The word “syndéo” is Greek for “connect” and that’s exactly what co-founders Gary and Chris Henshue set out to accomplish: connecting cities with smart technology. SYNDÉO uses its patented and multi-purpose Smart Panel Mini-Vaults to provide space for small cell and Smart City technology equipment that is secure, thermally controlled, and hidden.
The father and son co-founders of SYNDÉO began selling detectable warning panels – which are required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on all street corners – equipping handicap ramps to provide visual and physical cues for the vision-impaired. With backgrounds in telecommunications and underground infrastructure, they soon realized they could add value to the street corner spaces they worked with daily. “Our vision is to transform the way the world thinks of, designs, and implements Smart City technologies while incorporating detectable warning panels to better assist the visually impaired,” said Gary Henshue.
And that’s how SYNDÉO was formed. The company is enabling the deployment of smart technology in cities, specifically in the cities’ right-of-way. Technology includes small cells, antennas, sensors, cameras, beacons, edge computing and other electronic equipment. The SYNDÉO solution provides wireless carriers and Smart City technology companies an alternative to installing equipment on crowded, above ground city infrastructure – like light poles – and removes the challenge of conflicting with cityscape or urban design guidelines.
So how do the SYNDÉO Smart Panel Mini-Vaults work? These subsurface mini-vaults live under the street corners in urban environments, close to end consumers, and are secure and waterproof, environmentally controlled, meet city aesthetic criteria, plus allow for the placement of battery backup for traffic signals, small cells and other equipment. The mini-vaults are also easy to open for maintenance and covered with a weight-bearing panel, to protect against a tractor-trailer or city buses taking a corner too tightly. Additionally, the subsurface mini-vault environments can withstand harsh weather conditions, including staying completely dry during Hurricane Harvey when eight inches of rain poured over the city of Austin, TX, protecting small cell equipment housed underground.
But are cities embracing this solution? The short answer is “yes.” Currently, the company is in trials with the City of Austin, TX and in various stages of proposals and discussions with a host of others. SYNDÉO partners with many businesses in the smart city space as well – wireless carriers, systems integrators, edge computing companies, AI for transportation, and more. And with limited space in many cities when it comes to infrastructure installation, Henshue said, “One of the great benefits of the Smart Panel Mini-Vault is the ability of a city or third party to be an neutral host, allowing various companies to share space.”
When it comes to why SYNDÉO does what they do, Henshue said, “We set out to ‘do good’ and provide the visually impaired population with a solution. We started working with this simple product – detectable warning panels – and we’ve expanded upon that concept with the Smart Panel Mini-Vaults to add value, connecting people and cities.”
By Keara M. Piekanski, Inside Towers
January 11, 2018