Podcasts > Ep. 114 - The present & future of wireless power
Ep. 114
The present & future of wireless power
Dr. Ahmad Glover, CEO & Founder, WiGL
Friday, January 28, 2022

In this episode, we discuss the current status of wireless charging and the alternative solutions for consumer, industrial environments. We also explore the potential for a distributed wireless energy network that leverages existing infrastructure to ensure that energy is available on demand. 

Our guest today is Dr. Ahmad Glover, founder and CEO of WiGL. WiGL sends targeted energy through an over the air wireless electrical power network in order to power or recharge devices without cords and wires.

IoT ONE is an IoT focused research and advisory firm. We provide research to enable you to grow in the digital age. Our services include market research, competitor information, customer research, market entry, partner scouting, and innovation programs. For more information, please visit iotone.com


Erik: Welcome to the Industrial IoT Spotlight, your number one spot for insight from industrial IoT thought leaders who are transforming businesses today with your host, Erik Walenza.

Welcome back to the Industrial IoT Spotlight podcast. I'm your host, Erik Walenza, CEO of IoT ONE, the consultancy that helps companies create value from data to achieve growth. Our guest today is Dr. Ahmad Glover, founder and CEO of WigL. WigL sends targeted energy through an over the air wireless electrical power network in order to power recharge devices without cords and wires. In this talk, we discussed the current status of wireless charging and the alternative solutions for consumer industrial environments. We also explored the potential for a distributed wireless energy network that leverages existing infrastructure to ensure that energy is available on demand.

If you find these conversations valuable, please leave us a comment and a five-star review. And if you'd like to share your company's story or recommend a speaker, please email us at team@IoTone.com. Finally, if you have an IoT research, strategy, or training initiative that you'd like to discuss, you can email me directly at erik.walenza@IoTone.com. Thank you. Ahmad, thank you so much for joining us today.

Ahmad: Thank you for having me.

Erik: I think this is technology that has existed in the minds of an OSI fans for decades, and so it's quite interesting now to see it start to make its way towards the real world. But before we get into this topic of wireless energy transfer, can you just give us the quick walk through of some of the highlights in your career and how you now ended up as CEO of WigL?

Ahmad: So for me, started my careers in the Air Force, joined the Air Force at 18 years old, was afforded the opportunity to see the world, get a bunch of degrees, do a bunch of interesting jobs. A couple of those jobs landed me inside of the Special Operations world where I was doing acquisitions for structural operators. And so we do a bunch of testing things. And almost every single one of those probably over the last two decades had something to do with a mobile device, some kind of handheld, some kind of device that you took with you, some kind of for deplore. And so one of the challenges with those devices were always battery's dying.

And so one of the last job I had in the Air Force was dealing with this fifth generations of waveform, what people call these 5G waveforms, and how you can do these goofy things with them. And so I was put with a team of very, very smart folks in and around the MIT space and around the defense industry space. And I start with both those guys, hey, one day we're going to solve this dead battery problem.

Fast forward, I retire, I get called back as a contractor, hey, can you come help us do some of this 5G Gucci stuff? And I got this same team, the band was back together. And so that afforded me the opportunity to work with those guys to figure out how to use some new Gucci waveforms and some old waveform, stuff that we've had for a while to do something different with those. And so that's where the patent for wireless electrical grid local area networks, the name WigL, that's what the patent for WigL came from. And it was born out of that space inside of DOD to do things for DOD, specifically special operators and folks who were on the frontlines of battlefield who need to have power on the move, power that they can take with them, don't need to be reliant on batteries, or battery chargers or blocks. That's how I got some interesting career as an Air Force guy in the Special Operations world, buy-in stuff to WigL.

Erik: Without getting into anything that might be confidential, is this technology already been deployed? Or is this still more in the R&D or piloting in the defense space?

