RFID technology has existed for decades but it was limited to certain areas such as military or logistics. It was Alma Pineda who had the idea of reinventing the use of RFID and NFC chips for almost a decade to apply them to different areas such as real-time inventory and mass events. One of the main goals of Ping Pong Innovation in its beginnings was to become the company with more software and hardware development based on NFC technology with innovative applications, in a time when nobody knew what uses could have a smart business card with an NFC chip, what was the advantage to fabricate promotional products with "smart paper" to position social networks or online stores, or why make wristbands and badges for events with a chip aiming to expand the uses and potential of RFID technology. Ping Pong Innovation would be the visionary company able to change the way of making inventory in warehouses and hospitals, as well as changing the registration dynamics and the monitored activities in real time during events. All this combined with a charismatic leader with MIT and Silicon Valley philosophy, such as Alma Pineda, was the key factor to consolidate the company’s relevance in the Internet of Things sector.
Despite being a young company that was founded less than 10 years ago, no one can deny its innovation in the conceptualization of products and services with NFC, cashless systems and use of Beacons for the generation of heat maps and consumption indicators, or the inventory with RFID to encourage a trust operation that Ping Pong Innovation customers can boast in the health sector. For the same reason, we have decided to immerse ourselves in the history of a company that seeks to break paradigms and customs in the government and private sector of Mexico (and the world), until completely changing them. Having said this, we bring you 10 curious facts that you might not known about Ping Pong Innovation.1. Who founded the company?
As we mentioned, Alma Pineda founded the company and years later international partners and friends of her joined her to quickly boost the talent of the company’s engineers achieving to make it grow exponentially.2. The company was an outcome of the founder’s Incubator (IDETI)
Originally, IDETI (www.idetiproject.org) was the business incubator that, through the founder's own resources, would shape to the then young Ping Pong Innovation company. Alma Pineda, dedicated to the scientific dissemination and teaching, soon began her own project in her own incubator to position Ping Pong Innovation as a strong technology company of NFC development. The company took its first steps in 2012 in a small apartment, but it was till 2015 when it was noted and by then it had various engineers in charge of the projects. During that time, it kept a low profile to avoid industrial espionage. In this way, only a few people knew about the existence of the company, and even fewer knew its revolutionary plans to become a company dedicated to build smart cities in the medium-term.
Soon, with finished products for the logistics of mass events with NFC technology and smart advertising products, they sought to innovate in an area that no one else had revolutionized in decades and make the experience of attending an event a dynamic, personalized and completely cashless activity. The Entrepeneur magazine quickly recognized Ping Pong Innovation as one of the most innovative companies of the moment, which had its beginnings in a home office with friends as visionary as Alma (the geeks), and that got its first "likes" thanks to a digital Crowdfunding campaign carried out in 2014 with the intention to make a leap to the national market.
In 2017, with the aim of making its creations known (software and hardware with NFC), the company became an Official Contributor of the MIT Technology Review and the Harvard Business Review to take part of the logistics, ticketing and registration of the events of both international editions in Mexico.
In the same year that they became Strategic Contributors of the Harvard Business Review and the MIT Technology Review, the CEO tested his engineers with a new development based on Beacons, to generate new products and services with the same principle of going one step forward in innovation. After the experience of doing mass events for renowned educational institutions in Mexico such as the ITESM, in which previously a series of data were lost in real time, and knowing the advantages and disadvantages of NFC, the small devices (Beacons) would give competitive advantages in a market that nobody else at the time was applying to a governmental level in Mexico. Thus, after several months of development and testing, Ping Pong Innovation goes beyond the mass events and immerses in the world of databases, traceability and notifications in real time thanks to the Bluetooth of the Beacons, which can offer to end users a series of indicators for decision making. The first state was Nuevo León, which historically became the place with more Beacons installed in Latin America to promote tourism as a Smart Touristic Destination. The rest is history: Ping Pong Innovation consolidated a new area of development of Smart Cities projects that, in the future, will open enormous doors to international forums for the company and successful projects.
The company wanted to avoid the constant problem which is the resistance of public or private sectors to transform tourism; that’s why the company opened a new division dedicated solely to the development of technology platforms that would boost cities in projects related to smart cities and smart touristic destinations. The first developments were based on a mobile app of the touristic offer of a certain locality, and the analysis of the preferences of the users to send them personalized offers in real time. Soon, the team of engineers and experts of the company had to generate a unique methodology at a global level to address the different challenges of a city such as mobility, security, telecommunications and health, among other areas. The collaborative work between different actors of a city, private organizations and the Ping Pong Innovation team, could be seen throughout the country in various work tables during 2017 and 2018, to improve different areas of opportunity of several localities of Mexico. At the same time, the CEO, the Commercial Director and the project leader engineers of the company, traveled throughout Mexico evangelizing and raising awareness in the tourism sector and public servants, as well as students from various universities, to understand the fundamental concepts of a smart city and the elements that make it up in the Latin American context.7. UN Certification: Global Market.
In 2018, Ping Pong Innovation is accepted in the United Nations Global Market, and that immediately leads the company to an international context full of opportunities to make known in different countries what they can do. One of the first forums is in Oviedo, Spain, where the UNWTO (World Tourism Organization) invites Alma Pineda to give a lecture about the Smart Destination cases that are being carried out in Mexico.8. Security systems: Safe Cities.
Being required by several countries to implement security systems that allow them to certify their cities as Safe Cities, Ping Pong Innovation opens a new division in charge of intelligence and security issues: Fascia Security Services. The company begins an arduous work to offer the best products and services of forensic analysis, facial recognition and security cameras with state-of-the-art technology.
By 2018, the company already had the division of Fasten Services (dedicated to massive events with NFC), Conthea (systems and inventory and logistics services in warehouses of the health and chemical sector, with RFID), Lightenurbs (development of multimedia experiences and animatronics for massive events), Conekcity (development of smart cities and destinations), and Fascia Security Services.9. Domotics and artificial intelligence: Smart Communities.
There is no doubt that Ping Pong Innovation is much smaller than many international companies. However, its achievements led by a woman, her partners (who are great friends) and a multidisciplinary team loyal to the company’s philosophy of innovation, are allowing the company to become the giant of the "Smart" for a community, city or whole nation. This forced the CEO to seek international funds to support initiatives to turn a city into a cluster of smart decisions, linked to a well-thought-out strategy. Tired of dealing with the bureaucracy, Alma Pineda associated herself with large corporations that can support the work of the company and ensured each of the processes to offer the best consultancy regarding smart cities. Among the most important strategic alliances of the company we can highlight Growth Holdings of Las Vegas and Beirut, which allowed Ping Pong Innovation to be accredited internationally for all real estate projects related to home automation, artificial intelligence, security, clean energy and automation. The two projects that globally catapulted the position of the company were Tesla's Smart Community and the smart buildings of AirBNB, which along with Growth Holdings are preparing to mark the start of residential complexes and hotels with social and environmental responsibility and with cutting-edge technology that will revolutionize the world10. Next Level: Blockchain in E-government.
Ping Pong Innovation teams up with Bussiness Care and Oquetza, and they join forces together to create and generate a Blockchain-based real model for the E-government and the private sector, which was announced at the beginning of 2019. This platform will allow any government to carry out elections (votes and surveys), service charges and taxes, among other activities, in a transparent manner, and will strengthen the confidence of citizens, as well as boost the economy in different sectors.