People in food tech may not be familiar with Ray Ozzie by name. The former CTO of Microsoft, and creator of Lotus Notes, Ozzie’s work is definitely on the more tech-y side of technology. But kitchen appliance and hardware makers could soon become well acquainted with Mr. Ozzie, given that his new startup wants to make wirelessly connecting, well, anything, to the internet much easier.
Axios has the scoop on Ozzie’s new venture, dubbed Blues Wireless, and while details are scarce, the basics seem to be that Blues will use cellular networks instead of WiFi to wirelessly connect devices to the Internet. This cellular module will allow hardware to have its connection set at the factory, instead of making consumers go through the process at home. There are some other details about encryption and using Notecard, and you should check out Axios for the full story.
While things have definitely gotten better when it comes to connecting gadgets to your network, the experience can vary widely depending on the manufacturer. If Blues Wireless can economically make a kitchen appliance connect right out of the box, that will mean customers can see more functionality and use out of it right away. This, in turn can help spur growth in the connected kitchen space.
Blues Wireless isn’t the only company looking to make the process of connecting devices to the Internet easier. None other than Amazon launched it’s WiFi Simple Setup last year to take the pain out of setting up connected gadgets by letting Alexa share your home network credentials with compatible devices. Additionally, earlier this month, Amazon purchased WiFi router company, Eero, which became popular in part because it makes setting up devices easier.
Right now, Blues Wireless is small, being funded by Ozzie himself, and is currently in trials with AT&T. There’s no timeline on when any of the technology will actually reach the market, but people in food tech should at least being taking note of this news (and Ozzie’s name) right now.