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Oulu-based technology startup makes the impossible easy


The smart solutions developed by the IoT and product development company Haltian are utilised in many internationally known products. The company’s own products and rapid expansion are protected by patents.

Smart solutions are spreading to workplaces, toilet facilities and services with the help of the Internet of Things and data generated by sensors. Haltian is firmly in on this development.

In 2012, a hand-picked group of experts from the mobile phone company Nokia put their heads together to set up the best workplace in the world for themselves. The first design project turned up in Silicon Valley just a couple of months after the company was founded.

“Instead of capital, we had an amazing five-person team and a desire to gain the most demanding clientele from as long way off as possible. Haltian now employs 140 people, and we provide world-class IoT as well as product development and design services around the world”, Haltian CTO Jyrki Okkonen says.

Haltian’s work shows in the Oura smart ring, the Red Dot Design Award-winning Specim hyperspectral camera, Lindström’s next-generation smart washrooms, and Posti’s new lockers, among other things.

“Challenges are a treat for engineers, and our slogan is ‘impossible things made easy’. Even though we started raising capital through subcontracting, it alone is too sensitive to economic fluctuations. We wanted something of our own, and IoT felt like the industry of the future.”

Smart solutions for offices

Haltian’s first own product was the IoT multifunction device Thingsee One. Today, Thingsee is a platform for companies to integrate IoT functionalities into their own services and products. The data collected by sensors is routed to the customer’s own application or, for example, to Haltian’s Empathic Building service, the idea of which is to guarantee the well-being of property users and employees.

“Hybrid work models create demand for a service that makes returning to work easy. The service shows, for example, cleaned areas and unused workstations. Air quality sensors detect the carbon dioxide and chemical concentrations in the premises”, Okkonen says.

Haltian demands safety and reliable operation in its wireless products. Partner Wirepas’ local area network technology re-routes itself between points, and Haltian is not dependent on a single operator for mobile networks.

“Many industrial operators are surprised that data can be transmitted reliably wirelessly as well. We always strive for self-repairing systems that are not hampered by electrical faults and crashing networks.”

Strictly protected product development

The backbone of Haltian’s fast-growing business is the company’s own products, the development and journey to the world of which have been protected from the beginning through patents and freedom to operate analyses with Kolster.

“Product development keeps our products competitive, but as we move into new operating areas, it is important that in addition to protecting our inventions, we know what our competitors have already protected”, Okkonen says.

Patents protect the company’s rapid expansion to new continents. The company operates in Europe, the United States, Australia, and Asia.

“A growing patent portfolio shows investors and owners that we know what we are doing, while also being proof of the value of our products. Patents provide us with tools for negotiations.”

Good IPR partner speaks the same language

Protecting one’s products is straightforward, but the IP rights of subcontracted services must be agreed on separately with customers. If IPR is left out of contracts, your rights may accidentally trickle down to the customer.

“We sell access rights to cloud software, but the contract terms must be strict. Especially in the United States, many try to obtain unlimited access and modification rights to the product. It is better for the customer as well that they cannot make changes that we cannot be responsible for. Upholding your rights also increases the customer’s appreciation of the company.”

Kolster has won Haltian’s trust with IPR experts who understand the company’s business and speak the same language. Okkonen appreciates this.

“Kolster makes the bureaucracy of the IPR world feel effortless for the customer.”

Controlled global expansion

Haltian has been searching for its business sector by moving from subcontracting to the IoT world and via the consumer market to the B2B sector. Design and product development services and the company’s products are the supporting pillars of the business, one of which always holds up even if the rest waver.

“The keyword is trying: the transition from familiar and safe subcontracting to pure development is challenging. It hurts when your expectations for the product and the market are not always realised. Disappointments must be taken as lessons”, Okkonen says.

Haltian’s net sales were EUR 9.1 million in 2020, an increase of more than 40% on the previous year. The company’s goal is to grow and expand even further. Several successful investment rounds indicate that Haltian is on the right track.

“However, we want to scale our business in a controlled way, not grow at any cost. We are now providing our engineers with world-class challenges, learning new technologies from various application areas, and applying them to our own products.”