Hardwario smart box monitors the climate in forests and overheating of motors in production lines
The Liberec-based startup HARDWARIO specialises in projects based on the principle of the internet of things. Thanks to a device that can be as small as a matchbox, it can map production deficiencies at Škoda, overheating of production-line motors at the carmaker TPCA in Kolín and the climate in British forests. HARDWARIO has opened a branch in London based on the experience that the company gained with CzechInvest’s assistance.
The internet of things is a current phenomenon. Almost anything can be connected to the internet and controlled remotely or further improved on the basis of collected data. We use this invention of the new millennium in everything that has the attribute of being smart – in regularly utilised things such as wristwatches and household control units – but it also forms the foundation of everyday life in modern metropolises. The internet of things is also widely represented in manufacturing, where it helps with, for example, measuring the productivity of machines and improving their performance, the result of which is financial savings in companies’ turnover.
HARDWARIO’s founder is Alan Fabik, who currently has a twenty-member team. Since it began operations, the company has focused on projects that make life easier for companies and individuals with the help of the internet of things. Its device is programmed to monitor and assess data according to the customer’s wishes. “Where companies need to measure anything – output, temperature, engine overheating – that’s where we come in. We are able to assemble the device as needed and it will thus assess data in the interval that the customer chooses, for a few hundred crowns per month,” says Alan Fabik, founder of HARDWARIO. At the carmaker TPCA in Kolín, for example, a smart device monitors overheating of motors. “We have saved the company hundreds of thousands of crowns through timely identification of the risk of production-line failure,” Fabik explains. Another benefit of the device is that it runs for years on batteries and sends data via the internet, even from places where that was unthinkable until recently. It can thus monitor the climate in forests in Great Britain and the air quality at the Liberec zoo.
“The programme in London pushed us to open a foreign branch,” says Alan Fabik, founder of HARDWARIO.
HARDWARIO a CzechInvest
HARDWARIO participated in CzechInvest’s CzechAccelerator programme in London with a local partner, the coworking centre Impact Hub King’s Cross. The programme comprised individual consultations with specialists and pre-arranged meetings with potential business partners. The stay in London was focused on the product sales strategy so that it would be better adapted to the British market. Representatives of the company also had an opportunity to get feedback from local customers. “Thanks to CzechInvest’s support, we had the feeling in London that we were entering a familiar environment. We had open doors to experts and the British market, facilities provided in the city centre and contacts to the right people. It pushed us to open our own branch in the British capital,” Fabik says.
Together with CzechInvest, the company also attended the international startup conference Unbound London, where visitors could not only meet with HARDWARIO’s representatives at its exhibition stand, but also see the company’s presentation on the stage in front of an audience of several thousand people. This was followed in 2020 by BETT London, the biggest education conference in Europe.
Just as in the Czech Republic, HARDWARIO has the ambition in Britain to educate young people in the area of the internet of things. It is doing so by means of, for example, a smart kit, which students at several British and Czech schools assemble and program themselves.
In the Czech Republic, courses focused on the internet of things for IT enthusiasts, which HARDWARIO organises together with the non-profit organisation Czechitas, are a novelty. “In Britain, it occurred to us that our mission is to inspire the inventors of tomorrow and to teach them the skills that are necessary in the new millennium, whether they are young students whose curricula are outdated or the older generation of inventors,” says Fabik, who points out the declining interest in technical fields, which goes hand in hand with their low level of representation in school curricula and the lack of women in these promising fields.
In addition to the branch in Great Britain, the company would like to expand to Germany and Belgium in the future. It is also introducing a monthly flat fee for administration of HARDWARIO devices in companies. “We have a lot of plans, and we are also pleased that we recently managed to get an order from the British Ministry of the Environment through Vodafone, from which we received the Idea of the Year award in 2018,” Fabik concludes.