Porto, Portugal has become a trial-ground for a Portuguese-born company called Veniam Works. Veniam, Inc wants expand internet connectivity through mobile ‘hot spots’ installed in vehicles such as taxis and buses.
New tech company hopes to make mobile vehicular hot-spots the normPorto, Portugal has become a trial-ground for a Portuguese-born company called Veniam Works. Veniam, Inc wants expand internet connectivity through mobile 'hot spots' installed in vehicles such as taxis and buses.
Engineer and researcher Joao Barros began the company in 2012 as a project for the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program and now with collaborators like the founders of the hourly car rental service ZipCar on board, Barros hopes to continue expansion in 2015.
Currently, wifi and mobile device networks are supported by stationary hot spots, cellular towers or private networks. Veniam Works hopes to improve gaps in internet connectivity areas by putting connected routers and receivers into moving vehicles. The phrase Veniam and the industry has devised to describe this is, ‘The Internet of Moving Things’.
“We put a little box in every vehicle that is able to connect the vehicle, not only to the internet through the cellular network, but also to other vehicles and access points both Wi-Fi and special Veniam access points that have ten times the range of normal wifi,” Barros said.
Barros’ hometown of Porto, Portugal, the first testing ground for their product, now has Veniam boxes in its entire public bus fleet, 150 of its taxis and more than 600 other vehicles.
While a traditional wifi connection goes from the device straight to an access point, Veniam is promoting another use. The company wants to warm the public to the idea of data delivery and sharing between vehicles and connected devices. Veniam hopes to expand their brand of improved connectivity and data sharing worldwide and reportedly has angel investment in U.S. cities like New York and Boston, along with the likes of European centers such as London and Lisbon. Veniam Works is also supported in part by a project funded by the European Union through the National Strategic Reference Framework, also known as QREN, according to the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Project.
To get an idea of the possible public connectivity increase with a faster connection at a cheaper cost, Veniam was able to support and have access to the connected devices of up to 70 percent of people in, and passing through Porto, Portugal during their testing of the product.
Many transport authorities in the U.S. are said to have expressed interest in improving bus safety with on-board security cameras able to stream video and store it in cloud accessible storage. Internet connected buses could also relay information such as passenger counts and where individual passengers get on and off.
Information to create this story was compiled by CCTV’s Mark Niu and the CCTV Digital Team