Jessica O. Matthews has set herself the goal of solving the country’s infrastructure problems – starting with the ones that crop up in Poughkeepsie, near the country.
As the founder and CEO of Uncharted, Matthews realized that it was possible to streamline various technological aspects of the city in order to ultimately improve its infrastructure.
Everyday things citizens do – like park their car, log into the internet, and access the energy that powers their smartphones, computers, and other items – can function even smarter. And it can save the city money too.
“The way we built the infrastructure across the country is not going to work. And it’s getting worse, “said Matthews.” Our main goal is to solve this problem without it costing more money, and to do it in a way that makes people feel like they are part of the growth, not, that it happens to them. ”
Uncharted’s pilot program on Cannon Street, which began in October 2020, showed how smart sensors test things like air quality, temperature and vibrations in the ground, as well as smart batteries that act as backup systems for critical infrastructure and mini-computers, who can “analyze everything.”
By collecting this information, Uncharted is able to streamline the city’s technology into a single dashboard that can be analyzed and used to reduce utility costs.
In many smart cities, collected data ends up scattered, but with Uncharted’s dashboard, the information ends up in a central location, which makes analysis easier. And residents shouldn’t worry, the data collected only relates to the infrastructure.
“What we have been using are these little computers that can tell if something is important or not,” said Matthews.
The data signals whether there is a problem. When a fire or other problem occurs, the computers will report and send this information so that the problem can be resolved.
“The next step for us to scale in Poughkeepsie is to understand which of their current infrastructure or technology partners we could work with and help them cut their costs so that Poughkeepsie can realize cost savings over time “Said Matthews.
The pilot was free to Poughkeepsie, and its sensors that track what is working and what is not could potentially save the city hundreds of thousands in annual pavement and street maintenance costs. While Uncharted pushes its work forward and works with the city’s current vendors, the company will also look for local employees depending on the projects they take on.
The pilot program is funded with a $ 1.8 million grant from Siegel Family Endowment and the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley.
Before Uncharted extends its technology beyond Cannon Street, the company must figure out what problems the community is trying to solve. Matthews sees Poughkeepsie as having the potential to become a city of innovation, a place where people move to do what they need to do, rather than somewhere like Manhattan.
Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison has already seen the positive impact of Uncharted on the city.
“They had confidence in working with the city to see that this pilot could take place here,” said Rolison. “And now that it comes to fruition and it’s been a success, also from an economic point of view, of one goal, their headquarters being here, it brings more to our city because Uncharted has chosen to be here with us.”
Matthews has an analogy that he likes to use to describe what Uncharted is about.
“It’s like going to a buffet and seeing all these different foods,” she said, “when you know you’re hungry but don’t have a tray to actually carry and bring the food to the table and to eat. We are the tray. It’s not the sexiest thing, but you need it. “
Uncharted is ready to know what Poughkeepsie residents want to eat – or improve in their community.