Ahmad: So we will as a company, I started a company right after I retire in about 2012, called Glover 38th St Holdings. And so, one of the things that we did in Glover 38th St Holdings was government contracts, and so we provided different types of resources back to DOD. Again, I'm retired Air Force. So Air Force was one of my largest customers.

Inside of the Glover 38th St Holdings of G38 was where WigL was birth. And so in about 2020, of course, when COVID hit, it was starting to get a lot of interest inside of DoD, we were given our first contract in January of 2020 to explore WigL for Airforce applications. Since then, yes, it has matured. We're doing some different kinds of applications of WigL for DoD today. And as we are on this podcast right now, we're on kind of contract watch for two additional contracts for two additional applications of WigL that DoD would like to see.

Erik: So, DOD, again, makes sense is an early adopter here. Are there other commercial use cases or customers that are also early adopters or people that you would see as potential early adopters? Where are we in the commercial space here?

Ahmad: Early on, I said wireless, electric grid local area networks. So when you think about the wireless electrical power, just the ability to take power and send it from a single transmitter to a receiver, in this case, and I'm going to talk about a Samsung remote, I got a Samsung television here. The reason why I'm showing you that is because Samsung announced January the second 2020 that Samsung's new TV remote uses radio waves from your router to charge your remote control.

And so, are there commercial applications? Absolutely. But that's only in one small piece under the larger umbrella of WigL. So if you think about that television or that router or something that's power connected to the grid, that G part of WigL that says, hey, I see a receiver out there, I've got some random radio wave noise, I'm going to send that to that receiver. In this case, your receiver is this thing that you don't want to find batteries for. Absolutely, there are applications growing by the day for doing those kinds of things with wireless power.

WigL is a broader picture that looks more like how do we do cellular? I couldn't make cellular calls if I had one cell phone tower, one that I could connect to. I can make cell phone calls because there are infrastructure of tower that allowed me to move around. That's WigL. WigL is power on the move. It's not just a single transmitter, in this case, a television and a single receiver, a remote, it's all the stuffs, Erik, that you have in your pocket that you're wearing and that you plug in your ears. It's all of that stuff working together to give us a wireless power network.

Erik: Okay, so if I understand correctly, then the current use cases that are on the market are more customized for one particular application, so it's one brand that has a remote transceiver receiver designed specifically for this case? And what you're envisioning is then something that's more like a wireless network where basically, I'm in my home, it's powering; I'm in the taxi, it's powering; I arrive at the office, and it's powering? So, there's different points throughout my journey of the day where I have access to the network, and I have access to electricity from the network wirelessly, is that a fair description of the vision versus maybe the reality today?

Ahmad: That is exactly what it is. Now I'm going to take it a step past in visioning. We envisioned it a couple of years ago, we're now putting it into place. And so yeah, exactly what you say. We did a bunch of stuff with the Florida National University, about being able to take this technology, make it real, put it on the desk, make it do something really Gucci. We're past that. Now, we're at the point of raising capital, getting the infrastructure in place, having the capability that in a few years, exactly what you just said you'll have power and you will log into a network. You don't think about I need to take my phone, and I got to log into this thing. Now, I'm somewhere else am I going to log in yourself. No, you just take that phone and go, and that phone does all the stuff you need to do. That's what we're putting into place.

Erik: So we have a remote, we have a phone, I guess the remote is quite a low power device. A phone is, I'd say, maybe a more of a medium power device, but so much lower consumption than maybe a TV set. What's the scope of devices that you think might be the first adopters for this in a commercial situation?

Ahmad: So the reason why I say yes, right, is conceptually for us to think about bigger than just the receiver side. Again, I go back to wireless electrical grid of local area networks. So inside of that grid part, that G part of WigL, there are transmitters, transceivers. So to your point, what we would say, well, a television, I wouldn't wireless, I need too much juice. I wouldn't do that to a microwave oven. I wouldn't do that to a refrigerator. You wouldn't make the refrigerator or the TV or the microwave a receiver. I agree. But you could make it a transmitter.

