During the Interview, Jason Discussed His Passion for Bringing His Vision of Consumer Level Mesh Networking to Fruition
VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / March 16, 2018 / Jason Chao, a 16-year-old Canadian student in Vancouver and the founder and CEO of Orbis, is pleased to announce that he recently took part in an in-depth interview about his company.
Jason, who is also the author of the founding Orbis white paper, funded the initial development of Orbis with returns from early investments to raise over $2M USD in Orbis' presales and private sales. Though young, Jason seeks to grow his platform in the cryptocurrency community and disrupt the wireless communications industry.
As Jason explained during the interview, he is passionate about making his vision of consumer level mesh networking a reality.
The following is a transcript of the recent interview. For more information about Jason Chao and Orbis Communications, please visit https://orbismesh.com/.
Q: What is Orbis?
A: Orbis at its core is a mesh topology and SDK that enables regular smartphones to connect to other devices also running the Orbis app and form a mesh network. What are mesh networks? I like to explain them with a simplified model. Imagine you want to send someone 100 meters away a message via Bluetooth, however, the range of Bluetooth is only 50 meters. You can't do it. Now if mesh was enabled and there happened to be a person who is in the middle 50 meters from each of you then any message you send can be relayed through the person in the middle. Now expand these two people to thousands of users and replace messaging with any type of data really and you have a mesh network. Orbis ultimately aims to have communities of these mesh networks around the world all also interconnected to one another using conventional WiFi. Users who run our app are also compensated for essentially their battery life with our Orbis Tokens (OBT) and can buy apps created by third-party devs on SDK with that OBT. This is only the consumer side of Orbis and part of our long-term roadmap.
Q: What are some potential real-world use cases?
A: Real world use cases would include utilizing what I like to call crowdsourced data, creating telecommunications infrastructure, and industrial IoT. If we had a Bluetooth node at the start and end of every line at Disney for example, the difference in time for someone using our app to connect to each node could be provided to Disney visitors as a live estimated queue time. Crowdsourced data would also include features like location-based advertising where we reward users for connecting to a specifically located node - for example, in a coffee shop. For disaster relief such as what is going on now in Puerto Rico, by using our network we could quickly set up long range Bluetooth relays and encourage residents to download our app, which can also be transferred directly from device to device, to efficiently set up a robust and cost-effective method of communication. Finally, and most exciting, on the commercial side of things we intend to make Orbis compatible with IoT devices. For example, you could use the Orbis app to control your lights, microwave, or refrigerator at home. With the recent launch of Amazon's cashier-less store in Seattle, as well, I can only imagine the wiring involved in connecting all the weight-sensors and cameras to a few centralized hubs. With our mesh network, you wouldn't need those redundant wires and the network is decentralized and each IoT device communicates with each other. A similar system could be implemented in parking lots to track available spots.
Q: What inspired you to start Orbis?
A: I came up with the idea while browsing Amazon actually. I saw a product called Tile Tracker which is basically just a small Bluetooth chip you can put in your wallet. The idea is that say if you lose the wallet then if someone else walks by your wallet while running the Tile app then their location at that instant would be sent to you when he or she connected to WiFi - another implementation of crowdsourced data. I thought it was a very interesting idea but upon checking the reviews I noticed many complaints about a low userbase and that the app was draining battery life. As fascinated as I was also with blockchain at the time I thought I could solve these problems by compensating users with a token. From there Orbis grew and developed into what it is today.
Q: How is this going to be brought to market?
A: The vision I have laid out is, essentially, to borrow a phrase from Amazon, an everything network. I am however fully aware that the most challenging obstacle we face in deploying this network is the huge userbase we'd need to make this work. Just like Amazon began as a bookstore we are going to first be focusing on industrial solutions and B2B services. Our first apps are planned to be either for the aforementioned live lineup tracking services or warehouse/supply chain management then expand to more consumer-oriented solutions such as enabling offline blockchain transactions or metered hotspots. With these B2B services, I have the luxury of first approaching for example Amazon, Disney, or Phillips with an MVP to judge interest before committing fully to the development of any one solution. I've also been looking for relevant and longterm advisors and partners for Orbis. For example, we have the CTO of Ericsson Southeast Asia - the company that created Bluetooth - as an advisor and other relevant strategic partners that are connected to IT executives including ones associated with smart-city projects like Neom in Saudi Arabia.
Q: How is this different from existing solutions and why is Bluetooth the best fit?
A: Many people ask why WiFi Direct, LoRa, ZigBee, or Z-Wave don't do the same thing. The biggest difference the fundamental technology of Bluetooth provides though is its low energy consumption and small form factor, which are more important than they may sound. For things like warehouse management, it's no better than wiring sensors if you need to have a power cable running to each WiFi node as opposed to a battery you change every few months like you do with a light bulb. Bluetooth's short range and low energy also comes as a benefit for some as these factors play into low signal interference. Bluetooth also enables mobile devices to connect and transfer without provisioning. It would be no use in a mesh network if you had to go into your phone settings and enter a password for each other device you want to connect to. Just take the Tile Tracker, for example, there is simply no way that would work using WiFi or any other solution than Bluetooth. Another point, however, may be, why are we different from the specification Bluetooth SIG released themselves this July? We are developing our own topology and specification to suit our specific needs, in particular, the integration of everyday mobile devices.
Founded in August 2017, Orbis delivers secure, global, and accessible networks of Bluetooth communities that anyone can contribute to. The Orbis team will be developing industrial solutions utilizing IoT, crowd-gathered data, and digital infrastructure while also making Bluetooth mesh development easily accessible to third-party developers. For consumers, Orbis apps will enable unique mesh functionalities unattainable with conventional WiFi based applications. The Orbis crowdsale now live and running through March 31. For more information, please visit https://orbismesh.com/.