Editor’s note: This interview is part of a Q&A series with winners of the ORIGIN Innovation Awards 2020. OFLO by Origami Labs is a winner in the category Startup Awards–IoT.

Communication is an integral part of teamwork. In the enterprise setting, effective communication can spell the difference between a productive environment and bottlenecks.

OFLO is a cloud-based communications suite that drastically improves the responsiveness of frontline teams and desk-based teams. It provides a screen-free interface that enables users to effectively communicate without being visually tethered to a device.

However, diverging from the traditional radio technology and interface, OFLO promotes greater accountability across teams through real-time message transcriptions. The messages are transcribed real-time from speech to text and text to speech, which includes message history and text search.

In this TechNode Global Q&A with Emile Chan, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Origami Labs, which created the OFLO enterprise communicator, we learn how data is enriching voice communications, providing seamless, handsfree collaboration in the enterprise setting.

What are the emerging trends driving innovation in the IoT industry in the context of the enterprise?

Emile Chan, Co-Founder and CMO at Origami Labs
Emile Chan, Co-Founder and CMO at Origami Labs

We think that improvements in frontline operations are complex and require a divergence of various technologies. Hence OFLO is not only a superior solution over traditional walkie-talkies, but beyond we are creating enterprise voice assistance that can empower teams to execute smartphone level productivity.

Kindly introduce your team and company.

The team started with the brightest minds in Hong Kong. Origami started off in the consumer market, launching ORII the world’s first voice-powered ring in 2017 on a crowdfunding platform that took off overnight. ORII’s demand from around the world drove us to roll out in 20 markets from the get-go.

Leveraging Origami Labs’ expertise in the screen-free interface territory allows the company to effectively equip frontline teams with a superior device that helps them tackle their day-to-day job better, OFLO. Our design philosophy around the screen-free interface has always been about its linkage with the inevitable visual-based world. Hence, OFLO is more than a mere walkie-talkie replacement, but rather, a solution that improves the efficiency of team collaboration.

We have already begun rolling out OFLO in stealth mode with various renowned enterprises including properties under Jones Lang Laselle and Intercontinental Hotel Group.

What are the three key challenges in the industry that Origami Labs is addressing with OFLO?

The 2.5 billion global frontline workforce has been stuck with an imperfect solution for decades, known as the walkie-talkie.

  1. There is no way to record, search and hold parties accountable to messages, because messages simply disappear after they are said.
  2. Teams are limited by short communication distance, large signal dead spots and a finite number of channels and users.
  3. Existing phone-based productivity tools are only designed for desk-based and mobile base users, which is unsafe and distracting to use in front-facing scenarios.

How is OFLO addressing these challenges?

OFLO promotes greater accountability across teams through real-time message transcriptions. The messages are transcribed real-time from speech to text and text to speech, bringing accountability to frontline communications with message history and text search.

Coming in 2021, OFLO will effectively deploy resources with live location and visual on the ground. Being the first of its kind, OFLO’s cloud-based command center empowers coordinators and managers to oversee frontline team activities and dynamically allocate resources to any situation.

OFLO dashboard introduces an untapped set of data that is presented in a visual report with location history, audio data, and task logging. OFLO enables managers to make better decisions for your organization by offering deeper insights into your frontline teams’ performance.

What gives OFLO a unique edge in addressing these enterprise needs?

Origami Labs has created OFLO, a cloud-based communication and productivity suite that drastically improves the responsiveness of frontline teams and desk-based teams.

With our integrated hardware and software solution, the frontline staff has the power of “screen-free” computing. Combined with OFLO’s proprietary hardware devices, we make sure everyone has the right tools to get the job done.

The walkie-talkie connects teams without disruptions with instant push-to-talk accessories with unlimited coverage via 4G and Wi-Fi. We equip service and security teams with their work in mind. A screenless, lightweight, digitally connected wearable device for instant communications wherever teams are located.

For frontline teams, service, and security, OFLO can provide rich and traceable data, giving coordinators a better insight into the frontline work. For control centers, operators can reach new levels of efficiency with faster response time and more ground visibility, allowing for possible off-site operations. Managers meanwhile can track business performance through quantifiable data to make more knowledgeable decisions to drive growth and efficiency.

ORIGIN: How IoT and data are changing the way we work and make business decisions