Five questions with Eric Ferraz, CEO at Atama
These days there is an app for everything which means you must have your smartphone on you at all times. Well, we have good news! TI customer, Atama, is helping you keep your Mac or PC protected with just a keyfob. No smartphone required. We recently asked their CEO, Eric Ferraz, to answer some questions about their product, the market and their relationship with TI.
TI: What is Sesame?
Ferraz: Sesame is a keyfob that locks your Mac or PC when you walk away and unlocks it (if you want) when you come back. Most workplaces have a policy that requires employees to lock their computer when they are not sitting at their desk. By wearing Sesame2 on a lanyard or in a pocket, you take out the human interaction required and turn locking/unlocking into something completely automated.
TI: What makes Sesame stand out from its competitors?
Ferraz: The most direct competitors are iPhone apps, however, instead of remembering to lock your computer, you now have to remember to take your phone with you. Beyond this, we take into account a lot of factors beyond RSSI to make the decision to lock or unlock. This makes the experience with Sesame2 smoother as there are no false locking scenarios.
TI: There are many wireless connectivity technologies on the market. Why did you choose Bluetooth low energy for Sesame?
Ferraz: From the start we knew we wanted a simple product, no long setups or configurations. Bluetooth low energy lets us be up and running in seconds and is supported on all major platforms. Bluetooth low energy also provides us with great battery life, which is essential in an "install and forget" product like Sesame2. Running off a coin cell with a target life of a year allows us to make a device you don't notice you are carrying.
TI: Why did you choose TI’s wireless connectivity technology for your product?
Ferraz: We looked at the Bluetooth Smart solutions which were available, and it became clear that the SimpleLink™ Bluetooth low energy CC2541 fulfilled our requirements for Sesame and other products we are currently working on. However we chose to work with TI for a number of reasons and not all of them were technical. As a start-up, it’s invaluable to have partners such as TI who are well positioned to assist with the supply chain requirements in Asia, our inventory schedules and technical support. Furthermore, TI has been very hands-on in helping us with system design and suggestions over cost effective approaches to our product development.
TI: Where do you see your technology going in the next five years?
Ferraz: The mobile space is something we are watching closely. We are working on some added security protocols – beyond what you can do with the standard pairing and encryption that Bluetooth low energy offers - to position Sesame2 as a 2-factor authentication solution for mobile apps. On the desktop side, we will be publishing SDKs soon, which will let developers find whole new ways of using the device.
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