When an entrepreneur or company executive walks into Verizon’s Waltham Innovation Center, he or she is transported to a smart city of the future, where light poles do the work of road signs and emergency call centers, your local coffee shop knows you’re coming and has your order prepared, and garbage cans silently (and wirelessly) communicate when they need to be emptied.
And that’s just the beginning – in the labs behind the center, our scientists and engineers work with partners to develop new and innovative solutions that have the potential to change life as we know it. This summer, Verizon marked three years since the opening of our Innovation Center in Waltham, Mass. In that time, we've partnered with more than 350 organizations, big and small, to develop their ideas and business cases, test and certify the technology in our labs and help bring roughly 80 products to market.
Our Innovation Program, which also includes a center in San Francisco, offers individuals and organizations a way to accelerate the development of machine-to-machine and wireless technology innovations, ensuring we use our knowledge, expertise and connections to continue to lead the way around the Internet of Things, which is projected to involve over 50 billion connected physical objects by 2020.
But it’s not just a one-to-one relationship: one of the greatest benefits is the ability for organizations to connect with others in the program to offer mutually beneficial solutions. In that way, our Innovation Program is also a tech incubator.
Products in various stages of development include the VGo robotic telepresence, which is currently used in hospitals, schools and businesses to virtually connect patients, doctors, and professionals; a smart pill bottle that uses sensors to remind patients to take medication; and an intelligent waste and recycling system used by cities, businesses, and schools to reduce how frequently they need to collect waste and recycling from public spaces.
We'll be sharing exciting news from our Innovation Program and other related initiatives regularly, starting with the progress of this year's Powerful Answers Awards, which will highlight the most innovative ideas submitted in the education, healthcare, sustainability and transportation categories.
It's clear that the future will be about connections -- be they between people, devices or objects -- and through our Innovation Program, we plan to lead the way.
Learn more about the Verizon Innovation Program and how your company can apply to participate.