So when you say, well, what kinds of devices are inside of that WigL umbrella, we're thinking more like Samsung. I can turn those things that are connected to the grid into transmits. And I can do that fairly easily, fairly cheaply. Now, I can move to the receiver side and begin to talk about some of those low power applications that I may be able to skip a recharge and get to direct power, or I may be able to give you some kind of receiver or transceiver capability in some of those devices.

So that was my reason for saying yes, because things that are on the grid we're looking very, very actively at making those things that are transmitted to transceivers. And those smaller devices that we can get to quickly, those low hanging fruit that we can power a recharge, we're turning receivers into those gaps. But we're not breaking it and giving you a new remote, we're not giving you a new phone. In generation, one of these things, we're giving you a dongle, so we're giving you a receiver that connects into your existing recharging port.

Erik: And that's interesting that for the transceiver side your envision this being the “knology” deployed or integrated into existing devices, as opposed to basically your gateway for transmitting energy. Why do you see the form factor more likely to be integrated into existing devices, as opposed to a network have separate devices as we have for WiFi, for example?

Ahmad: So two reasons. One is I've got to get past this power versus distance problem. And so what folks have been chasing for a while now is to just give you more energy, just blast radiate you with more energy. And then hopefully, some triple portion of that energy will hit your receiver and give you enough to be useful. Well, WigL says, well, why don't I just give you a bunch of smaller transmitters? Just put them all over the place. So if I get past the equation of power distance, because I put transmitters all over the place, then that's one piece.

The second piece is kind of a business up piece of pizza. From a business standpoint, I in no way can have a company that says we make televisions, microwaves, electrical outlets, a ceiling fans, key fault. But I can put this technology licensed this technology into these existing applications. And so those are the two key drivers. One I've got a technical piece, but I've got to put lots of transmitters in and around doing these things, it can be slow trickle charger. And the other part is a business side where I've got to have a broad enough application of it where it's not just Apple, just Samsung. WigL is too big for just app. WigL is too big for just Samsung.

Erik: So there's some exponential function where if you just had one device in your home, it would work within a radius and then you go outside of that and it's just transmitting too little data. But if you already have 30 devices in the home, so if 10 of those have WigL deployed inside of them, you're always close enough to something to get a reasonable amount of power to device.

The use cases on the power consumption side, I guess, you have your devices with relatively low battery consumption. So that's looking at consumer devices. If we look at industrial, I see kind of increasing interest in batteryless devices because then you're deploying a sensor up somewhere in in ducks or something and you just want to basically leave it there for 10 years. You don't want to have to send somebody up to repair or replace the battery. I guess for WigL probably use cases out in the field, you also have these situations where you want to basically how have a sensor out in the field for 10 years measuring, is it raining or not? Probably not so suitable for those use cases, because you're dealing with really broad distances. But for this type of factory setting, what do you see in terms of the industrial or the B2B applications here?

Ahmad: So if you think about a confined space, where there are sensors to tell you if there are cracks, or holes or rust or a whole plethora of things that we're measuring for safety in a confined space, absolutely, you could use some kind of wireless power network to manage those things. The question becomes what's in it.

So if you're in a confined space in a fuel sale or in an old tank, or in a deep water collection system or a sewage system where you probably don't have humans or animals, then we get away from the question of what waveform are you using? So everything that we've talked about up until now has been in and around the safer waveforms: the WiFi frequencies, the radio frequencies.

When you get into some of these more B2B kind of places, more austere locations, no humans are there, no animals are there, we're just protecting a pipeline, you may be able to use more higher frequency waveform to send the power. You may be able to do things like LiDAR, or laser to send out energy. WigL is not restricted to just radio frequencies. It's waveform. We're just sending energy, whatever that wireless energy source is? The W part of WigL we're not weird to a specific radio frequency.

