Sixty-Second Answers Series
We answer thirteen questions about reelyActive, its mission, its vision, its purpose and more — each in one minute or less.
The Barn Owl has the best hearing of any animal ever tested — it is definitely listening!
Our barnowl software package is the cornerstone of our open-source stack, where each package in fact has its own mascot and story.
Our vision is ubiquitious machine-contextual-awareness at the service of humanity.How does that work exactly?