Welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview with Muxin Ma, the visionary Chief Operating Officer driving Pontosense’s groundbreaking initiatives at the nexus of safety and technology. Under Ma’s leadership, Pontosense is pioneering a transformative approach to safety, fusing wireless intelligence sensing with the prowess of artificial intelligence.
In this illuminating conversation, Ma unfolds the layers of Pontosense’s journey, revealing how the company’s cutting-edge technology, including a revolutionary mmWave RADAR sensor, is reshaping the contours of safety in unprecedented ways.
As the helmsman of Pontosense’s product and AI team, Muxin Ma provides a detailed exploration of the company’s core technology—a mmWave RADAR sensor capable of detecting vital signs without physical contact.
This innovation, likened to an Apple Watch without the need for wearables, showcases Pontosense’s commitment to engineering excellence, backed by a founding team boasting an impressive 500 patents in wireless communications, antenna design, and AI algorithms.
Join us in this exclusive interview as Ma shares insights into the strategic integration of AI across Pontosense’s operations, offering a glimpse into how the company is using artificial intelligence to analyze and translate data into actionable solutions, ultimately paving the way for a safer and technologically advanced future.
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We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Muxin Ma: My name is Muxin Ma and I am the COO of Pontosense. Our company is focused on enhancing global safety and peace of mind by leveraging the power of wireless intelligence sensing. Our core technology uses a revolutionary mmWave RADAR sensor to detect breathing, heart rate, and heart rate variability without contact. It is like an Apple Watch you don’t need to wear.
We are an engineering-focused company, and our founding team has amassed 500 patents in wireless communications, antenna design, and AI algorithms. I am in charge of our company’s product and AI team.
Can you share with us your journey towards integrating AI into your business operations?
Muxin Ma: We use AI in different layers. The first phase involves using AI for noise reduction on data we collect with the mmWave RADAR sensor.
In the next phase, AI helps process the raw data we collect on vitals, translating it into meaningful data such as stress level, intoxication, drowsiness, and other characteristics that can be detected through heart rate variation. With AI’s help, the data on breathing can also be used to detect falls and sleep-related issues like sleep apnea.
Finally, AI is used to analyze data in a predictive way that identifies risks. For example, elderly people suffering from sleep apnea are at a higher risk of falling. By looking at the data our sensors collect, AI can identify sleep apnea and notify us of the risk. So in the final phase, we are using AI to translate data into action.
What specific areas of your business have been most impacted by AI, and how?
Muxin Ma: AI has had a huge impact on the work we do with age tech. Every 13 seconds in the US, an elderly person has a fall. Overall, 33 percent of the elderly have significant falls every year, resulting in injuries requiring some form of medical treatment. Accelerometers, which are placed in pendants or watches, are used to try and alert caretakers when someone has fallen, but the accuracy of those devices is rather low.
AI has allowed us to create a much more reliable technology that not only detects falls, but also monitors how long someone has been on the ground and how the fall has affected their breathing and heart rate. Falls are dangerous, but they become even more dangerous when not detected by caregivers. When people die from a fall, it is typically not the fall that kills them, but getting sick from being on the floor for a long time.
AI has also allowed us to deploy this technology in the automobile industry to detect when children have been inadvertently left in cars. Dozens of children die in the US each year because they are forgotten in hot cars, a tragedy that prompted the passing of the Hot Cars Act in 2021. Our technology can detect kids left behind in the car, as well as when a driver is experiencing issues that increase their risk of an accident.
What are the biggest obstacles you’ve faced in implementing AI, and how did you overcome them?
Muxin Ma: One of the problems we face is the heaviness of AI models. It’s easy to think more data is better data. In reality, however, more data means you need more computational resources, which can decrease the speed of systems and increase costs. More data can also mean more security concerns, especially when you are gathering sensitive data that needs to be kept private.
Because our technology provides real-time safety — falls need to be reported immediately — we have faced the challenge of reducing the heaviness of our AI models to increase processing speed. We have addressed the challenge by using edge AI, which we sometimes call lightweight AI. Edge AI works by putting a chipset inside the mmWave RADAR sensors that can utilize AI to analyze the data without sending it to a central database.
Using edge AI increases our flexibility, allowing us to find meaningful data without sending it to the cloud and creating the need for heavy models. It also allows us to respond in real-time to problems that are detected.
What advice would you give to other CEOs looking to integrate AI into their business?
Muxin Ma: There are two main approaches businesses can take when integrating AI into their operations. The first is the data-driven approach. When taking this approach, CEOs must carefully consider what type of data they have.
For example, using AI to analyze telematics data can be valuable for businesses, but it requires work to identify what data is collected and how it can be accessed. There are a lot of opportunities for improving operations with AI, including new multimodal models that can analyze pictures and videos, but they start with identifying the data available.
The second approach is problem-driven. With this approach, the key is to identify the critical problems you want AI to help solve. Starting with your most critical problem and utilizing AI little by little brings costs down and allows you to avoid the problems that can result from rushing to implement a new technology.
How do you see AI evolving in your industry over the next 5 years?
Muxin Ma: I see AI evolving to play a central role in age tech over the next five years. As the global population gets older, which is happening at a rapid rate, experts predict home care will grow considerably. AI can play a central role in empowering technology to support home care.
AI-powered sensors — like the ones our company has developed, which increase the safety of elderly living at home while also securing their privacy — are one tool that can be used in home care. AI can also be used to empower better home security for those aging at home.
AI can also be leveraged in age tech to empower enhanced preventative care. Ideally, the healthcare process starts long before a person visits a doctor. By leveraging AI-powered tools, aging patients can engage in more personalized prevention at home, monitoring key metrics and taking action on their own to improve their health.
In my home country of Japan, where nearly 30 percent of the population is elderly, the average life-long cost of medical care is $350,000. Of that total, 60 percent is spent after the age of 65. Consequently, anything AI-driven tools can do to cut down on health issues experienced by the elderly can lead to big cost savings.
What does “success” in 2023 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Muxin Ma: Success for Pontosense in 2023 will have a lot to do with the mass production and deployment of our child presence detection system. The regulations mandated by the Hot Cars Act are expected to be implemented soon, which would drive more automakers to integrate detection systems into their vehicles. We are excited about playing a role in this important innovation that will save the lives of children.
I also see it as a personal success to play a role in the development of new technology focused on saving kids’ lives. Our mission at Pontosense is to fundamentally change everyday technology by expanding the relationship between humans and machines. In this area, humans can come to look at machines as partners in their efforts to keep their children safe.
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Muxin Ma for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Muxin Ma or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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