Open App has bagged a $2 million contract to deploy 1,00,000 units of IOT-based smart locks on a leading ISP’s internet switch boxes.
For want of a ‘key’ to secure its nearly 6.5 lakh internet switch boxes across south India (the backup batteries in these boxes are often pilfered), one of India’s leading internet service providers (ISP) was fighting a losing battle.
The situation was fast turning into a nightmare for the ISP, which was struggling with skyrocketing costs, as well as its customers, who were disgruntled with the shoddy service.
One of the biggest smart device B2B contracts in the country till date, this may just herald the arrival of industrial IOT in India
You must have noticed when you lose internet connectivity at home and call for a technician to fix the problem, the latter hops back out to check your ‘switch box’ and comes back — usually in a jiffy — saying the connection’s been restored.
That’s because most internet downtimes are due to switch box issues rather than larger problems at the ISP or infrastructure end (like what happened in the aftermath of the recent cyclone in Chennai).
Often, it’s simply that the switch box has no power and the backup battery that should’ve kept the switch running in case of a power failure has been pilfered
OpenApp’s smart lock solution saved the day for the ISP. The smart lock, which is basically digitally encrypted keys accessible through smartphones, helped the ISP overcome the complex key management problem. The smart lock also acts as a WiFi router, emitting it’s own WiFi signal that enables a smartphone in a remote location to connect to its network and then work on it.
“Smart locks have huge market potential in India as businesses are struggling with physical security management,” says Gotama Gowda, founder and CEO of Open App. The startup is already working with another large ISP to deploy a similar solution, he added.
The smart lock market is a space where large lock providers are just beginning to enter globally. In India, Godrej, which owns a whopping 50% of the market share in organised lock segment, has made some initial forays into the segment. But, incumbents are unlikely to have a significant advantage as the technology required to build innovative smart lock products requires an altogether different approach and philosophy, thus making it an even playing ground for startups.
According to Gotama, the locks for the ISP will soon have a battery monitoring system that provides intelligence that will be charged as a service. This is where the market potential expands significantly.
The layer of intelligence that smart devices can provide is the much larger (and more disruptive) market that IoT device providers are looking to crack open