Guy Yehiav Of SmartSense by Digi On The Future of The Internet of Things (IoT), And How It May Improve Our Health & Our Lives

An Interview With David Leichner

David Leichner, CMO at Cybellum
Authority Magazine
7 min readSep 8, 2023


Go small, don’t go large. Pick up one area at a time that you’re going to improve, one task that you’re going to automate, and just do that very well. Then move to the next thing. Don’t try to conquer the world because those projects tend to fail.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is beginning to become more mainstream. Millions of people use Fitbit health trackers, Nest smart thermostats, and Ring doorbell cameras, which are early examples of IoT. These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential commercial applications of IoT. IoT has the potential to change the way cities are run, the way our healthcare is managed, the way our cars communicate, and the way our supply chains and manufacturing are utilized. But how exactly will IoT improve our lives? How can it improve our health? What are the new IoT technologies that we should expect to see around the corner? How does one create a successful career in the IoT industry? In this interview series, we are talking to business leaders who are incorporating IoT into their business or who are developing IoT applications, who can share stories and perspectives about the future of IoT. As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Guy Yehiav.

Guy Yehiav is the President of SmartSense by Digi, an IoT solution for the nation’s largest pharmacy retailers, food retailers, and food service companies. Guy joined SmartSense in January 2022 to lead overall strategy, direction, development and implementation of enterprise solutions as the company continues its aggressive growth path.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started in the IoT industry, including the most impactful thing you’ve experienced during your career?

My background is in B2B enterprise applications for operational excellence and industrial management. My undergraduate degree is in computer science and industrial management. I received my MBA (with a focus on entrepreneurship) from Babson F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business.

I helped build my first company, Demantra, with the founders, in 1998. The purpose of that company was centered around on-shelf availability. The technology analyzed demand at the shelf level and consumption point and moved backwards from there to identify demand fluctuations, enabling full sales and operation planning based on demand fluctuations and supply constraints. Many of the concepts Demantra was grounded in were inspired by the writings and work of Eliyahu M. Goldratt.

My second company, Profitect, addressed the fact that so many operators were drowning in reports. Profitect provided prescriptive analytics to mitigate the multiple interpretations that come when different people read the same report. The Profitect technology analyzed the root cause of incidents and provided the engine to build workflows for task management to resolve issues before they went sideways. With Profitect, as soon as something unplanned happened within operations, the system triggered a workflow that instructed Employee A to do A, B, and C and Employee B to do X, Y, and Z. Profitect was a major success and we sold it to Zebra Technologies, a company that is all about handheld devices and sensors. Working with Zebra Technologies opened me up to the ability of pairing prescriptive analytics with real-time information instead of only feeding a system with historical data.

If you combine all that expertise — the supply chain excellence, industrial management, computer science, prescriptive analytics, and now machine learning combined with generative AI — what you’re missing is real time information about what’s going on — condition monitoring for temperature, humidity, CO2, oxygen, pressure, Ethelyne, etc. There are so many sensors out there that collect telemetry data.

I also built my house around the same time (two years ago), and I built it as a smart home. During that process I found out that, for the consumer, smart homes run on several applications. I have about twelve applications to run my house, which is insane. It should be one.

After my time at Zebra, I got a call from the board and management at Digi International and they shared that SmartSense is a condition monitoring solution that grew really fast with the potential to grow even faster with the right leadership.

I then analyzed the commercial IoT market and found out that it is very fragmented, in a similar manner to what I had discovered in my residential experience with consumer IoT. There’s not enough collaboration in commercial IoT, what I like to call co-opetition. You can compete and you can collaborate at the same time, building a better backbone for the customer.

So, I said, let’s try to see if I’m right. I joined SmartSense and within less than two years we’ve grown amazingly. The idea is to become an open platform communicating with other competitors, talking with these different sensors. Leading SmartSense combines my supply chain experience with my prescriptive analytics and task management operation. It just made sense to move into sensorability, real time location services, and condition monitoring. And that’s exactly what’s SmartSense is all about.

Can you tell our readers about the most interesting IoT projects you are working on now? How do you think this might change the world?

