Check out Temperature@lert's recent apperance at ITEXPO West as Dave Ruede, Vice President of Marketing, is interviewed about the latest advances in temperature monitoring.
Pat: Hi! I'm Pat Barnard, group managing editor for TMCNet, and I'm here at IT Expo West, and I'm joined by David Ruede, Vice President of Marketing for Temperature Alert. Hi, David! How are you?
David: I'm doing well. Thanks! How are you?
Pat: Good. Welcome! So, uh, why don't you start off by providing us with a brief overview of Temperature Alert? And I also see that you've brought some of your products along with you today, to show the viewers. So, uh, go ahead, and tell us what you do!
David: Great! Thanks! Uh, Temperature Alert's a 5 year old company. We, uh, started in the business of temperature monitoring, mostly in the IT space.
David: Um, our market is really small and mid-size, uh, companies and individuals that have a lot of IT equipment, and, um, they want to monitor them in a very cost effective way...
David: ...and we've got 3 products. A USB device, a wireless device, and a cellular device.
David: Uhm, and I have a couple with me today. This is our WiFi device...
David: ...and this is our latest generation. And, uh, the big upgrade on this is: it actually has the ability to monitor two temperature sensors...
David: ...and the big key with that is: we get a lot of companies that want to do more than one point, so this comes with a six foot cable...
David: ...and a temperature sensor or a combined temperature [and] humidity sensor around that cable...
Pat: All right.
David: ...and so you can monitor two different points in one device, which makes it very cost effective.
David: Uhm, and it's got a lot of play in the IT space, especially since this will put out an email, or you can configure it to do a text message, uh, whenever the temperature rises.
David: We get a lot of little companies that, when their A/C goes out in their server rooms, [the] temperature goes up, [and] their equipment and their data's in jeopardy...
David: ...and, uh, they can't always monitor that very well, but they can monitor it with this, very cost effectively. Once you put it in, you own it. There's no additional cost...
David: ...so it makes it very cost effective.
Pat: Right. I would imagine it's also good for, uh, organizations that have their, uh, it, uh, [equipment] sort of spread out through out the facility. There's sometimes instances where you might have a small closet on each floor, each housing some equipment, so, um, [that is] probably a good opportunity to deploy these around, and be able to protect each of those locations within a facility, right?
David: That's true, because you can deploy multiple, uh, products. We also have the ability to put a sensor cable up to a hundred feet away...
David: ...so if the rooms are close enough, you can run two sensors to, you know, within a two hundred foot distance...
Pat: Right, and monitor both at the same unit.
David: ...and that makes it very cost effective...
David: ...but generally, if it's a bit farther than that, you might need two devices.
Pat: Right. Okay! And what's this next one?
David: (Coughs) Excuse me! Our next device is a cellular device. [It] does the same thing as this one, only, [it] has a lot more capability. Primarily, we find that people who need this don't have good connectivity...
David: And so... Or they want to back up, [so] that they're not relying on their power grid.
David: If the WiFi goes down, then the whole system's down. They don't know what's going on.
David: If they have power monitoring, that's nice, but, uh, generally, smaller companies may not have that option.
David: So this device will actually keep running on its internal battery. It's just like a cellphone.
David: It operates over AT&T or T-Mobile network.
David: It'll send out a signal when the temperature goes too high or too low. Whatever you set it at.
David: It'll monitor humidity.
David: This is, again, our newest device with two mo... two sensors...
David: ...and it will run on battery for at least a week, maybe two weeks, depending on how good the signal is.
David: Um, the biggest advantage to this is it doesn't require any power from [the grid], so when your system goes down you can get an alert...
David: ...and we find that companies that want to monitor their data, um, you know, if the data goes down, if the whole power goes down, then that's not that big a problem, because everything's down, except they might also have some equipment that might be, uh, in jeopardy if it gets too warm or too cold, and in that case, we find laboratories that put these in their data centers, as well as on their environmental control systems...
David: ...and then they can get an alert when their products are in danger, as well as when their data is in danger...
Pat: Right. Okay.
David: ...so it's really a nice device. It also, uh, has the ability to, (cleans throat), excuse me, monitor and forward all of the data that it's got if it loses, uh, cellular signal. In other words...
Pat: It can tell you the temperature trend?
David: All of the data that it stores until it, uh, next time it makes a connection, so it actually can be used for mobile applications. If you find, you know, mobile applications where there's a lot of heat, uh, an RV that has a data center, or any kind of, uh, electronic equipment in it.
David: If the, uh, if it's not being monitored, this can keep track of it for you.
Pat: Okay. Great!
Pat: What are some of the other applications? You mentioned some other ones.
Pat: There's a wide variety of uses that you could come up with that are fine for these units.
