Startups with great visions, an enthusiastic spirit and an in-depth GNSS expertise are crucial for the successful use of satellite navigation in everyday life. Rafael Olmedo and his startup GEKO NAVSAT provide an encouraging example how satellite navigation solutions can play an important role for many user groups and their different user needs nowadays.
GEKO NAVSAT’s newest app, ACOUSTIC TRAIL, helps hikers and runners to navigate intuitively, through integration of satellite navigation technologies and enhanced acoustic reality through 3D sound. In combination with certain accessories and web services, the app enables blind and visually impaired people to perceive orientation of tracks and explore new environments with autonomy and safety. The company calls this system Blind Explorer. It provides active and accessible tourism with boostto a whole new level. ACOUSTIC TRAIL is available as Android application and will additionally soon be provided in the App Store. Their second flagship product KYNEO, a miniaturised wireless electronic device, provides a low-cost solution for any application that requires measuring, recording or transmitting of the movement and position of any element.
Find out more about the path-breaking startup with its intelligent products and services as well as their various contact points with the ESNC. Discover the success story with all its challenges and visions in our interview with the CTO of GEKO NAVSAT Rafael Olmedo.
5 Questions to GEKO NAVSAT
AZO: Please give us a sneak peek of your product and the team behind it.
GEKO NAVSAT is a technology-based company, which aims to improve the safety and life quality of people and companies efficiency by providing solutions and innovative products based on advanced Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). The two products recently developed by GEKO NAVSAT are the expected result of this innovation strategy. ACOUSTIC TRAIL is a brand new solution to aid personal navigation based on sensorial guidance that has been already applied to active and accessible tourism. KYNEO is a miniaturised wireless electronic device that allows the development of collaborative navigation solutions where location and movement data are needed. Our team is composed of multiple GNSS technology experts who thrive at making a positive impact on everyday life of individuals all around the globe.
AZO: What is one of your core fields of interest at the moment?
KYNEO also plays a huge role in highlighting the important role of GNSS for the Internet of Things by starting the promotion of the “GNSS of THINGS“ concept for projects requiring measuring and sharing motion, navigation and positioning of elements, people or vehicles.
The KYNEO single device integrates a complete set of navigation and motion sensors and the most popular wireless communication modules, which makes it easier to meet various application requirements. KYNEO is meant to provide a useful open tool for developers, regardless of their expertise, making GALILEO and EGNOS accessible to developers and non-expert users.
AZO: Can you explain the three main ingredients of your recipe for success?
The most obvious ingredient is probably our GNSS background: Our team members have a broad and extensive background in GNSS technologies, and they all share the ambition to use their expertise to positively impact individuals and society and create sustainable products.
Another important ingredient of our recipe for success nowadays is the experience and strengths of our founding team: since the company foundation in 2011, we have been very active in the promotion and development of multiple Spanish and European Research and Development projects. Today, we have won more than 10 national and international awards, including ESNC Special Prizes from ESA and GSA.
Last but not least, we decided to focus on niche market sectors with our R&D activities as they seemed to guarantee a broader societal impact to us, rather than trying to enter in saturated markets where the competition is high and the impact of a startup like us rather low. This allowed us to concentrate on the creation of a few highly innovative business lines during the startup phase.
AZO: What do you expect from the ESNC? How did the competition and its network help you to kick-start your business case?
The ESNC has accompanied me and my team for a couple of years now. I won my first ESNC Regional Prize of Madrid in 2007 and today, my team and I have been awarded with 8 ESNC Prizes. We are very proud that we can contribute at such a large scale to the success of the innovation competition. The participation in the ESNC has resulted in a valuable way for us to validate new technological opportunities based on the presentation and evaluation of proposed ideas to a group of renowned international experts.
Having won the GSA Special Prize twice, namely in 2012 and 2015, did extremely increase our visibility and marketing outreach at an international level. It also provided us with the specific support we needed to evolve the preliminary development and to boost our ideas to the next level.
AZO: Let’s reach for the stars – what is going to happen in your company’s future?
After having won the GSA Special Prize Challenge in 2015 with our device KYNEO, we aim to move forward in the consolidation and commercialisation of KYNEO as a valuable platform for supporting the implementation of the “The GNSS of Things” concept.
In 2017, we expect to further expand our team and to develop an innovative flagship product based on KYNEO. Currently, we are looking for new investors who enable us to further accelerate our company’s activities.
Check out the team’s wesbites:
About the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC)
The ESNC’s annual search for new services, products, and business innovations is designed to encourage the use of satellite navigation in everyday life. Over the past decade, it has evolved into the leading innovation competition comprising partner regions worldwide, the largest space-related incubation network and the most relevant European GNSS stakeholders. Sign up now for the submission phase from 1 April – 30 June at www.esnc.eu.