And so in those types of applications, absolutely, you could have a location that you're sending a laser, or LIDAR to power some of these devices and sensors, robotics that are moving around, drones that you're putting into the air can power these devices. Again, the key to these, however, is not a single transmitter to do this, but a local area network, a wide area network of transmitters and transceivers that are managing these devices that are on the network.

We did start this journey with a company, and I don't think released the name of the robot, but they had a robot that we were going to put a tail on to. But in that application, it was going to be an autonomous robot that goes out on its own, rather than having to be plugged in to recharge, the battery is on this thing. We're just going to provide energy for the direct now. WigL is also we're not omnidirectional energy, guys. So we're going to track this robot as this guy moved around, and send him the energy that he needed to trickle charge, I kept calling the capacitor in the Loop. My guy said it's a battery pack, so to give him an additional battery pack.

If you think about this robot and say, for example, this guy has three battery packs, we're always targeting one or two other non-used battery packs to recharge so that this guy goes down, he switches now to this guy, we charge these two other guys. So absolutely, there's a B2B application that's already been explored and looked at.

Erik: First, we have then a B2C situation where at least the way I'm envisioning this is that it is omnidirectional, it’s coming out of the TV, and then it doesn't need to know where your device is, it doesn't need to have machine vision or anything. Basically, if you're in proximity, you can start powering the device. And then you have something that would be like a LIDAR, which I guess would be directing that energy towards the endpoint. First, is that correct, and then what are the ranges that we're looking at that where device can get a practical amount of energy with these two options, with the B2C option and the B2B option?

Ahmad; So, if you think end user, so the end user could care less what radio frequency and all of these. An end user just says, hey, Internet of Things. In order for my Internet of Things devices to work, I need to be on the internet. So if you tell me that that's WiFi, it's 2.4 gigahertz, I need to log on to get 2.4 gigahertz. I don't care how far away I am from the transmitter, the end user. But if my son tells all the time I got two bars, I got three bars or whatever they're looking at to manage their access to internet.

So the same kind of concept happens here for end user with WigL. We say okay, well, you are within range of a transmitter. Says you're within a location of transmitters, 1, 2 and 9, and these transmitters are managing, okay, so now you've moved around, and now you're 1, 9, and 37. And these transmitters are doing the handoff for you kind of the same way that we manage a cellular. So for the B2C applications, that's what's happening for you as the end user.

For distance, what we've been able to measure, so we published a paper last year in scientific reports about what we're able to do, basically, within a 8 foot by 8 foot or 10 foot by 10 foot grid, using three transmitters, and these three transmitters, were able to send power to a device on the move, and inside of the space. So if you think about an 8 foot grid with just three transmitters, right, then you say okay, well, if I had 6, would that give me 18, 20 feet? What could I do with those kinds of things? So that's actually what we're doing with some of these other applications of things we're doing. And again, that's on 2.4 gigahertz. That was the model that we're using.

Got another company that we partner with call Quan, and they're working with some commercial off the shelf, omnidirectional transmitters, and it looks like we're able to get a little bit shorter. I think we're about 4-6 feet is the distance from the transmitter. But if you say 4-6 feet, well, that gives me 12 foot of distance between the two transmitters. That's quite a bit of a distance when you think back to our earlier conversation, which is we're not looking at giving you a transmitter, there's some new thing. We're looking to retrofit the existing things that aren't agreed inside of your homes, inside of your cars, inside of your business. So your laptop, which you plugged in, it's on the grid, it could be a transmitter, your coffee pot that plugged in, it could be a transmitters. You overhead light switches, these are things that can become transmitters.

And so when you say well, okay, 12 feet, wait a minute, right, I've got a considerable number of things connect to the grid that are shorter than 12 feet away that can be turned into transmitters. And so from the end user, any customer’s side, we're looking at things that won't disrupt their lives, they will continue to go, they just have to wait as we did with the way cell phone initially matriculated out, which is things are starting to become WigL-enabled. And so I need to get that newer thing because I got a dead spot in the house, or this lamp that’s WigL-enabled, this table that's WigL-enabled, or this electric couch that’s WigL-enabled because it connects to the grid, those kinds of things.

