The next episode of the Future Ear Radio podcast features Nikolaj Hviid, CEO of Bragi, and re-occurring guest, Andy Bellavia, Director of Market Development at Knowles Corp. This episode is particularly special for me, as I have admired Nikolaj from afar since he launched Bragi’s flagship hearable, The Dash, back in 2014. It’s probably fair for me to say that the seed for Future Ear was planted on the day that the Dash was launched, as the vision laid out by Nikolaj helped me to understand the potential for hearables.
Six years later, I was fortunate to sit down with Nikolaj, and hear him share the full story of how and why Bragi was started. Understanding the root of the inspiration is helpful to better understand the true vision of what Nikolaj was attempting to build from the start. As he points out early on in the conversation, software was the real aspiration, not building hardware. In many ways, the Dash represented a prototype piece of hardware to display the capabilities of the real Bragi brainchild: BragiOS.
The majority of the conversation revolves around the premise that we’re wading further into a future where sensors become so inexpensive and tiny, that they proliferate everywhere. These sensors provide computers with more information (more senses), allowing for an increasing sophistication of insights that can be gleaned from the data. Therefore, there needs to be a unifying “mesh network” to connect all the sensors together, which is precisely where BragiOS comes in.
As Nikolaj describes, these sensors can work off of a protocol similar to IFTT (if this, then that), whereby each individual sensor is responsible for reporting its specific data to Bragi OS. Each sensors’ data might be rather meaningless in isolation, but in combination with other data being reported within the Bragi OS network, it might aggregate into insight. Andy mentions a great example, where you have sensors in a factory being used to monitor various functions and machines. The vast majority of the time, the sensors are communicating amongst each other, until a specific IFTT combination is triggered, which would then notify “home base” aka, people.
When Bragi sold off its hardware division last year, many thought that the company had folded, but after hearing Nikolaj’s story here, you’ll see that’s not the case at all. In fact, even going back to old interviews, it was apparent that the star of the show was always BragiOS, and it’s clear to me that the hardware phase was merely a proof of concept. The real work that Nikolaj has always envisioned is beginning now with a wave of upcoming products that use Bragi’s operating system to harness the ability to unify a wide variety of sensors within a singular network.
-Thanks for Reading-