FOUNDER: Michael Legatt
WHAT THEY DO: ResilientGrid provides an integrated visualization software for control centers that helps operators avert and rapidly respond to critical situations, such as power outages and emergency response scenarios. Essentially, it is a state of the art visualization environment for rapidly assessing network health and understanding threats.
WHY IT MATTERS: ResilientGrid works at the intersection of technology and psychology to build systems to help humans be more successful in achieving a robust system, using technology as a tool to reduce human error and ensure operators are focused on the most critical elements.
ResilientGrid looks at interactions between human beings and technology, especially as that link becomes more important and harder with more complex and a higher volume of data streams crowding the computer screen and flooding the brain of the human operator.
HOW IT IS USED: In control room environments, the focus is on ensuring that operators have their attention drawn appropriately to critical content (and are not drifting away to unimportant content), that they rapidly and accurately process the needed content, and that they work well in high- and low-stress situations.
WHO USES IT: Control room operators, infrastructure information and operations groups, and command center and emergency preparedness managers.
SWOONWORTHY: ResilientGrid is working on technologies that can interact with a distributed database, distributed communications, emergency response and near miss reporting tools. They are operating in one of the most critical, bedrock industries of our society that is highly regulated, with clients that are private companies, government entities, and many hybrids of both. Despite the complexity and rigidity of their customer base, they see advantage and opportunity in implementing blockchain-based systems.
CURRENCY OF CHOICE:USD
BACKSTORY: It’s August 14, 2003 and the northeastern part of the U.S. power grid has suffered a catastrophic blackout. “It became clear to me how reliant we are on our electric infrastructure and, later, when it was concluded that a large part of the blackout was due to human factors — operators could not see the big picture on their computer screens. I decided to put my skills as a visual attention expert to use in that field.” – Michael Legatt with BlockIntel, 24 May 2017
QUOTEWORTHY: “While many people understand at a deep level how blockchain and smart contracts work, there’s an emergent behavior that happens when thousands or millions of these contracts start interacting, and human behavior around each one shifts in response. Complexity grows very quickly, so being able to understand why something happened or what will happen next can be a challenge. From a technological standpoint, I see how valuable blockchain will be, especially in emerging energy markets and bringing new types of technologies onto the grid. Then.. there’s the human side of what people do with it: not just seasoned traders, technologists and engineers, but also all of us in everyday life. It is a powerful force that can make life so much better and more efficient, but as with any game changer, we have to be mindful to prevent unintended consequences.” – Michael Legatt with BlockIntel, 24 May 2017
BLOCKINTEL’S TAKE: Despite the conservatism of the utility space, many see value in implementing blockchain-based systems, and a few, like ResilientGrid, are already building for the future. Smart contracts, energy use surrounding electric vehicle charging, controllable thermostats, and the larger power grid all have a place in the colliding worlds of ResilientGrid and blockchain.
The key for investors is to understand what to do with emerging technologies like blockchain and how to become active participants in the space. In this case, a company like ResilientGrid can demonstrably make lives better and present significant safety benefits by relying on an open, immutable, distributed infrastructure to build something to better secure the power grid. They are one of several examples of how even the most conservative industries can extract value from blockchain-based systems.