Brighton tech start-up Naurt is trialling its new hyper-accurate satellite location technology on the roof of the Plus X Innovation Hub on Lewes Road. The pilot will gather data for a new form of GPS which could see the fledgling company achieve a world-first.
Local entrepreneurs Jack Maddalena and Nicolas Slack, both in their twenties, founded Naurt in April 2020. Since then it has grown to a team of eight people, secured £500 thousand in funding, and joined the BRITE programme at Plus X Innovation Hub for high-growth Sussex companies.
Naurt’s technology is 150 times more accurate than current GPS tracking. It can provide an exact location within 10cm anywhere in the world, either indoors or outside. It’s supported by five key innovations in the tracking space, including sensor fusion, all delivered in a simplistic ‘plug-and-play’ web application.
The satellite aerial now installed on top of the Plus X building, measuring just 30cm in height, is gathering 25 lines of constellation data a day at 14 times the speed of sound. The sheer volume of information made possible by the installation will help refine the Naurt product while allowing the company to rapidly expand its customer base.
The duo is currently working with travel company TUI to enable travellers to follow their journey in real-time from door to airport, airport to taxi, taxi to hotel room. Other clients include Sofology and The Roads and Transport Authority.
Naurt’s CEO and co-founder Maddalena says: “We asked companies what their primary pain point was and the responses we received were almost unanimous: matching customers up at different points on their journeys, like drivers and passengers at an airport”.
Further potential applications include enabling the safe use of aerial drones for doorstep deliveries, and far greater accuracy in the energy and telecoms sectors to locate underground pipes and wires.
“People that have had their smartphone lost or stolen might have used the ‘Find My Phone’ feature. With Naurt’s precision, we could distinguish what pocket it’s in!” adds Slack, Naurt’s co-founder and chief technology officer. “Gathering all of the data using the equipment installed at Plus X is a big step on our road to making that a possibility."
The team has been supported by the BRITE innovation programme – a £10.5million initiative part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund that’s led by Plus X in partnership with the University of Brighton. The programme is helping ambitious Sussex businesses like Naurt to scale.
Maddalena adds: “Being a part of BRITE has been a key factor in our success so far. Taking advantage of the experts in the programme, academics at the University of Brighton, the fully-funded workshops – even simply feeding off the ideas of the other businesses in the Plus X building – has been and will continue to be a real gift for our business. I grew up a stone’s throw away on the hill in Fiveways, so it’s been amazing to make this all happen so close to home”.