And from a business standpoint, it would be a matter of okay, so we make these kinds of devices, we make ceiling things. As a ceiling fan manufacturer, I had no idea I was in the IoT space. Now that I know that, there's a business application for ceiling fan manufacturers. So hopefully, I answered it from both the B2B and B2C for you.

Erik: So let's say I'm ceiling fan manufacturer, I'm a TV manufacturer and whatever device manufacturer, so then maybe if we look at it from two perspectives, one would be how do I enable my device to transmit energy into this grid? So is it just an aftermarket dongle that could best buy and go install, or does it have to be installed in the manufacturing process? And then the second question would be what's in it for me? So is there a business model for them aside from maybe, basically, why would they be motivated to install this in the production process and then add this as a feature to their device?

Ahmad: Just like we talked about with the receivers, we talked about a generation one whereas a dongle; generation two, we go embedded; generation three, it's now moving away from the recharge and into the power side, same thing happens on the transmitter side. So the transmitter side, what we focus primarily on right now is that directed energy piece of it, so moving away from the omnidirectional, still giving you the ability to do omnidirectional WigL. So taking commercial off the shelf by another guy's transmitter, building network with that guy's transmitter and go look, you can buy these all day every day. You can go online and get them. You can have the ability to do WigL-enabled capability with that guy stuff.

Generation one is exactly what you just said, it's a dongle so the end user can go buy something that connects to their ceiling fan, that connects to their television, and it has antenna and a dongle piece on it. And, now you at home do it yourself, you can make these things WigL-enabled.

That next generation is now I need that ceiling fan manufacturer, they go, wait a minute. So your point, what's in it for me? Well, what's in it for you is I wish we lived in a world where you and I could talk right now like this, and it was free. It is not. I pay a monthly bill for electric. I pay a monthly bill for electric for my subscription for data. And so WigL is that exact same model that has a subscription piece. And so if you want to get WiFi at your hotel, or WiFi at the cafe or WiFi on board an airplane, you pay a subscription. So in that subscription, there's lots of people who take a little tax off of that subscription because they built the infrastructure that provides that.

Same thing happens for that ceiling fan manufacturer. Ceiling fan manufacturer right now has no idea they're any IOT space. They have no idea how to monetize being in the IoT space. WigL gives them that ability to get into the IoT space, and monetizing. So that's the [inaudible 26:15] for that ceiling fan manufacturer, for electrical furniture manufacturer. Anyone who is on a grid right now, connected to the grid, we, me, you, all of us need the ability to get energy to these things. These things are very, very important or critical to us.

As I sit here at my desk, I grab a bunch of stuff that I need to have wirelessly powered. And if I had someone who basically can get [inaudible 26:41] money because they make lamps and this lamp can be WigL-enabled. And because it’s WigL-enabled and we know right we're going to manage, I've got these transmitters that are sending me power. These transmitters translate into revenue, which goes into monetization for the manufacturers of those devices.

Erik: Let's talk about a couple of the concerns that folks might have with this. So one you already alluded to which is the safety concern. So you've got the consumer option, and then you have the industrial option, which I guess you don't want to be powering a device that's your dog is lying between him and having that run through your dog for an hour. So what are the frequencies that we're dealing with here? And then what are the safety concerns related to both? I guess, for the home solutions, people might have safety concerns, they might not be valid, but it's a new technology so people would at least raise the question. So maybe you can you can walk us through what concerns there might actually be here

Ahmad: I've got a 17 and an 18 year old. I started this they were younger kids. You're always concerned with the safety of radiating anything. I talked about my background in special operations acquisitions, I was in a satellite space, so I was in a MILSATCOM, Military Satellite Communication space, we're doing all kinds of interesting things with [inaudible 28:10], and sending them from Lille, Geo, Heel, higher orbit down to humans running around and doing stuff and sending them to drones and like lots and lots and lots of very, very unsafe way for you don't want to stand in front of.

