The neon sign flickered on when the doughnuts were ready, and passersby would flock to the promise the electric words made. The doughnut shop, though, wanted more customers than just what their sign drew in. It wanted its message of hot doughnuts appearing on the cell phones of anyone who had their app. That’s where eze System Inc. stepped in. The Folsom company created a special clamp placed on the electrical wire leading to the sign. It then had 350 such clamps made and put into action within weeks of getting the job. “When the sign turns on, they want you to get a signal on your cell phone,” said Anders Rehnvall, CEO of eze System.
Eze System provides technology to companies that want to measure something – whether it’s the amount of gas in a convenience store holding tank or the temperature of a commercial freezer – from a computer or mobile device. The implementation is simple: eze System builds hardware for a business that they connect to an existing sensor on their equipment, such as a freezer. The business can then access the data collected by eze System’s hardware from a website or app –whether it’s temperature, gas levels or electrical use, “All you need in our case is our little piece of hardware that is basically online when you plug it in,” Rehnvall said.
Rehnvall, a Swedish native, got his start in industrial control systems. He started in the 1980s working on simple alarm systems used in sewers and water applications. A larger company eventually bought out his employer, and that chain of events continued for several years. Rehnvall, a technician, became a developer and ultimately a branch manager for his company. The opportunity to work in California opened, and Rehnvall, then in his 30s, took it. A day into his stateside career his company was purchased by Honeywell. He stayed with Honeywell for 11 years, working on advanced electronics and large scale systems.
Then, in 2008, came the accident that would lead to eze System. Rehnvall’s back gave out while lifting a 10-gallon plant, and it landed him in a specially designed chair for months. “I sat in one chair and created this product,” he said. He made five of the devices, essentially the product eze System sells today, and sent four of them to friends. One friend called back and asked permission to show it to others. Rehnvall consented. He soon got another call. “’We’ve got a problem,’” his friend said. “’I sold your thing. How much was it? It’s for IBM.’” Shortly afterward eze System was born.
People who use eze System’s product want numbers, whether it’s the energy used in a building or gas in a tank. Those who check those numbers through eze System’s interface can choose how they get them: graphs, gauges and colors are all possible. “From that point on it’s a matter of presentation,” Rehnvall said.
Eze system’s customers include mom-and-pop stores as well as large enterprises like Volvo, Goodwill and Verizon. It sells the technology to companies in the United States, United Kingdom, Scandinavia and Australia. The company has plans to delve into the South American market, and is working on a multi-language interface to tap the continent.
Eze System’s technology is better suited for businesses than homeowners. That doesn’t mean the typical homeowner isn’t affected by the product eze System makes. All someone has to do is check his or her phone for the freshest doughnuts to see the company’s impact!