David: Yeah. The cellular in particular, we find individuals as well as other industries. Um, food service industry, for mobile applications, for truck temperature. Uh, vaccine transport and storage. Uh, we're actually not too far from here in Ventura County, the H1N1 flu virus was put into temperature controlled bunkers that didn't have any connectivity.
Pat: Oh, really?
David: So they put the cellular devices on them to monitor millions of dollars worth of vaccines.
Pat: No kidding!
David: Very cost effective...
David: ...and probably the most unique is: we protect[ed] some parrots that are left in RVs when their owners are out on a day trip, and they're at the camp ground, and the power goes out at the RV camp.
Pat: Right. Huh! That's an interesting application. Pet protection!
David: It really is. It is! It is!
David: I've got a great picture of a Green-winged Macaw next to one of these things.
Pat: Oh, wow! Really cool. That's neat!
David: Uh, so how long have these been out for, and how well are you doing with them?
Pat: We're doing quite well! We've got, uh, the cellular device. [It has] only been out for 2 years...
Pat: ...but we've got a very sizable install base on that. We're especially seeing multiple units go in, in places where they have remote sites, and they can't take the chance... Uh, a lot of medical applications with that.
Pat: The same with the WiFi. We find that, uh, hospitals and, uh, other areas where you have distributed, uh, sites, uh, including IT sites, will put multiple of these in.
Pat: The WiFi in particular... We will be releasing a 10 port monitor soon...
Pat: ...and if you look at the ASHRAE, uh, guidelines for HVAC heating and cooling for data centers, that will give you, uh, plenty of points to monitor... to be in compliance with the ASHRAE code.
David: Mh-hm! Okay. Great!
Pat: Um, now, how much do they cost? Can you give me a ballpark range of how much they cost?
David: Sure! Uh, list price, WiFi, is around 299 [two-ninety-nine], additional sensors add to the price, and the cellular is 399 [three-ninety-nine]. Uh, like I said, the, uh, the WiFi, once you get it in, you're done, uh, the cellular does require a small service plan, depending on... starting around 15 dollars per month for monitoring.
David: And... [the] price depends on how often you want to be, um, alerted, and, uh, how many people are getting the alerts, and what kind of information you want to get.
David: Companies find them very cost effective.
Pat: Okay. Great. How does the monitoring actually take place? I mean... How do I get the alert, and what are, or maybe there's more than one way I can get an alert?
David: Uh, all of the devices send out an email.
David: The, uh, USB, and the, uh, WiFi devices... Users configure to also send a text message to a cellphone.
Pat: To a mobile a mobile device.
David: Um, and, on the cellular device, it will send out an email, a text message, and give you a phone call. All three of those...
Pat: Oh! Okay.
David: ...for every temperature level that you set...
David: ...because you can also set multiple temperature levels...
David: ...so, for example, if you have a very sensitive environment, and it hits 90 [ninety] degrees, and you want the, uh, person in charge to take action...
David: ...if he doesn't take it, and it's up to 95 [ninety-five] degrees, he gets a reminder, and his boss gets a message.
David: If it goes to 100 [a hundred] degrees, the escalation keeps going.
Pat: Keeps going! Okay.
Pat: Okay. Wow. Okay. That's pretty cool. Uhm, that's ano... I think another thing that's sort of interesting about it is the fact that, well, again, getting back to what I was saying before, there's a lot of applications for this thing.
Pat: And, um, you know, I could probably come up with... probably about 5 or 6 different uses in my head right now (laughs) for this thing, so... How do you market it?
David: Right now, it's mostly done over the web.
David: We've got a lot of both, uh, web-based and directory sellers.
David: Um, we are actively signing resellers in the computer space, um, you know, data center management companies. We also are signing up HVAC companies, heating, air conditioning and refrigeration, uh, companies...
David: ...and, uh, in particular, right now, we're looking at, uh, a channel in the pet market.
Pat: Oh, okay.
David: Because we do find, uh, a lot of pet owners that have very expensive animals.
David: For instance, I have one customer that uses our cellular device to monitor his chinchillas...
David: ...because they're very intolerant of temperature extremes...
David: ...and very valuable animals.
Pat: Okay. Great. One more question on the alerts... I forgot to ask you before.
Pat: The phone call that's generated. How's it generated?
David: It's generated through our server...
David: ...so all... On the temperature on the cellular device, all of the data's sent back to our server...
David: ...and then you go in on the web, and you program in the emails, text message number and the phone number, and it can be three different numbers.
David: For instance, in one company, three different people get one of each of the messages...
David: ...and that way, whoever's going to pick it up says “I got it.”
David: So, uh, and, so you'd basically program that in, and it calls you, or emails you, or texts you.
Pat: Okay. Great! That's really neat! Well, thanks for joining us! We've been talking to David Ruede, Vice President of Marketing for Temperature Alert, coming to you from IT Expo, Western Los Angeles. Thanks again!
David: Thank you! I appreciate... (fade out)