[People Are The Answer]

Radar Sensor Low-cost Supply, Middle Market Will Open A Variety Of Markets
Next year I will be participating in CES with a product made using a radar sensor.

The aspiration Kim Hyung-hwan, the CEO of Umain Inc. has expressed at the end of the interview is, in short, bravery itself. This is because the future of Umain Inc is maximizing the ability that Kim can do in a situation where the future of Umain is neither bright nor dark.

As a reporter, I was having mixed emotions on the way out of the interview. I felt proud that this small domestic company could get the world market’s attention, but he could also indirectly understand the difficulties of domestic SMEs. Even as of now, I still feel overwhelmed when I think of the moments of the interview. However, Kim, on the other hand has said this to me:

Once you start something, you have got to finish it, right?

Umain unveils itself to the world with the radar sensors.

Umain participated in the International Electronics Fair (CES) held in Las Vegas earlier this year for the first time among Korean sensor-related SMEs. It is a challenge to the sensor market dominated by leading global companies. Although it is deserving of all the acclaim, Mr. Kim was absolutely unsatisfied with this achievement.

During this business, we lost more than 15 kilograms. We really are betting life and death to this.

In the past, Kim had a hard time doing business and his business is still ongoing, but his enthusiasm for “sensor” was never low. And his passion just started to ignite.

In April 2012, Umain started as a creative company with one representative from Daejeon Incubator Center. He is a former engineer in charge of robotics and sensors. Early Umain was not a sensor company. Kim was interested in autonomous flight drones, but he was responsible for the services of other companies in the early days of startup as a matter of development cost. After two and a half years since its inception, it has begun developing autonomous flight drones from the second half of 2014.

It was not an autonomous flight. The limitation of the sensor was the problem. Normal robots can only travel through limited routes with simple sensors. If there are sudden obstacles, it is difficult to respond.

Sensors act like human senses. Recently, self-driving cars, drones, etc., are being talked of often by the public, but in order for these things to move autonomously without getting in the hands of people, sensors like human’s five senses are essential.

I thought there should be a way. So I thought I should be able to use radar, which was mostly used for military purposes rather than being open to the public. But there was a radar sensor in the national research and development (R & D) field.

The joy of realizing his dreams for a while, Kim ran into the first problem at the time.

Since the sensor is hardware, it is necessary to develop it from the chip to develop the sensor. There is a lot of money in chip development. Even if you have an idea, it is in the capital power that SMEs are hard to do. Our company also started with no money at first and was funded by the Technology Guarantee Fund at the time, but it was not enough for the development cost. So I did the delivery service to other companies.

Kim decided to do radar sensor business, but he did not have enough capital to maintain the service. As time passed, Kim had another chance.

I got the radar sensor technology transferred through the technology transfer business which was run by the Technology Guarantee Fund and received funding based on it. I have got to pay up.

When you meet businessmen in their early days, there is always a common story. The first is that they hope to keep no debt and the second is that employees are paid on time. Kim was also like them. As such, entrepreneurs face tremendous psychological pressure if they do not have equity capital early in the business. Because of this, it hard to for them to approach even the most talented people.

But there is always a way. Kyungsook Shin, the former superior of Kim at his previous job, joined him at Umain and Kwangsuk Song, a current member of the board of directors, joined him through the government-run research dispatch business in November 2014. The two directors, Shin and Song are the key players in overseeing every technological research regarding radar sensors at Umain.

The ever-expanding field of radar sensors with unlimited possibilities.

Kim, points out that one of the biggest advantages of radar sensors is that the application fields are endless. At present, Umain is promoting commercialization of radar sensors and the core of the radar sensor is the ultra short distance. Simply put, it’s like broadband, LTE familiar to us.

The radar sensor has a core chip that shoots the radio waves within a given frequency and processes the signals back and forth. When this happens, the speed is similar to that of the light, so it is possible to detect it as fast.

The company that has this is a Norwegian company, except Umain. Their price is about 15 million won. Ours is 2.5 million won.

The reporter asked the question that everybody might have:

There is no reason for the company to sell the radar sensor at a low price. Because of the diversity of applications. Because there are a myriad of applications. Also, foreign companies mostly start from the defense side, which means that they have a huge amount of money, and the cost of maintaining the volume is also affected.

Eventually, it was a matter of investment cost. Of course, we cannot exclude it at all, but there are too many differences. Kim conveyed his market-leading points.

In fact, there is no reason for us to sell it cheaply, either. However, we had less investments because we had the technology transferred. You could say w were lucky. So it is possible to sell cheaply first. But more importantly, the consumer sector is much larger than the defense sector. Because there are a myriad of applications, the industry associated with radar sensors is growing fast if it can be mass-produced at low cost. How good would it be for SMEs to use and many products to be developed? That market is bigger.

Apparently, Kim said that if small and medium-sized companies can afford to use radar sensors at a low cost, a variety of quirky products could emerge. Some may treat his statement as “ostentatious”.

It was Kim’s “honesty” that the reporter could feel throughout the interview. Business people as well as ordinary people do not want to show their weaknesses to their opponents.

However, Kim said that it was a difficult time to do business, and that participating in the CES was evaluated as if he succeeded in the eyes of the outside world, but it was not a relief. The last challenge for him is mass production. The mass production system also requires a huge amount of money.

I do not really have the greed for money. However, I have a dream as an engineer. I do not know how I’ve been walking this path. The important thing is if you start, you have got to finish it.

Kim spoke to reporters at the CES in 2017 specifically about their products using radar sensors, but asked them not to publicize. Nine months before the product is released seems to be a long time for the reporter.

기사의 모든 저작권은 이노코믹리뷰 이성규기자 dark1053@econovill.com 님께 있습니다.

SOURCE: http://www.econovill.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=283365