Today’s article is more of an opinion piece in that I won’t be diving into financials, financial analysis, etc. like in many of my articles. This will be a much more subjective article going through why I think the relatively recently announced solution RAD Light My Way (“LMW”) is my favorite solution from AITX/RAD to date.
LMW is a system which integrates primarily with ROSAs which essentially provides a level of security and safety for people who must walk through a scary, dangerous, dark, etc. area. The way it works is the person opens an app and alerts the nearby ROSAs that they are walking through an area. All of the machines in your area then light up brightly and make a noise so that it’s very clear you’re being monitored. This then also alerts off-site (or on-site) security who can then monitor you via the ROSAs.
A perfect example is the student walking home from a university campus late at night when, unfortunately, nefarious things take place. They simply open up the app, let the system know they’ll be coming through, and then devices all light up and make it very clear to any would-be assailant that the person is being watched. The general idea is that the system provides an extreme deterrent which will cut down on muggings, assaults, etc.
I think my description doesn’t do it justice, so check it out more info here: https://radlightmyway.com/
The Emotional Argument
I have some very emotional reasons for why I love LMW. I could go on about this for a while, so I’ll try to keep it as short as possible.
Based on personal experience and just speaking with friends, co-workers, my fiancé, etc., we live in a messed-up world where it is unsafe for (primarily) women to go about their daily lives and perform some basic tasks. I could rattle off dozens of scenarios in my head, such as having to walk people home from parties in college, getting escorted to your car, women looking over their shoulder going through a parking garage at night, having to pick my fiancé up from the train at night because its unsafe to walk home, etc.
It’s honestly quite sickening that we live in a world like this. I live in a very urban area next to a university. Crime that LMW helps prevent is skyrocketing where I live. I’m not a crime expert, so I won’t get into why that’s happening. What I do know is that LMW is an incredibly simple and novel concept that could significantly cut down on the amount of fear people have to experience in their daily lives.
So from a “change I would like to see in the world” perspective, I want this product to succeed so badly because I think it would genuinely change the lives of millions of people if widely adopted. Even if it’s just adopted into more concentrated areas like university campuses, parking garages, parking lots, dark corridors, I think it would have made some great change in the world for a lot of people.
It’s frankly unacceptable that these problems exist, and it makes me happy knowing the people in the private sector are developing new ways to combat this issue.
Now, onto some more practical reasons why I love this product.
Speaking of crime and a spike in these types of crime in my area. My local police’s approach to solving it was to basically work all the cops work overtime and have them walk beats like in the 30s swinging a nightstick around. The other alternative was to ride a bike around some beat as well.
First, we have recruitment issues in our local police, as with many departments, which I won’t get into. But what that does mean is police are working overtime and are overworked trying to chase ghosts. Many of these crimes happen in minutes and are over as quickly as they begin.
If you had one cop circling the block in my city on a bike, that is a bit over 1/3 of a mile of coverage. If you count the alley, that’s exactly 1/2 of a mile of coverage. It would take a cop at least 10 minutes to thoroughly circle a block like that.
Any nefarious fellow who wanted to prey on someone could just make it quick and get out before someone even noticed. Yes, it’s risky, but the cop can’t cover every square foot at once. There were carjackings and muggings that took literally 30 seconds to complete. It seemed like a complete waste of money and just a “see I’m doing something about it!” effort by our local leadership.
Now apply that to college campuses, or parking garages, rather than residential neighborhood. What’s the answer? Is your local college supposed to flood the streets with campus security and triple their staff? Is some guy named Larry going to sit out on the corner of my block with a thermos in 5-degree weather making sure nobody gets assaulted? Where are they going to find the people?
Security guard positions like that pay about minimum wage where I live. I could walk into five businesses within 300 feet of my house right now and get a job that pays ABOVE minimum wage in about 30 minutes if I wanted to. Why in the world would I sign up for a job that puts me in harm’s way when I could check people out at the nice cozy grocery store.
Instead of perpetuating this madness, your local university, parking garage, whatever, could implement a system like LMW. It would have the same level of deterrence as flooding the street with security, but with a massive reduction in headcount and human error.
Think of it this way. Your university could pay three security guards 20 dollars an hour to closely monitor a constant stream of dozens of people in an area and effectively deter all these types of crime. Or, you could pay 20 security guards 20 dollars an hour to personally escort each person who needs to get walked to their college dorm at night.
