Friday, 24 November 2017 01:32

VIDEO Interview: Pycom's top execs talk IoT tech, hackathons and plenty more on A/NZ tour


Named a Gartner "Cool Vendor" earlier this year, Pycom is disrupting the IoT industry, helping users deploy "great-value, enterprise-grade connected solutions".

In the midst of a tour of Asia, Australia and New Zealand to meet customers, partners, the media, user groups, and to host a hackathon in New Zealand next week, Pycom's star is on the rise. 

Below, you'll see a video interview I conducted yesterday with Pycom's top executives, Fred de Haro, chief executive, Bettina Rubek Slater, chief operating officer, and Daniel Campora, chief technology officer, talking about the founding of the company and the desire to create Pycom, about its products and services, and about what sets Pyco apart from 450 middleware platforms in IoT.

We then spoke about the appointment of noted comms entrepreneur and former Netcomm CEO David Stewart as chairman, the progress of Pycom's tour in the region, the company's plans for CES 2018 and what its stand will be like, about what the future of IoT and more in a decade's time might look like, about great advice they'd each received to help them each get where they are today, and their final messages to iTWire viewers and readers, and to Pycom's present and future customers. 

Under this video is more background on Pycom and links to very recent Pycom information:

Pycom was named on 5 June by Gartner as a "Cool Vendor" for the first time. Gartner says that "Cool Vendors in this research each provide unique technologies that can enable new business models with minimal investment".

The linked article above asks "Why is Pycom cool?", and points to the report which states that among others, Pycom provides a: "wide range of wireless solutions" that "is unusual in such a low-cost environment, and the toolset makes the solutions readily accessible in a desktop environment. Furthermore, the MicroPython programming language can deliver superior productivity than development in C or the use of Arduino scripts". 

In addition, the report highlights that "Pycom provides inexpensive OEM modules alongside prototype-friendly, breadboard-compatible development boards with the same capabilities and identical firmware. This combination takes enterprise customers from working prototypes into mass production with very little (if any) design modification".

As noted in my article entitled "‘Disruptive IoT startup’ Pycom: New chairman is Aussie tech legend" on 11 June, the company says it is “unapologetic in challenging conventional IoT” since launching in January 2016, and has “gone on to introduce an LPWAN-based full-stack IoT portfolio consisting of 5 ESP32 based development boards WiPy, LoPy, SiPy, GPy and FiPy and a matching set of OEM modules all of which offer multi-network (incl. LoRa, Sigfox and LTE-M (NB-IoT/CAT-M1), low energy IoT deployments at the edge of the network".

The article noted that former Netcomm chief executive, David Stewart, also former ACOMMS Communications Ambassador 2016, was appointed as Pycom Chair.

Stewart is a legend in the global communications industry with many impressive achievements, backed up by genuine real-world, world-class global experience, and his appointment was further explained in that article, and why this was an astute move by both sides and a great vote of confidence by Stewart in the pioneering and next-gen work Pycom is doing.

Separately, Stewart was also appointed a non-executive director on 9 November of World Reach, which bills itself as "one of Australia's leading satellite telecommunications companies that designs, develops, manufactures and distributes a range of satellite phone equipment and related services", so he's putting his decades of experience to great use.

So, back to Pycom, which also proudly boasts its “common MicroPython firmware stack is open source and is supported by a full IoT stack including LPWAN network access through a multitude of network partners, the Pymakr Suite of IDE Plugins and the Pymate Mobile App as well as Pybytes, the free middleware platform and desktop application (with Pybytes coming very soon, before year's end)".

Both Scoop and Future Five in New Zealand have reported that the trio of Pycom executives as interviewed will "be presenting a day-long seminar and hackathon in Auckland on November 27".

John McDermott, founder of the IoT Auckland Meetup group and workshop organiser, said in a statement that: “This is a very timely visit by Pycom to launch their new device and accelerate the local expertise of IoT development. Vodafone recently announced upgrade of their 4G LTE network to the NB-IoT standard, and Spark have also announced a competing LoRaWAN and LTE CAT-M1 wireless service.

"With the Australian based network operator Thinxtra having already deployed a Sigfox network during 2017, New Zealand is now in a prime position to develop world leading IoT applications. Pycom devices are an enterprise grade solution and suitable for industrial, smart city, environment as well as agricultural and many other IoT applications. Kiwi entrepreneurs will have more ability to create solutions as a result of the Pycom visit.”

For those in New Zealand, "the workshop is being hosted at The TechBunker at 48 Greys Avenue, Auckland, on Monday, November 27, from 9am to 5pm," with details via Meetup here

So, with the IoT revolution upon us and Pycom impressively taking today's IoT technology to the next level, expect to hear a lot more about Pycom, and about the promises of IoT finally becoming reality. 


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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