Alexa

50 Best Companies to Watch 2019

An Interview with Antonio Visconti, SOBEREYE INC. Founder and CEO: ‘Our Mission is to Deliver the Most Effective, Trusted, and Broadly Adopted Solution to Measure Impairment Risk in the Workplace.’

thesiliconreview-antonio-visconti-ceo-sobereye-inc-19.jpg

“We help companies to improve safety in the workplace. Although there is always some cost/benefit calculation in any safety initiative, we save lives.”

With real-time impairment monitoring, you will reduce the risk of accidents with significant human and financial benefits.

Impaired employees in dangerous jobs are putting themselves and others at risk of injuries or death, exposing your business to enormous liabilities.

In light of the foregoing, we’re thrilled to present SOBEREYE INC.

SOBEREYE is a testing and monitoring service that addresses the problem of workplace safety. Its technology, developed with research from neuroscience, ophthalmology, iris recognition and image processing, predicts impairment from extreme fatigue, alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs with a simple eye test.

The company was incorporated in 2015 and is headquartered in Menlo Park, California.

Antonio Visconti, SOBEREYE INC. Founder/CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?

I got interested in detecting workplace impairment when realizing that the Marijuana legalization trend was clearly challenging the way business approached the issue of workplace drug use. Marijuana is detected in the body for weeks after consumption and there wasn’t a good way to measure impairment risk due to combining alcohol and drugs (Breathalyzers only measure blood alcohol content). Inspired by seeing the police looking at people’s eyes to check for intoxication, I investigated the use of mobile phone technology to make accurate and objective pupillary reflex measurements. With the help of experts in neuroscience, ophthalmology, iris recognition, and image processing, I developed and patented the SOBEREYE technology.

While developing the technology, I engaged with safety sensitive companies in sectors like Construction and Transportation to verify that the need existed. I found a lot of support and gained insight into what was needed.

As these safety-sensitive companies struggle to get a grip on the problem of fatigue, alcohol, and drugs in the work place, SOBEREYE is all set to address such causes of impairment risk, simultaneously.

Q. There is nothing more important for a successful small business than a well-defined mission and vision statements. Can you explain your M&V statements in brief?

Around 90 percent of industrial accident reports indicate a failure on part of the injured person or a co-worker; it’s called ‘human error’. However, attributing an accident solely to human error often prevents to seek out the underlying causes of an accident.

Human error is always the consequence of some other cause.

Fatigue, alcohol, and drugs (legal, illegal, and prescription) are among the major contributors to accidents associated with human error. We at SOBEREYE are helping organizations with workers in dangerous job to prevent an accident by detecting if workers have a high impairment risk for any of the above reasons so that they can be redeployed to a less dangerous task or given the opportunity to rest and test again to see if they have recuperated.

Our Vision: An impairment free work place: Impairment risk testing shall become a standard practice for all safety-sensitive companies to minimize workplace accidents and save lives

Our Mission: Deliver the most effective, trusted, and broadly adopted solution to measure impairment risk in the workplace.

Q. What are your company’s core values and how are they helping you to succeed?

We help companies to improve safety in the workplace. Although there is always some cost/benefit calculation in any safety initiative, we save lives.

To maximize our impact, we have been aiming to make the cost/benefit analysis so favorable that any safety-sensitive company should not hesitate to adopt our technology.

Our key innovation (patented) is the ability to make accurate Pupillary Light Reflex measurements with a smartphone. By doing this we have freed ourselves from the costs of developing and manufacturing the testing hardware. Our testing devices is a plastic enclosure (visor) containing a smartphone that users put over their eyes to self-test. This completely changes the economics of the business and makes it possible to offer it as a service (SaaS), at a very competitive price compared to the costs incurred in case of an accident.

According to the National Safety Council, the cost per medically consulted injury in 2017 was $39,000, while the cost per death was $1,150,000.

We communicate this with our tag line: “Prevent Accidents, Save Lives, Save Money”.

Q. Any company, big or small, must have a sense of authenticity and originality to succeed, is your company a leader or a follower.

We’re the world leader in Smartphone Pupillometry.

Pupillometry is used in critical care and other clinical settings for the evaluation of pupil size and reactivity and is a key part of the exam to reveal various neurological conditions induced by injury, illness, drugs and medications.

Our ability to make accurate Pupillary Light Reflex measurements with a Smartphone is allowing us to focus on the fitness-for-duty market with a very low cost portable testing device and deliver an unmatched solution to measure impairment risk in the workplace.

We do not sell hardware, we provide the testing devices as part of a subscription based service with no up-front costs. We have removed all obstacles for a business to start a trial, get familiar with the technology, and see the benefits. Over 90 percent of customers that started a trial have purchased a yearly subscription and are still going.

Q. What are the factors that make your brand stand out from the competition?

Innovation is what distinguishes us; both technical innovation and business model one. On the technical side, we’ve pioneered the smartphone Pupillometry technology. On the business side, we’re offering impairment risk testing and monitoring as a service instead of selling hardware, as mentioned above. In the safety business, people sell safety stuff, but we sell a solution – actionable information.

Moreover, our customers can try before they buy at practically no cost.

Q. Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

We are a global company with business in four continents already; we will continue on this path of global expansion. Our product offering is currently focused to address the needs of the safety-sensitive company; this market is very large. We foresee our technology to branch out and have application in the law enforcement space; to help police to detect impaired drivers.

Antonio Visconti: A Formidable Leader

Antonio Visconti, Founder, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of SOBEREYE INC. With a strong entrepreneurial spirit, over the last 25 years, Mr. Visconti has managed and grown business from start-up to large enterprise organizations. Prior to founding SOBEREYE, he held VP and Sr. Director positions at Hittite Microwave, National Semiconductor, Maxim Integrated, and STMicroelectronics.

“To maximize our impact, we have been aiming to make the cost/benefit analysis so favorable that any safety-sensitive company should not hesitate to adopt our technology.”