Visitors to Mobility.Pioneers in Munich this Thursday (February 7th) will be the first European audience to get to know the mobility innovation that is the BiigVault smart lockbox. Charlene Consolacion, the serial entrepreneur behind this creative last-mile delivery solution announced in Silicon Valley last month, has chosen our event for its European debut. She’ll explain how the smart lockbox works and also the bigger vision behind it.
Also featuring on stage at the third edition of this industry-focused event will be Clare Jones, the Chief Commercial Officer of what3words, which is the world’s first addressing system designed for voice. Another speaker not to be missed is Tim Houter, the CEO of Hardt Hyperloop.
Having already presided over two mobility software exits for SHINE and Pro Unlimited, the energetic Consolacion is enjoying the challenge of launching a piece of hardware. The basic idea around BiigVault is that it enables remote access to a vehicle to allow deliveries to be received without the owner being present. It makes the risk of deliveries being left on your doorstep (or having to be home) disappear for car owners. And, unlike the hassle of setting up a similar lockbox to allow access to your actual home, it could one day come as standard with your car.
While there are other remote-access systems and lockboxes on the market, Charlene’s talk will go into detail about how the fully-connected BiigVault is both ‘smarter’ and more discreet than the competition. The discretion part is due to the fact that the lockbox is integrated in the registration plate.
“It’s about both security and convenience, but I never thought about the security at first,” she told us from an Arctic Michigan last week. “It started with convenience – I want to get packages delivered to my car’s trunk, instead of waiting at home. But would I want to do that if it’s not secure? Of course not! So the secure system developed organically from there.”
Delivery people can access the BiigVault by dialling in a remotely-generated unique code. The ability to set a single-use access code via the app also gives swimmers and hikers a great way to securely store their car keys (and the phone itself) whilst they go into the water or the mountains.
If you’re thinking there’s a bigger idea behind what is essentially quite a straightforward piece of tech, though, you’d be quite right.
“Some experts at OEMs think our technology will still relevant in 20 years,” says Charlene. “But I give myself time for ten. So our bigger vision is to provide a platform – the hardware is just the entry to our market.
“We’ve already integrated with at least 20 companies, where all you need to do is tap in ‘oil change’ or ‘carwash’. We’re continuing to get the mobility ecosystem to participate in this platform. And once they have gathered on this platform – with or without the lockbox – it can be used by any OEMs.”
So while Biig is gaining its initial traction by solving the “existing pain point” that is porch piracy (packages being stolen from outside homes), it’s a play that’s reminiscent of the world’s biggest tech companies. Give them the hardware, and they will stick around for much more!
Related to this strategy is the fact that for a company looking to make their cars ‘smart’, BiigVault can offer a way to connect that’s useful in and of itself.
“Manufacturers are turning from just producing vehicles to providing mobility services. And there are still many that aren’t connected…even 2018 cars. We have the solution for that – by adding a lockbox you can participate in mobility as a service.”
Not that developing a robust yet connected piece of hardware was without its challenges, reveals Charlene.
“Hardware is challenging – you can’t see the unexpected things! For example, as a licence plate with all the components of a smartphone, we didn’t think about the constant vibration when we installed it in a vehicle. If one component gets disconnected, everything is ruined. We wanted to go fast and launch as soon as possible, but we had to go back to the lab on that!”
With that done, the company is now fully into its launch phase, with Mobility.Pioneers the stage for the European revelation of the product. And that’ll just be the beginning for Consolacion and her team, who will soon announce the partnerships that will allow everyday consumers to use this product.
She’ll also be working hard to develop potential partnerships with European OEMs and other companies when she’s at Mobility.Pioneers.
“Though we launched first in the USA, Europe is much more pressing to me,” she concludes. “It’s a very big market and that’s where we’ve had the most business requests.”
There’s still time to get to Munich to meet Consolacion, Houter, Jones and a range of other industry innovators on February 7th…get your Mobility.Pioneers tickets here.