Reseller News

Digital Island co-founder invests in Auckland IoT specialist Adroit

Blair Stewart to join company as commercial director
Blair Stewart (Adroit)

Blair Stewart (Adroit)

A co-founder of Digital Island, Blair Stewart, has acquired 32.27 per cent of internet of things specialist Adroit and is joining the business.

Stewart is taking the role of commercial director alongside general manager Guy Macpherson and founder Ulrich Frerk. He will be tasked with turning the company into a major player in the IoT marketplace.

Stewart said he was excited to get behind the wheel of a Adroit at a time it is launching ground-breaking technology in the management of city infrastructure and accessibility for the blind and disabled, as well as a large number of business based IoT systems.

“Adroit is building an incredible reputation for innovative solutions," Stewart said. "If you look across the IoT landscape, there's not many companies that have the capability that Adroit has, because of the journey they've been through in the last five years.”

Stewart said while Frerk comes up with ideas and applications that help to set Adroit apart it will be his job to make commercial sense of that and bring more of that innovative IP into products.

Stewart earned a BCom in IT from Auckland university, before embarking on 20 plus years in ICT management roles with low-cost airlines.

He launched Digital Island in 2004 providing cloud-based telecommunications solutions for medium to large companies, achieving the Deloitte Fast 50, three years running before selling the business to Spark just over a year ago.

“The Adroit guys have got some fantastic energy, fantastic innovation, some great proprietary hardware, experience in IOT and huge potential in market," he said. "But they need help with better planning and putting the right structures in place to deliver."

Along with smart-enabled public toilets and a wide range of commercial IoT applications, Adroit has launched BeaSmart, a system to assist the sight impaired as they navigate themselves through the city.

The system has been developed by CSLi Infrastructure and Adroit in partnership with Auckland Transport, BlindSquare and the Blind Foundation.

Utilising a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacon interacting with an app on the user’s handset, they can use sound to indicate progress on their journey, the location of pedestrian crossings and other key access points.

Those who have trailed the app say the technology makes the environment around them more accessible and inclusive.

Frerk welcomed Stewart into the business.

“Blair has incredible skills that he’s built through his career and he comes to Adroit at the perfect time – just as we’re really starting to grow as a leader in the IoT sector.

“We can’t wait to introduce him to all our stakeholders and investors and building the business in New Zealand and beyond,” he said.