Kii Expert of the Week: Michael Watson, VP Corporate Marketing, CREE

This week we sit down with Michael Watson, the VP of Corporate Marketing at CREE to discuss IoT.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about Cree and how it all got started?
A: Cree is 27 years old, got started in 1987 that began with innovative materials (silicon carbide, SiC) to provide high efficiency performance for semiconductor applications. In the process, one of the properties of SiC is that it emits blue light – this brought in a whole new array of LED applications. This now leading to Cree being the leader in the LED lighting revolution. Cree was really at the helm and creator of the LED market.

Q: What was it specifically about Kii that made sense for Cree and Kii to join forces?
A: With Cree’s SmartCast Technology, (which is an actual network, a network of light as a ‘thing’ (in IoT)) we are essentially a lighting and a lighting network company: a technology company that happens to make lighting. But we don’t have the cloud and cloud service component and that is where Kii comes in – we want to be able to take the SmartCase network and make it even more powerful and Kii can help us do just that.

Q: Any insights to where the lighting industry and IoT is heading?
A: The reality is that everyone understands the immense power and value that IoT can bring to a commercial and a consumer environment. Right now, what is blocking that reality from happening faster are two things: there is so much value to deliver that it’s hard to decide ‘who gets’ what, and that stalls implementation and potential success of IoT. So let’s start w/ the fundamental problem – lets get the infrastructure there and lighting is really it!

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