Igor, Inc. announced last week the launch of Nexos, an IOT platform designed to turn legacy properties into agile, smart buildings.
Igor is a provider of Internet of Things (IoT) smart building technology, based in Des Moines, Iowa.
Igor’s international launch of Nexos comes as the IoT revolution is forecast to reach an estimated $67.5 billion in smart building technology investments by 2027 from a base of $15.1 billion in 2018 – an 18.1 CAGR, according to the “intelligent Buildings Market Overview” 2018 report by Navigant Research.
Silicon Prairie News caught up with Steven L’Heureux, Igor’s CEO, and David Splivalo, its Marketing and Communications Director, to learn more about the company and its launch of Nexos.
Nexos is a centralized IOT platform used to integrate multiple needs across a building––HVAC, Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), safety, sensory, and security products such as camera systems. Easy-to-use dashboards and common-sense commands facilitate communication among a wide range of building systems and devices in one unifying platform.
Igor’s agile Nexos technology can be installed in an existing building that is being retrofitted, and is intended to drive lower energy costs, improved safety and comfort, and streamlined space optimization and maintenance for its users.
Nexos features include:
- Sophisticated reporting tools with easy-to-use dashboards to produce real-time, data-driven solutions using advanced cloud analytics;
- System-wide integration that easily pulls together hardware, software, and network elements of a smart system solution;
- IoT communication made simple from a plug-and-play installation process that easily integrates with other smart building applications;
- Ecosystem support that ensures an alliance of partners are available to meet diverse market segment and user case scenarios which give customers the freedom and flexibility to choose who they work with;
- The combined security, reliability, and scalability of a structured cabling solution with other IoT protocols for maximum flexibility for the end-user;
- Highly-scalable system that can transform buildings of all sizes into smart buildings; and
- Forward-looking technology architecture that supports diverse data types and machine learning-enabled analytics for a future-proofed and agile smart building platform.
L’Heureux cited several examples of how Igor is setting the bar in smart building technology and delivering significant business outcomes for building owners.
Igor installed its system on five floors of a 36 story office building in New York City and has since become the design standard for the building after demonstrating that its system drove down energy costs. Igor expects to be on all 36 floors within the next few years (a half million square feet of rentable space) as tenants move in and out of the building.
Workers no longer need to hunt for empty desk or meeting space in their buildings. Igor is able to tie in occupancy sensors to its system, telling business owners and employees what conference rooms are available as needed – all done digitally within its system. Smaller meetings can be relocated to smaller conference rooms to accommodate larger groups, and walk-in employees can easily find an empty desk in an open office environment.
Nokia, one of Igor’s customers, is installing Igor’s system in its headquarters in India.
“Igor’s technology is compelling to Nokia, not just for the cost savings, but to dramatically improve the efficiency of the space,” said L’Heureux. “The company was experiencing frequent power loss and unreliability, but Igor’s system is able to restore lights instantaneously without human intervention.”
Enhanced Occupant Safety
L’Heureux explained that in addition to energy cost and space reductions, his team is especially excited and eager for the potential of Igor’s technology to not only improve quality of life, but to save it, as well.
Igor’s Power-over-Ethernet lighting platform, designed to offer intelligent control over LED lighting systems, is helping users connect LED light fixtures, and motion and daylight sensors.
According to L’Heureux, one of the biggest problems at senior living centers is the disruption to residents’ natural circadian rhythms – a person’s internal 24-hour clock. L’Heureux said that light changes during the course of the day that pair with these residents’ natural rhythms have been proven to be extremely calming, and improves the lives of these patients. Igor’s system can regulate these lighting changes to help residents adapt more easily in senior living facilities.
L’Heureux cited falls, often occurring at night, as the number one cause of injury in senior living facilities. Igor can install a sensor that would alert the nurse’s station when a resident begins to get out of bed so that an aide can assist the person to the bathroom and back to mitigate the chances of a fall. The sensor can turn on a night light, the bathroom lights, and light the bathroom door frame.
Igor’s smart building technology is paving the way for safer schools as well. L’Heureux discussed how Igor is helping schools protect and save lives. Often, in cases of an active shooter, there can be a response delay between first notification and arrival of first responders.
Igor’s active shooter system can send an alert in nanoseconds at the time a shot is fired, thereby helping first responders pinpoint and deploy to a specific location in a building much more rapidly, once notified of an active shooter event. The system can collect data around the caliber of the shooter’s weapon and its location, as well as collect a frame grab from the camera closest to where shots are fired, within seconds of firing.
L’Heureux said that this system is a game changer because Igor’s strobing green lights can direct first responder’s down a hallway in the direction of a threat, progressing to yellow in closer proximity, and finally to red where first responders have zeroed in on the shooter.
The technology also alerts teachers, staff, and students by turning a light outside the door of a classroom to red, indicating no safe exit outside a classroom based on the location of a shooter, thereby alerting teachers and students to shelter in place. Alternatively, a green light indicates an opportunity to exit a classroom and flee to safety.
About Igor, Inc.
Igor was founded by Dwight Stewart in 2013. Prior to starting Igor, Stewart founded QAS, providing custom integrations for building management solutions.
“Companies needing to interface with legacy systems were reaching out Stewart, who had built a strong reputation for delivering extraordinarily high quality and thorough integrations,” said L’Heureux. “Dwight believed that the world needed a platform solution that would solve two big problems for building management systems providers. Dwight found that because these systems are extraordinarily complex and difficult to use, engineers tended to say ‘whatever you do, don’t touch it.’ These systems presented a challenge – only the largest and most sophisticated buildings could put these controls in because they were so complex and expensive.”
Stewart also found that all the buildings systems did not play together very well, and even when they were collecting data, they weren’t sharing it – from access to elevator control, to shooter sensing systems, to lights, to HVAC – a better solution was needed to integrate all the moving parts in buildings, and to improve overall efficiency. Stewart sold QAS in 2012 and started Igor.
L’Heureux joined Igor in 2015 as Chairman of the Board, CEO and President, and said he was “blown away by what Dwight developed.”
L’Heureux points out that with his operational, sales, and marketing expertise, and Stewart’s technological acumen, they make a great team, and have “tremendous success.”
Igor has had three rounds of funding since L’Heureux started, and in March of this year, closed a $3 million convertible debt bridge loan. According to L’Heureux, the company is actively engaged in bringing in a VC or a strategic investor for another $8 million to reach $20 million invested by the end of this year. The company projects dramatic acceleration to $50 million with sustained profitability by 2021.