But what we're talking about here and what we've demonstrated here, and we've been very, very specific on this, WigL is waveform agnostic. So if you want to talk to me about how microwave frequencies, you want to talk about L band, KU band, S band. Let's have a discussion about what we could do across those bands. But what we demonstrated for humans are WiFi 2.4 gigahertz at less than one watt. And we did that because that's what the FCC says [inaudible 28:57] is safe for humans.

So what we've looked at is not pump up the power so you can move further away. We've looked at give you more transmitters at a smaller radiation so that it's safer for you. And it turns out lithium ion doesn't like to be powered recharged quickly. It likes to slowly trickle charge storage in cells. And so what WigL is looking to do is meet both the distance problem, give you a more transmitter and the safety problem, let's radiate less.

Erik: And then you have the B2B environment and you mentioned that can be more concerning, if you're using infrared or something. What are the concerns there, is it related to sensitive membranes like eyes or is it any biological flesh this is also pose concerns for corrosion of if you're putting this through a pipe, could this also cause increased aging of the material? Are there other issues that might be a concern for maintenance here?

Ahmad: So, all of the above. We're going to put a sensor in here to monitor cracks or corrosion or pitting in a metal. We're going to send a wave form that is going to crack corrode or pick the metal. So you don't do that. So absolutely, in the B2B applications, there's concern with what am I recharging your power? How can I do that safely for what your mission said it is. Your mission said it is to protect or monitor for then we're not causing what you're protecting or monitor for.

But luckily, we're at a space right now I'll say not just DoD, we now have the ability to software control. If you think IoT, we can software control when and how and if there's interference, and if there's something in the way, or if we need to throttle up or throttle down on power management. So we can do those things now so that if you are an austere location, but cows happened to come through here on coyotes, to your point, we're not cooking the cows or setting the coyotes on fire because we're using these really high power Guchi waveforms. They've got the ability to know what's there, manage what's there, not in a fear, a move waveforms, hop from one transmitter node to another transmitter node because there interference in those kinds of things.

Erik: And then the other concern that I can imagine people having is, is the environmental concern, I think one of the themes of 2021 has been sustainability, and how much energy are we consuming. And I suppose here, there's going to be more energy loss to the environment than there would if you're plugging in a device. Then on the flip side of that you have the benefit of consuming less batteries, because there's also certainly a concern around how many batteries and how much lithium we're going to be consuming as we move more towards electrification of cars, but also other devices. What does the equation look like for energy efficiency and then also on the battery side in terms of hopefully reducing the size or the number of batteries that we're consuming?

Ahmad: When we look at wireless versus wire, that's the efficiency question, if I were talking to you right now across an ether, it would have far less latency than right now I'm talking to you on WiFi. We have not invented new math. We don't have better efficiency for wireless anything than we do for wire.

And so if the question is going to wireless power, is it going to be more efficient than using wired, not that I've seen, not even close. However, if we say wireless convenience, then absolutely, we all want the ability to get away from having to go plug that thing in, find somewhere, crawl into that nasty table, and plug this device back up, so they recharge with the matter of batteries.

So again, I've said a couple of times these generations of things that we're working on. And so some of those farther out generational things that we're working on, when we can get to a point where the infrastructure around us, a large portion of the infrastructure around us is sending us safe power for multiple notes that are software managed, they know where I am, then my need for such a large battery diminishes, potentially, getting me to a place where I've just needed enough to start up fine geolocate and then I'm on the grid. And so ability to reduce our reliance on lithium ion is huge.

