SmartMe is a company that was founded as an innovative startup and as a university spin-off in 2017. The same year, it was selected by IBM and participated in the SMAU Italia event, where it was awarded the Lamarck prize for innovation among over 100 Italian innovative startups.

Interview with Angelo Zaia, CEO of SmartMe.

Easy Engineering: A brief description of the company and its activities.

Angelo Zaia: Today, the company has 2 operational business units. The first business unit develops projects for innovative solutions or products on behalf of other companies, often startups themselves, offering a wide range of professional skills in electronic, computer, mechanical, and industrial engineering. The in-house availability of a hardware production line, a 3D printer line, and professionals of various specializations allows SmartMe to be competitive in terms of costs and time for prototyping, engineering, and producing integrated solutions. The second business unit manufactures and sells devices and integrated solutions for continuous and intelligent monitoring in various, even critical, fields. Our devices not only monitor, record, and transmit information detected by sensors and information systems but also enable the application of machine learning algorithms on multiple levels: at the edge level to allow real-time responses and save on communication channels; at the cloud level to implement advanced, multisensor, or multi-device algorithms.

E.E: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

A.Z: Our company primarily operates in the Smart City and Smart Village areas as well as the Industrial sector.  In vehicle monitoring, we can say that, adding up the kilometers traveled in the last 2 years by vehicles we have monitored, they have collectively traveled the equivalent of 455 times the distance from the Earth to the moon and transported enough materials to build from scratch a city of 400,000 inhabitants.

E.E: What’s the news about new products/services?

A.Z: One of the most important innovations our company offers is It is an electronic control unit that, automatically and without the need for operators, not only allows for the remote monitoring of more than 400 sensors of various types but also uses unsupervised machine learning algorithms. After a phase of automatic learning, it begins to assess situations of stress, trends, maintenance, and potential risks associated with the detected parameters. The system provides a pre-configured and ready-to-use environment and a multi-channel alert communication system (email, telephone, SMS, certified mail, and messaging).

E.E: What are the ranges of products/services?

A.Z: We provide state-of-the-art solutions for Smart Metering, Device and Fleet Management, Monitoring, Crowd-sensing, Anomaly Detection, Preemptive Maintenance, and Smart Environment management. Our services are tailored for public administrations, utilities, and businesses that aim to transform complex environments into connected, intelligent, efficient, and secure spaces. Our AI monitoring solutions operates in many fields including environmental (radioactivity, particulate matter, NOx, CO2, O3, etc.), infrastructural (accelerometers, vibrations sensors, gyroscope chains, etc.), seismic (accelerometers, geophones, etc.), agricultural, industrial, meteorological, vehicular, traffic, security, pedestrian, event and trade show, transportation, and others.

E.E: What is the state of the market where you are currently active?

A.Z: At this moment, in the Smart City and Smart Village areas, there are significant investments concerning the public sector, particularly with reference to the European investment program Next Generation EU (NGEU). The advanced monitoring activities that SmartMe proposes are perfectly aligned with the objectives of the plan. In the industrial sector, there is great interest from manufacturing companies in the Industry 5.0 plan, and this plan also sees the involvement of technologies such as IoT, AI, and Machine Learning at the heart of the revolution. Another area where our activity is developing is precision agriculture, which is also experiencing strong growth.

Angelo Zaia, CEO of SmartMe.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

A.Z: As I said before Europe is leading the transition towards sustainable investments, with an increasing focus on funding infrastructure projects that are environmentally sustainable. This aligns with the EU’s 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the European Green Deal, aiming to make the EU a climate-neutral continent by 2050. There is a growing investment in the digitalization of existing infrastructure and the construction of new digital infrastructures to promote innovation and economic growth. North Africa is experiencing an increase in investments in renewable energies, particularly solar and wind energy, to leverage its abundant natural resources and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

E.E: What are the most innovative products/services marketed?

A.Z: One of our most interesting products is a system for monitoring moving objects or individuals that fully respects everyone’s privacy while also allowing for the assessment of gatherings, statistics, and anomalies in the flow of people, vehicles, etc., utilizing low power, low bandwidth LoRaWAN technology. The system involves image processing on the device itself (On the Edge), enabling complete privacy compliance while also providing a minimal and low-cost infrastructure.

E.E: What estimations do you have for the beginning of 2024?

A.Z: For the start of 2024, we are confident in further consolidating our position in the market for advanced monitoring systems. We are expanding our sales network and are looking for partners throughout Europe and North Africa. At the same time, we continue to invest, especially in the field of AI, in order to make our products increasingly easy to use.