When Objects talk to us: Intelligent Networks of the Future

»The Internet of Things will be a Megatrend over the Next Few Years. A Huge World will bloom.«, Henri Kretschmer, CEO Virtenio GmbH

Foto: Volker Döring

Bananas are sensitive fruits. During their transportation from South America to Germany, they need cool temperatures and an ideal environment. Otherwise, they will be mushy when they arrive.

Virtenio is offering one solution for this problem using wireless miniature computers, which analyze the temperature and the air in the existing environment. The shipping agency is continuously notified by satellite. They can take corrective action in case of doubt. This is only one example for general area of use for the basic technology from Virtenio.

These small, powerful and energy-efficient computers are no larger than a matchbox. They communicate and network with each other using radio signals. Custom programmed software make their application easier.

In the future, not only machine will be able to exchange information in this manner, but all the things of everyday life. “The Internet of things will be a megatrend over the next decades. A huge world will bloom. This means that everything will communicate with everything else. Refridgerators that write shopping lists, cars that find parking spaces on their own or intelligent flower pots that tell us, when we should water them are conceivable”, says Henri Kretschmer, founder.

Since 2005, this engineer for technical information technology has been studying this new-to-Germany issue of wireless information distribution and transfer, which he has discovered for himself as a scientific employee of the Technische Universität of Berlin (TU). At that time, he was working with networks for automating buildings.

Specifically, this includes devices that determine and control heat consumption, without anyone having to actually enter the residences. “An extremely large market”, indicates Kretschmer.

By chance, Kretschmer provided guidance to two diploma candidates, who were researching the field of sensor nodes and the software appropriate to them. Together with Torsten Hüter and Stefan Ziegler, Kretschmer developed the innovative miniature computer and, with it, laid the foundation for the establishment of the company. “The startup services of the TU Berlin and the Exist stipend from the Federal Ministry of Science were very important in helping to make our company independent”, reports Thomas Henn, who supplements the engineering team as a salesperson. Virtenio is located in Charlottenburg’s Innovation Centrum, CHIC. “We were looking for offices close to the TU, because working in a creative and innovative environment was important for us.

In addition, it is centrally located and a lot happens in CHIC, new things are being created.“ and is the right place for Virtenio to re-design the future.

Kluge Köpfe 2011