Monitoring ripeness. We identify gases and we tell you when the avocados or bananas are ripe and ready to be moved to the store floor for sale. Optimizing the rotation of produce inventory from the back to the front is key to on-shelf availability, freshness, and customer satisfaction while reducing waste.

On the healthcare side of things, we are helping organizations protect expensive products throughout the supply chain. For example, if the proper conditions for plasma are not maintained in a shipment, not only are you losing the cost of the plasma, but you’re eating the cost of everything that went into developing the plasma over a three-year period. You cannot monetize that lost time. Medical products are critical to the care of patients. Product loss in healthcare puts patients waiting for treatment at risk.

We’re also finding ways to implement condition monitoring and location services in real time with limited dollars, which is also a very interesting project.

Are there any potential drawbacks of this technology that people should think more deeply about?

There are no drawbacks.

What are the three things that most excite you about the IoT industry? Why?

1: Combining IoT with AI, combining the results with Generative AI to communicate easily with humans.

2: The continual advancement of intelligence to reduce false positives.

3: Increasing accuracy in guidance to make prescriptions 100% accurate (enabling higher adoption).

What are the three things that concern you about the IoT industry? Can you explain? What can be done to address those concerns?

I don’t have any concerns. The industry is propelling forward.

Can you help articulate to our readers a few of the ways that IoT can improve our health and improve our lives?

Future applications of IoT will leverage more real-time data with greater telemetry data sources for greater accuracy and more powerful outputs from generative AI. Generative AI helps reduce false positives by analyzing both historical and real-time data. The machine learning models are penalized or credited based on the accuracy of the system’s prescriptions. The feedback loop facilitates continual learning that optimizes asset health, sustainable operations, and loss prevention.

Combining IoT and AI will accelerate organizations’ internal optimization strategies. The scale of healthcare and retail organizations’ connected sensor networks combined with behavioral data from employees and customers provides a continuous stream of real-time information to feed machine learning algorithms, providing increasingly accurate predictions and prescriptions to streamline operational processes and inform decision-making at every level of the business.

Generative AI is already providing value to retailers by eliminating some of the more mundane work in their operations. We will also soon see system integrations across the retail enterprise that enhance the power of GAI for internal operations. Many retailers collect real-time data across their networks. Combining this data with telemetry data provides a continuous stream of real-time information to feed machine learning algorithms, which leads to increasingly accurate predictions. We are embarking on the 5th stage of analytics — from descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive to generative AI analytics, which will translate these rich datasets into precise instructions that are incredibly accurate, dramatically improving the cost model and the customer experience across retail operations.

My (the author’s) expertise is in product security, so I’m particularly passionate about this question. In today’s environment, hackers break into the software running IoT devices, for ransomware, to damage brands, or for other malicious purposes. Based on your experience, what should IoT manufacturing companies do to uncover vulnerabilities in the development process to safeguard their IoT products?

When it comes to security, cellular connectivity is the superior choice for safeguarding IoT products. Cellular networks use encryption to protect data with robust security protocols. Cellular networks are dedicated networks that are managed and maintained by the mobile network operator. Cellular networks use a variety of authentication methods to ensure that only authorized devices can access the network. Plus, cellular networks are physically secure, with cell towers and other network infrastructure protected by physical security measures.

What are your “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The IoT Industry?

Go small, don’t go large. Pick up one area at a time that you’re going to improve, one task that you’re going to automate, and just do that very well. Then move to the next thing. Don’t try to conquer the world because those projects tend to fail.

Thank you so much for the time you spent doing this interview. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success.

About The Interviewer: David Leichner is a veteran of the Israeli high-tech industry with significant experience in the areas of cyber and security, enterprise software and communications. At Cybellum, a leading provider of Product Security Lifecycle Management, David is responsible for creating and executing the marketing strategy and managing the global marketing team that forms the foundation for Cybellum’s product and market penetration. Prior to Cybellum, David was CMO at SQream and VP Sales and Marketing at endpoint protection vendor, Cynet. David is the Chairman of the Friends of Israel and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Jerusalem Technology College. He holds a BA in Information Systems Management and an MBA in International Business from the City University of New York.



David Leichner, CMO at Cybellum
Authority Magazine

David Leichner is a veteran of the high-tech industry with significant experience in the areas of cyber and security, enterprise software and communications