It seems like a no brainer, but the world is resistant to change. Which brings me to…
In my humble business experience, most of the issues you run into with implementing new solutions or changing thing in a business/organization involve convincing someone who doesn’t understand your field of expertise (or has limited knowledge). For example, the IT manager needs to convince the office head why data security is important, or the CFO needs to understand why R&D needs $5 million to make sure the air bags work right. That kind of stuff.
Steve has said this a million times, but the biggest hurdle to AITX and RAD is inertia. In other words, people just want to keep doing what they’ve been doing because they have budget for that and “it’s what we did last year.” Why rent robots to fill half of my security guard positions when I could just struggle to find someone to do it.
In my personal experience, to get traction on these types of things you need to make people relate to the solution and understand what it’s important in the most layman terms you can. I totally understand how AITX has issues convincing people to replace humans with robots. The entire WORLD is hesitant to do that. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to go into a Fortune 500 company office and convince some company officer that a robot that looks like a tank is a cheaper and more effective security option than multiple human security guards.
This is why I think LMW is such a perfect solution that so many people will have the light bulb turn on in their head about. The selling point isn’t necessarily the AI and robotics involved in a ROSA, which is important. But any tech illiterate person (which many high-ups are, unfortunately) can understand “you press a button, lights come on, the machines raise an alert, security watches, people don’t get assaulted”. That’s it.
In general, without knowing the fine details, it’s a seemingly simple solution that the decision-making people will understand. Yet, it’s sophisticated enough that it commands a high margin. You can sell it to the people that don’t understand security and/or automation, and still sell it to the people that do understand automation and are wondering why a ROSA MSRP’s at $1 an hour.
Oh, and did I mention they are letting end users LMW for free for one year? That’s great exposure at minimal cost to the company.
A note on college campuses… for anyone that’s been to a university in the last 20 years will know that almost all college campuses are a majority women. Sometimes a heavy majority women. So you bet campus security will want to hear about ways to keep their majority population, who are already disproportionately targeted, safer.
As with many of AITX’s products, there are some limits as to where and how these can be rolled out. Especially when it comes to cameras and recording, public spaces can be a sensitive topic. It is also meant to be a subscription model type product. So you grant access to all of your users, such as employees, students, residents, etc.
Because of this, LMW can likely only be deployed in spaces that are on private property. This is why I kept mentioning college campuses, office parks, parking lots, apartment complexes, etc. You couldn’t just place this in residential streets and give everyone in the neighborhood access. Or at least that’s how I see it.
However, this is absolutely not a material limiting factor to the product. Think of how many college campuses there are in the world, how many creepy parking garages attached to office buildings there are… the list goes on and on. Even though I don’t think it can touch public places, this product can be scaled to tens of millions of people/users.
LMW is easily my favorite product / feature so far from RAD and I think a lot of people are sleeping on the impact it could have on the company. It isn’t a flashy ROAMEO or a robot dog, but I think this product, coupled with the ROSA, can be the backbone of this company and a flagship product.
We live in a world where primarily women are dis-proportionally targeted and simple tasks like walking to your car or taking out the trash can be fear inducing experiences. AITX is trying to solve this terrible problem through LMW, and I think they have a winner here. People will understand the solution and relate to it instantly, and I think it will be a huge success. I’ll be following closely and hope for great things with this!
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DISCLAIMER – I CURRENTLY HOLD A LONG POSITION IN $AITX. THIS ARTICLE IS NOT FINANCIAL ADVICE AND IS INTENDED ONLY FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. I AM NOT A FINANCIAL ADVISOR. AT THE TIME OF WRITING THIS ARTICLE, PERSONS AFFILIATED WITH THE COMPANY ANALYZED ABOVE MAY BE PROVIDING MONETARY COMPENSATION AS MONTHLY PATRONS THROUGH MY PATREON. THIS COMPENSATION IS NOT PROVIDED IN RETURN FOR ANY SERVICE, WRITING ABOUT A PARTICULAR TOPIC, AND/OR FAVORABLE OR UNFAVORABLE OPINIONS. MY PATREON SUPPORTERS HAVE NO INFLUENCE ON THE CONTENT OF MY ARTICLES.