Los Angeles is one of my favorite places to visit for many reasons. First of all, one of my “oldest and bestest” friends, the awesome award winning actor Michael Chiklis of The Commish, The Shield and The Fantastic Four fame, lives there with his family. Michael and I have known each other for over 35 years (which makes us just plain old, besides being old friends) going all the way back to our hometown of Andover, MA where we attended high school together. We also both went to Boston University, lived together in my Grandmother’s basement in East Boston, played in various rock bands, obsessed over Boston sports teams, wrote music and spec screenplays together, and were in each other’s weddings. Then reality set in and Michael went on to be a famous actor on stage and screen and I went into the telecom business and we always remained the closest of friends.
But what’s really special is the fact that our daughters have continued that close friendship from when they were toddlers. The four of them (Brenna, Hannah, Autumn and Odessa) couldn’t be any closer if they were cousins, and our two older daughters are literally joined at the hip. As such we have made over 15 years of unforgettable family memories between the Chiklis and McDuffie clans on both sides of the coast and in between, and we no doubt will continue to do so as our daughters grow up and start families of their own (three of the four are already in college, as life goes by quicker than ever as proud parents).
LA is also where it all started for Wyless and one of our largest and most important strategic partners, parking meter superpower IPS Group. Their first installation and proof of concept went back to Huntington Beach in 2007 while they were but a small family-run business and very early customer of Wyless. At that time both companies each had about 20 employees and since then we have each grown about 500%. Even though IPS Group is based in San Diego, it was the Los Angeles Project that really put them on the map. I can still remember driving through the streets of Beverly Hills in 2009 with Alex their CTO on the phone giving me directions to the few dozen trial meters they had installed there. The following summers while staying at the Chiklis household on family holidays I proudly watched their parking meters explode through Los Angeles, from downtown LA to Santa Monica, through Pacific Palisades and West Hollywood into Sherman Oaks, literally by the thousands. Today no matter where you go in LA county all the way down to Newport and Laguna Beaches they are a fixture. You can even see them in many TV commercials, TV Shows and Movies as they have now become part of the fabric of the city of LA.
Add major cities across America like Denver, San Francisco, Washington DC, Boston, and Dallas to name just a few, plus the cities of Vancouver and Tel Aviv (and a growing international presence worldwide) and that makes IPS Group the undisputed heavyweight champ of Connected Parking. In fact, I am willing to bet that together IPS Group and Wyless have one of the largest and most successful fixed cellular M2M / IoT deployments in the USA and we have the awards to prove it.
What makes the product so special is that the IPS Single Space meter uses existing infrastructure, retrofitting old technology, is solar powered and saves millions of batteries a year, greatly reduces the cost of coin collection (by offering credit and debit cards), and increases the profitability of parking for any city that is smart enough to deploy the technology. Plus it offers convenience to the public and matched with over the top parking apps greatly reduces parking congestion. No wonder why there will be hundreds of thousands of these installed around the world in the next few years… Basically this solution is the poster child for how M2M/IoT Technologies can make the world a greener, better place. Manufactured, deployed and operated by IPS Group and securely managed on the Wyless private network on about 5 mobile operators around the world. Watch an awesome IPS Group Case Study Video on Santa Monica Parking Here
THIS IS IoT!
As for Los Angeles, what can I say? It’s the City of Angels…
As for myself… you can find me in a city near you, or on twitter @DanBMcDuffie, or somewhere in the world working on more IoT Projects and meeting more great people. Until next time…