You asked, what's that equation? I don't know. If you ask what's that date? I don't know. But I do know that we're marching as fast as we can. And not just WigL. There are a number of industry leaders in this space, I talked beginning about what Samsung is trying to do. A number of people in this space were marching as quickly as we can to get us to up to a place where you're on a WigL network, where you have the ability to simply log away and that battery reliance on goes away. As you know, probably better than most, some of these batteries are not even allowed on [inaudible 35:06] because these batteries are extremely dangerous. And so yet we are doing yeoman's work to get all of us away from that, but those are in future out generations of WigL capabilities.

Erik: So the potential here is very interesting for the IoT landscape, for the consumer device landscape. You have a number of projects ongoing with DoD right now, which is first mover in technologies such as this. What is the horizon here for the early adopters, let's say, the first 10% of people to start having this in their home or some synonymous solution in their home? And then what's the horizon for this to be scaled up to the majority? What do you see as a feasible timeline? But what would be the trajectory for the initial use cases that are coming online on WigL?

Ahmad: We’re on contract watch, but I'll talk a little bit about what we're doing inside of this DoD space. When folks hear DoD, they tend to think some military rise thingy that’s classified. This is one of the applications that we're intending to do for DoD is an android device. And so that device is very similar to this phone, has a very similar battery size, it's that phone, and we're going to do a dongle that goes on that device. That same dongle could very easily be used on your android device, or different application at the end of that dongle could be used on some other manufacturers, very similar five volt battery device, lithium ion battery device.

For WigL as a company, again, started under Glover 38th St Holdings, G38, we spun that off right in the heart of COVID. Because that's the best time to start a business is when you can't do anything, you can't move, you can't sell a bank account. And so we were able to in 2020 start to think about what it took for that horizon to become real. And so of course, one of the things any business needs is capital.

And so we went and we started a capital raise. We were the first regulation Crowdfunder on a platform called Start Engine to meet the new $5 million market cap. We raised that very, very so quickly that we went back here recently to the SEC and requested a permission to do something similar of Reg A raise; and inside of that Reg A raise, we've got some very targeted milestones for a horizon growth to get B2B and B2C.

So there are some companies who we feel are right at the edge of where we would like this technology to be, would take some small retrofitting retooling to make some applications for both B2B and B2C very quickly based on some of the things that we've leveraged inside of applicants for DoD space. And so we think that probably inside of the next 3-5 years is where you'll see that hockey stick start to really go up, and you'll see lots and lots more product and applications of WigL for you.

I mentioned before separate from us, Samsung has already come up with something for single transmitter to a single receiver. And so we think folks are already beginning to look conceptually at how to get inside of the WigL ecosystem. And so we don't see a 10, 20, 30, 50 years in horizon for you to be able to have WigL capabilities. We see that inside of just a handful of years from now.

Erik: So it sounds like you have recently completed a capital raise. You have plans on going for another? Are you planning more of a traditional venture capital raise? Or maybe corporate venture, is that something that you're looking at?

Ahmad: So I have a bit of a story to talk about why we are not. In the heart of a COVID when humans were terrified of other humans, you couldn't breathe on each other, you couldn't touch each other, folks were beginning to question if direct contact could give you COVID, we started this whole capital race.

So I'll never forget, I was told by this one up billionaire. He said, hey, I'm in love WigL. I want you to come to my house and we're going to figure out how to do it. And so I jump in my car, and I drive through the night, and I go to this guy's house, and I get to his house. And we go over all the stuff. And we do all the all the pitch, sharing all the information with them and all this stuff. That turns into this whole show really that kind of started to feel from my standpoint, from our attorney standpoint, more of how could I get around your technology and do this on my own, then how do we move the technology forward?

And so again, I'm retired Air Force guy, integrity, you were very important to me. It didn't feel right to me to be in that capital raise space with some of the venture capital. Not to say that this guy was a representation of all, but to be in that space with some of the venture capital folks. Because it just didn't feel genuine. It didn't feel right to me. And so when we went to Start Engine for the regulation crowdfunding, we were able to communicate directly with investors, regular Joe's, and some of these folks who were venture capital, who could ask us the questions, we can answer the question. Everybody could see with all the information was. It wasn't what don't tell this guy that we talked about that which happened a lot in some of these VC conversation.

