Prodea Systems today became first company to make the vision of the truly connected home a reality for consumers on its one-of-a-kind platform for the Internet of Things (IoT).
Prodea is an eight-year-old company founded by the Ansari family, inventors and proven entrepreneurs with a history of building companies based on industry-changing technologies.
The Company has launched their patented platform for the connected home, the Residential Operating System (ROS), and has made the platform available to traditional and emerging service providers in the United States.
Also announced were the first U.S. customers to deliver a true connected home experience via ROS: Canal SUR, one of the largest cable networks of Latin American content; and Fort Capital, a Miami-based private real estate investment company.
“We are the most disruptive company you haven’t heard of – until today,” said Anousheh Ansari, CEO and co-founder of Prodea. “While many big name companies have tried to bring the connected life concept to fruition, the fact is that it is still a fragmented space populated by point solutions that don’t do much for the consumer and don’t deliver on the revenue promise for service providers. That is about to change.”
Prodea is fueled by $100 million in investment, 1.5 million man hours of R&D, 16 patents, eight pending patents and seven customers in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The fruition of that cumulative investment and development effort is the first seamless access to a broader range of services for the previously technologically underwhelming connected home market.
With the U.S. rollout of ROS, Prodea is providing the first managed service delivery platform to enable ubiquitous and simple access and interactions between people, data, services, and devices. ROS delivers what others have only promised: a truly seamless connected life where everyone and everything speak the same “digital language” and interact in ways never possible before.
Built for a seamless digital life experience, ROS extends the same capabilities and Prodea first mover status to the Internet of Things.
Prodea: Eight Years of Stealth Innovation and Rocket Science
“Since 2006 – even before the advent of smart devices and personal mobility of information content – we had a clear vision based on the belief that everything works better when everything works together,” continued Ansari. “It was time for technology to do the same. ROS is a delivery agent for the connected home and the rapidly evolving Internet of Things. It was no easy task to accomplish what we have done which is why it has taken us so long to get it right. In many respects, it was kind of like rocket science.”
Ansari should know. The first astronaut of Iranian descent and the first female private explorer to visit space founded Prodea in 2006 along with her husband, Hamid, and brother-in–law, Amir. She did so at the same time she launched an 11-day mission to the International Space Station. The Ansari family believes in technological disruption for betterment of our lives. They helped create the new generation of private space industry via the sponsorship of the Ansari X-Prize which provided $10 million to the person who created a private company to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks. The Ansari X-Prize was ultimately won by Scaled Composite, a small company out of Mojave, Calif. backed by Paul Allen who accomplished the goal ahead of 24 companies from 11 countries.
Prior to Prodea, the Ansari family founded Telecom Technologies (TTI) and developed one of the telecommunications’ industry’s first softswitch platforms that helped enable global adoption of Voice over IP (VoIP). TTI was acquired by Sonus Networks in 2000 for approximately $1.2 billion, one of the largest acquisitions in the telecommunications market at that time. The acquisition helped fund Prodea and the Ansari-X Prize.
Prodea has also received investment from several high profile individuals and funds including Mubadala, a $55 billion sovereign wealth fund established in 2002 as a public joint stock company by the government of Abu Dhabi. Mubadala has investments in General Electric, and AMD.
ROS: The Platform for the Connected Home and the Internet of Things
Unlike the legacy equipment/solutions providers that the Ansaris worked with at past companies, or the consumer electronics manufacturers and their walled garden designs for the Internet of Things, Prodea knew that a new approach would be required to achieve the vision of a truly connected life. That led to ROS.
The global connected home market is expected to reach $52 billion by 2020, but adoption has been slowed by fragmented, point-based approaches that address specific service verticals individually, providing costly silo solutions for services like home automation, home security, or entertainment. In turn, service providers have offered these one-off applications to their subscribers on a piecemeal basis. The result has been unnecessary complexity, expensive solutions, consumer frustration and slow adoption. ROS is unique in that it is not a purpose-built point solution.
ROS delivers entertainment, education, health and wellness, a private cloud, home security, automation, energy management, and enhanced communication services, all on a single managed platform. This is all accomplished in a cost effective, secured and private, integrated approach for deployment over any broadband network.
From devices like mobile/smartphones, TVs, tablets and PCs to utilities like security systems, thermostats, and glucometers, everything lives on the same platform and speaks the same language. ROS extends today to the Internet of Things, defined as a network of physical objects accessed through the Internet without human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
To Prodea, the Internet of Things is not a technology or even about technology. Instead, it’s about bringing meaningful lifestyle experiences to people in a new world of hyper-connected devices.
“While interest in the Internet of Things has ramped up significantly in the last six months, the market is still fragmented on a number of levels, with no clear approach emerging,” notes Nick Dillon, senior analyst, platforms and devices at global analyst firm, Ovum in an April 2014 On the Radar report. “Prodea's solution addresses this issue by taking an approach that is agnostic of connection, service, application and protocols. This transcends the various siloes that currently exist to offer a unified solution to operators and, by extension, their customers.”
Prodea’s unified solution has little to no direct competition. Companies that have tried to accomplish what Prodea has achieved generally fall into two categories:
1. Point Solutions: Several point solutions have attempted to make the connected home a reality but have only succeeded in addressing fragments of connectivity such as home automation/control or entertainment. These solve only one part of the connectivity challenge and rely on traditional service provider models to reach consumers.
2. Heavy Iron: Larger telecommunications equipment providers also set out to do what Prodea has achieved today. These companies sell in a legacy-based fashion by offering an entire portfolio of hardware and software that is more expensive to deploy and requires considerably more time to do so.
Prodea solutions maximize the value of existing networks and take advantage of current day connected home deployment opportunities.
Enabling New Services and Revenue Streams for Traditional and Emerging Service Providers
Prodea serves traditional service providers in the cable, telecommunications, wireless, satellite and PayTV markets. However, ROS also enables a new breed of emerging service providers defined as entities that aren’t from the traditional telco or cable space but seek to broaden their business by delivering services to homes and businesses.
Examples of this are high end residential community developers or even big box retailers. Whether an emerging or traditional service provider, ROS provides expanded market reach and increased Average Revenue per User (ARPU).
Prodea can quickly tailor ROS capabilities to a service provider’s market and operations to be turnkey or highly integrated based on the type and service provider’s objectives. This flexibility allows the operator to get to market quickly while leveraging existing infrastructure and operations. Current ROS deployments span Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia via providers including Smart Village/MultiChoice (a multi-service provider operating across Africa); Azerfon, (a quad-play service provider in Azerbaijan); StarNet (a triple-play service provider in Russia); Terra (a fixed and wireless service provider in Italy); Sterlite (a large communications infrastructure provider in India); and MyHD (a satellite pay-TV provider operating across the Middle East and North Africa).