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Thought Leaders in Internet of Things: Ben Forgan, CEO of Hologram (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, May 17th 2021
Benjamin Forgan (@bforgan) | Twitter

Ben discusses IoT connectivity and use cases.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself and Hologram.

Ben Forgan: I’m the CEO of Hologram. Hologram is a connectivity startup focused on providing internet access for IoT devices. We talk about wanting to be able to connect any device to any network instantaneously anywhere. That is our vision for the product. In basic terms, you can think of it as phone plans for things that aren’t phones. We have been around for about seven years now. We are just chugging away. 

Sramana Mitra: You are an internet access company?

Ben Forgan: Yes, we provide cellular connectivity access via a single sim card. That SIM card will connect you to over 500 networks in over 190 countries worldwide. This is important for things that are not phones because they roam all around the world and sometimes need access to different networks in different countries. This depends on the geography and coverage profile. We make it simple and seamless to deploy your device and get it connected to the internet. 

Sramana Mitra: Let’s double-click down on examples of devices that need this kind of connectivity that you are deploying on. 

Ben Forgan: At first, it sounds esoteric, but these things are everywhere. The classic example of an item that has been around forever is ATMs or vending machines. They tell someone when the stock of the given product is low so that they can go and fill it up. That includes mobile payments or any sort of POS system. Those have some sort of cellular connection.

More recently, that includes micro-mobility like e-bikes and scooter sharing. These are things that need a cellular connection so that they can talk through the internet so that you can unlock your scooter on the street. Agriculture technology is also on that list. Crop monitoring and soil moisture are on that list.

This is essentially gathering data to help improve crop yield. That can be applied anywhere throughout multiple industries. That same principle applies to manufacturing or logistics. We do a lot of work where people are creating sensors to augment their data. They bring a lot of what is in the offline world online so that they can take action on it.

Sramana Mitra: What is your biggest business? What device or what vertical is your biggest business?

Ben Forgan: In terms of segments, micro-mobility is a big one for us. We work with a large portion of the scooter and e-bike companies. Another one is healthcare. We have been increasingly doing more work for patient monitoring or medical devices. Industrial INT and AgTech sensors are the third big bucket.

We also have an increasing amount of POS applications coming in. We see a big digital payments revolution. A lot of the things in the United States have been behind on this, so we are seeing a lot more digital payment companies pop up worldwide. Those are the core business segments for us.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders in Internet of Things: Ben Forgan, CEO of Hologram
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