And so I don't see WigL going out for some of the traditional venture capital. I'm not discouraging anybody who is from pushing that. It's just my background, the place I came from, that didn't seem to me like the place for WigL. WigL, it's too big for app. WigL is too big for Tesla. WigL is too big for Samsung. It seemed to me like it needed to be a space in a place where anyone who wanted to participate in the growth of this industry could participate and not just a few handful of folks who were doing it for reasons that did not taste like they were moving to technology forward. It tasted more like this was to seize the share of the market or to fight another guy or those kinds of things, which is what WigL was just not intended for.

So I don't know if we'll ever do the traditional venture capital, go to banks, and that kind of thing. Because what we found with the Jobs Act is where these crowdfund capabilities came from. We found with the regulation CF and we are finding with the Regulation A, is that the average person, the person who's pinching fund, some of these folks are using the money to do it with anyway, they want to be involved and they'd like to reap some of the rewards that some of these venture capital guys are doing.

Erik: Well, it's interesting that there really, are these alternative investment models now, as an entrepreneur, you get to choose. I can certainly appreciate the notice always some concern about corporate venture capital, I think a lot of corporate VCs are well intentioned, but they do have strategic objectives. But of course, there are also VCs that will leak an idea or maybe explore implementation of an idea themselves. So I think we've covered a fair bit of territory, Ahmad. Anything that we haven't touched on yet that you think is important for people to know?

Ahmad: I think, to me, the biggest thing is a question that I have to answer all the time, was folks say, well, when are you going to have a working model? When is the technology going to be here? And I have to after remind them, we had a working model before we had a pet. What we're doing now is we're giving applications of that model of WigL. We work with one of the premier guys, Dr. Tom Bukur, RFD Diagnostics, into making RF to DC harvesting device for us that we could connect to a basic WiFi router, put a booster on it, and send noise and then harvested imagery on either side.

And so I think the thing that I would want folks to know is and I thought your horizon question was perfect, when you look at when are we going to get this technology, we're not talking about something your grandkids are going to see. We're talking about something you're going to see. We're just now making it where it's attractive to the B2C, attractive to the B2B. Again, we published last year, I know last year seems like a long time ago now, but we published last year scientific reports working models. And in Miami right now, Florida National University, they work. It's just the sizes isn’t right. The packaging isn’t right.

Again, WigL is not intending on making televisions and key fob smoke detectors. So, we've got to get those into a fashion that fit inside of the decision making curve for the manufacturers that we intend to do our future generations on. So I think that's what I want to leave folks with, is that this is not some startups project. No, this is in years past was already built, we're now putting it in a form faction that works best for IoT.

Erik: Well, I would love to see this in my house in the coming years. Ahmad, I'm sure some of our listeners are interested in learning more as well and maybe exploring what this might mean for their businesses. What would be the best way for them to reach out to you or to the team at WigL?

Ahmad: Contact us at info@wiglinc.com, info@wiglinc.com, and just message Murray Wise. So she's our chief of innovation and partner, she will get you to the right one or ones of us who fit best with your answer. And yeah, I think that's the right connection for into WigL.

Erik: Well, Ahmad, really appreciate you coming on and sharing the status of the technology with us.

Ahmad: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for having us. Happy New Year to you and to all those folks out in podcast land. And thank you, thank you, thank you again.

Erik: Thanks for tuning in to another edition of the industrial IoT spotlight podcast. If you find these conversations valuable, please leave us a comment and a five-star review. And if you'd like to share your company's story or recommend a speaker, please email us at team@IoTone.com. Finally, if you have an IoT research, strategy, or training initiative that you'd like to discuss, you can email me directly at erik.walenza@IoTone.com. Thank you.

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