Crowdsourcing data from mobile phones seems like a concept straight out of a science fiction movie. On screen, The Dark Knight transformed a city’s worth of cell phones into a surveillance network. Recent flick Ex Machina had a Google-like entity mapping the human brain based on search engine inquiries. However fantastical these notions are, the fact remains that many people regularly carry around a very advanced device in their pocket, which is, in reality, a very good data-gathering tool.
KelvinSense aims to utilize widespread smartphone use by turning your mobile device into a thermometer, all with a single app – no additional hardware needed. With KelvinSense, you can get temperature readings from your home, around the community, and beyond, and then share that measurement data to help shape more accurate weather predictions. Just as exciting is the ability for developers to use KelvinSense’s SDK and incorporate temperature data in their own apps. Leveraging mobile devices to gather data on an unprecedented scale, one gets the feeling KelvinSense is really onto something. Before their appearance at Beta.MN 2.0, we talked to KelvinSense to read the temperature (har har) on their business.
Tell us the story of how and why you started your company.
In 2011, my co-founder and I we’re researching the limits of mobile hardware sensors and methods for utilizing sensor data in prediction and recommendation. We discovered a novel method for drastically improving measurement methods using existing sensor hardware on mobile computing devices. Moreover, this method allowed us to sense new things that were previously measurable without the addition of accessory hardware. Once we built our first prototype for measuring temperature with your smart phone, and it actually worked, we incorporated and filed our patent immediately.
What’s your most recent success or milestone hit?
Recently, we’ve started publicly testing the iOS version of our Kelvin Sense Thermometer app. It’s been a real joy to watch the “Apple people” in my life get excited when they see how to turn their iPhone into a thermometer. Due to both technical and financial constraints, we chose to release first on Android, and our app has been in the Google Play Store since September of 2014. With this recent Apple milestone complete, we’re able to increase our marketing and user recruitment efforts without worry of missing conversions due to not having both major platforms.
Where do you see your startup in 1 year?
By next May, we’ll have expanded our IP portfolio to include the measurement of other fundamental physical quantities and device user states. Since we’ve *obviously* exceeded our financial projections from the previous year, we’ll have brought on key employees that were working on a contract basis to improve efficiency. Plus we’ll have found additional help to speed up our development road map and support our customers and partners. Since we continued to add users and developers at our projected rates, we exceeded 50 million users in early 2016. Or maybe an unnamed large mobile operating system company bought us and integrated a thermometer into the OS, just like the flashlight, camera, GPS, etc.