Cherry on Top: Getting the Scoop on Cold Chain with John Tauch of R9 Technology

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In this episode of First Things First, I sit down with John Tauch, Co-Founder of Dallas, Texas based R9 Technology, a wireless IoT solutions and services company which has designed their own compact cellular gateway targeted at low cost data collection applications.

The Story:
A Double Scoop of Hardware Design and Solution Integration!

We dish out the interesting dual-nature of R9 technology – an IoT design house diversifying into its own scalable, productized cellular gateways- by taking a deep dive into their latest cold chain industry work with Nestlé® Toll House® Café by Chip® franchise concept, as operated by Crest Foods, Inc.

John explores exactly what steps they had to take to create their new productized gateway solution – with the whip cream on top being his wonderful insights on the cellular certification process – and then how he applied that solution to a number of location of the Nestlé® Toll House® Café by Chip® franchise concept.

The Lesson:
Measure Twice, Cut Once for Your IoT Prototypes!

John makes a point to say that R9 could have saved some time by working with technology-proven dev boards and evaluation boards when developing the first Picogate prototype – R9 would’ve been able to identify a Bluetooth connection problem earlier than they actually had. In addition, John Suggests:

  • Seek partners that can help with the cellular certification process – it can be one of the number one things to delay the roll out of a project. Even if you have a handle on current certifications standards, it may be helpful to speak to an organization who understand how future standards may impact your technology.
  • Test accurately by creating a prototype that is as close to in-the-field situations as possible. John notes that being in a cold environment, and an ever-changing retail environment was important considerations during the prototyping stage. Even replicating the skill level of operators can be important.

About Our Guest: John Tauch

John’s career started in telecom hardware design, after graduating with a BSEE from the University of North Florida in 1994. His first job was with Bell Northern Research (BNR) in Richardson, Texas. For the last fifteen years John has been the chief operating officer for Dallas Logic Corporation, a design services company serving the DFW community with electronic design services. John has been leading the R9 Technology team since 2015.

Quotables

“Understand the solution you’re solving, understand the environment that you’re going to be working in, and then try put forth a solution that you can test and gain some knowledge with before you start committing to make a product.”

“The biggest thing I would tell anyone is look at the process. You really want to understand what [cellular certification organization] are testing.”

“There’s always a pyramid to the business and having the ability of the checks on down the path is critical to protecting a brand.”

Additional Resources

About Our Sponsor

First Things First is sponsored by Telit, a global provider of wireless connectivity modules, platforms, IoT operator services and professional services. Telit supports thousands of direct and indirect customers by enabling hundreds of millions of connected ‘things.’ With almost two decades of IoT innovation experience, Telit delivers secure, integrated end-to-end IoT solutions for many of the world’s largest brands, including enterprises, OEMs, system integrators, and service providers across industries.