Right now, you have more computing power in your hand, pocket or bag than was aboard NASA’s Apollo missions to the moon. Hardware keeps getting more powerful as innovators develop new ways to pack more functionality into shrinking spaces.
As Lytx closes out its 20th anniversary year, we look at how our patent portfolio has empowered clients to be more productive and run their businesses more efficiently.
“Our patent portfolio is inspired by the question ‘How do we save clients time by pointing them to the most relevant information and making it easier for them to operate?’” said Brett Hoye, vice president engineering. “We’ve been innovating in the telematics and video telematics spaces for 20 years. Helping clients meet their challenges has always served as our inspiration. One look at what our clients are achieving today, fueled by Lytx’s patent-protected technology, and you can see the advancements that have been made.”
A patent portfolio that propels the evolution of a business
Lytx launched in 1998 with a focus on safety, and that focus has never wavered. Through 20 years, our patent portfolio has grown to more than 125 U.S. innovations (both issued and pending) and dozens of international patents. In the process, it’s changed how clients focus on safety.
Today’s proactive safety programs can boost operational efficiency, detect risky behaviors and deliver coaching — all of which can lead to safer roads and fleets. The focus of our patents, like the focus of our business, has centered on how to most efficiently and cost-effectively deliver ground-breaking technological innovation to our clients.
From detecting potholes, U-turns and drowsy driving, to triggering events with real-time alerts or reviewing event data in faster, more automated ways, our patent portfolio addresses safety and efficiency at every level of our clients’ business.
“At its heart, our portfolio is all about creating a competitive advantage by protecting the ideas and technologies that help our clients to continuously improve,” said Shelley Bennett, Lytx senior vice president, general counsel. “That’s what innovation is all about for us.”
According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, demand for patents and trademarks “underscores the ingenuity of American inventors and entrepreneurs.” In fact, the agency says, the health of the U.S. economy “depends on effective mechanisms that protect new ideas and investments in innovation and creativity.”
Patent portfolio up close: investigating collisions and road rage — after the fact
With our own patents, we have strived to capture that spirit of ingenuity. Our very first proof of concept was a single forward-facing, black-and-white camera developed in response to a road rage incident. To review the footage or save it to tape, the camera could be connected to a portable TV/VCR.
One of the challenges that Lytx faced was to be able to efficiently capture everything that happens, but only save the video clips that actually matter. So, one of our earliest patents led to the creation of an exception-based event recorder that only permanently records events when there is a trigger—and does so in a way that captures the events leading up to the trigger and those immediately following it. Patents like that have been instrumental in helping our clients better manage their risk.
But the really exciting stuff is the predictive work we’re doing today, whereby we can recognize patterns of abnormal driving and integrate continuous video streams from multiple devices within and around a vehicle. As we embark on the next decade, Lytx continues to pioneer the ways in which video can transform our clients' businesses and help our clients make decisions that improve operations — and safety.
Want predictions about what’s next? Lytx Chief Client Officer Dave Riordan shared four trends currently driving the telematics industry, and VP of Technology Michael Phillippi looks at the next 20 years.