The primary driving force for most inventions is need. For Peter Lian, CEO of Spectrum Tracking, the idea for his company came after waiting for his daughter’s school bus to arrive. The GPS tracking company now offers fleet management, personal vehicle tracking, and kids and pets tracking. We spoke to Lian about the company’s start and where they are today.
How did the idea for Spectrum Tracking originate?
Lian: I thought of the idea in August 2017 during the solar eclipse. It happened between 2:00 and 2:30 p.m., and JCPS was delayed releasing students. I was waiting at the bus stop for my daughter for over an hour. I didn’t know where she was or where the bus was. It dawned on me that if parents had an app, we could track the bus location.
Did you start the company yourself?
Lian: I’m an engineer but not an app developer. I had the idea but I needed someone to develop it. I went to the app stores to see who knew how to develop such apps. I sent out five or six emails and after a couple of days, one person from Kansas City, Kansas contacted me. From there, we basically started the app.
How does the tech work?
Lian: Basically, it’s a location-based tracking survey, right. You typically have a smaller dongle that you put into your car and you put that OBD port in there. This dongle has the business SIM card, that one basic setup, and it sends all the information to a cloud server. Once the cloud server receives the information, the app on your phone will connect with this cloud server. You get hardware, cloud computing, the app, and the server. Customers have access from their phones, tablets, or desktops.
How did the company evolve?
Lian: We added b2c services. We sell to individual customers, like the parents of a teenage driver, so they can find where the driver is. Our tech records vehicle location and speed every 30 seconds and the app updates in real time. You can use the satellite map or street map to see if your teen is in a safe area or to ensure the teen is where they say they are going to be!
It can be used with small children, as well. Parents know the terror of losing sight of a child in a crowded area. That’s about 30 percent of our business. The other 70 percent is b2b.
What are your b2b products?
Lian: We offer asset tracking software and solutions for the construction industry. For example, Meta Construction Technologies is a construction technology company. The company originated in the University of Louisville Entrepreneurship MBA program in 2016. Meta’s first product, called BlackTop, is a mobile tracking and dispatch platform that lets Asphalt Contractor request and track dump trucks. The company will use our portable GPS trackers in their service.
Customers can track everything on a single web-based dashboard that clusters multiple assets and offers fast searching and tag filtering.