Archive for September, 2015

Key Takeaways for Venture Capitalists Working with Troubled Companies

By Thomas Hwang and Darryn Beckstrom

Venture capitalists (“VCs”) often provide needed debt financing such as bridge loans to emerging companies in financial distress. However, given their insider status with these companies, VCs may encounter issues with such financing in the event the emerging company files for relief under the Bankruptcy Code. One issue arises in the context of the potential conflict with the goal in bankruptcy to ensure that claims against a debtor’s estate are administered in an equitable fashion. Among other things, bankruptcy courts will seek to preclude lenders from disguising equity investments or capital contributions as loans in order to obtain the same priority treatment with a company’s creditors in the event their investments fail and the company commences a bankruptcy case. In bankruptcy, parties may request that the court invoke its equitable powers under theories of equitable subordination and debt recharacterization, effectively to subordinate a VCs’ claim in bankruptcy arising from such financing.

For these reasons, as discussed further below, VCs should always be mindful of the terms of and negotiations surrounding transactions they enter into with emerging companies as well as their ongoing interactions with these companies.

Equitable Subordination

A bankruptcy court has the power under section 510(c) of the Bankruptcy Code to equitably subordinate an allowed claim to other claims. Section 510(c) does not set forth the requirements for equitable subordination. But the majority of courts have held that a claim may be equitably subordinated under the following circumstances: (1) the claimant engaged in some type of inequitable conduct; (2) the misconduct resulted in injury to the creditors of the bankrupt or conferred an unfair advantage on the claimant; and (3) equitable subordination of the claim is not inconsistent with the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code. Courts have concluded that inequitable conduct usually involves the following types of behavior by the claimant: (1) fraud, illegality, and breach of fiduciary duty; (2) undercapitalization; and (3) use of the debtor as a mere instrumentality or alter ego. Under the requirements for equitable subordination, a court focuses on the behavior of the claimant whose claim a party seeks to have subordinated rather than the substance of any particular transaction.

Under equitable subordination, a court may scrutinize claims held by insiders, such as VCs, more carefully than those held by non-insiders. Specifically, a court may equitably subordinate a claim if the party seeking subordination can simply demonstrate some inequitable conduct on the part of the claimant and the claimant should be held responsible for such behavior. Conversely, parties seeking subordination will need to demonstrate that a non‑insider claimant engaged in more egregious behavior, such as fraud, before a court will consider subordinating a claim.

If the elements of equitable subordination are satisfied, a court will subordinate the claim only to the extent necessary to offset any injury or damage suffered by the creditor that suffered as a result of the claimant’s inequitable conduct.

Debt Recharacterization    

Alternatively, a bankruptcy court may use its equitable powers under section 105 of the Bankruptcy Code to recharacterize any transaction the parties characterize as debt as an equity contribution to the debtor. Debt recharacterization differs from equitable subordination in that the former focuses generally on the substance of the transaction while the latter focuses solely on the behavior of the claimant. Further, when a claim is equitably subordinated, it is still considered debt of the debtor. But when a claim is recharacterized, the alleged debt is considered equity. Compared to equitable subordination, this remedy is especially problematic for VCs because it does not require a finding of inequitable conduct. Instead, the court must simply determine whether a debt actually existed or whether the alleged debt is disguised as an equity contribution. If the claim is recharacterized, then it is subordinated to the level of equity.

Courts within all federal circuits have permitted debt recharacterization, and there has been no indication that application of the remedy is restricted to shareholder loans. In so doing, the majority has applied a flexible factor test articulated by the Sixth Circuit known as the Roth Steel/AutoStyle test, based on the bankruptcy court’s equitable powers under section 105(a) of the Bankruptcy Code, looking to such factors as: (1) the names given to the instruments, if any, evidencing indebtedness; (2) the present or absence of a fixed maturity date and schedule of payments; (3) the source of repayments; (4) the right to enforce payment of principal and interest; (5) the adequacy or inadequacy of capitalization; (6) the identity of interest between the creditor and the shareholder; (7) the security, if any, for the advances; (8) the corporation’s ability to obtain financing from outside lending institutions; (9) the extent to which the advances were subordinated to the claims of outside creditors; (10) the extent to which the advances were used to acquire capital assets; and (11) the presence or absence of a sinking fund to provide repayments. See In Roth Steel Tube Co., 800 F.2d 625, 630 (6th 1986); In re AutoStyle Plastics, Inc., 269 F.3d 726,731 (6th Cir. 2001). None of these factors are dispositive, and courts will consider all circumstances surrounding the alleged debt at issue.

While the majority of circuits will analyze the foregoing Roth Steel/AutoStyle factors in considering whether to recharacterize a debt, others have looked elsewhere. The Eleventh Circuit has employed, in some instances, a limited test focused on two circumstances: “Shareholder loans may be deemed capital contributions in one of two circumstances: where the [debtor] proves initial under-capitalization or where the [debtor] proves that the loans were made when no other disinterested lender would have extended credit.” In re N & D Props., 799 F.2d 726, 733 (11th Cir. 1986). However, courts within the Eleventh Circuit have varied employing the N & D Properties test in some cases and various multi-factor tests in others. See In re First NLC Fin. Servs., 415 B.R. 874, 880 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2009) (listing cases).

The Fifth and Ninth Circuits more recently have addressed the issue, declining to follow the majority and instead looking to section 502(b) of the Bankruptcy Code (pertaining to the allowance of claims) as authorization to recharacterize and holding that state law should govern the determination of the nature and scope of a right to payment unless a federal interest requires otherwise. In re Fitness Holdings Int’l, Inc., 714 F.3d 1141, 1148–49 (9th Cir. 2013); In re Lothian Oil, Inc., 650 F.3d 539, 542–44 (5th Cir. 2011).

Recently, the Tenth Circuit addressed the demarcation between jurisdictions in Redmond v. Jenkins (In re Alternate Fuels, Inc.), 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9915 (10th Cir. June 12, 2015), and expressly rejected the minority view, explaining that the concept of recharacterization is rooted in section 105(a) and not section 502(b) of the Bankruptcy Code:

Although related, disallowance and recharacterization require different inquiries and serve different functions. Under § 502(b), disallowance of a claim is appropriate “when the claimant has no rights vis-à-vis the bankrupt, i.e., when there is ‘no basis in fact or law’ for any recovery from the debtor.” … Recharacterization, on the other hand, is not an inquiry into the enforceability of a claim; instead, it is an inquiry into the true nature of a transaction underlying a claim. In this way, recharacterization is part of a long tradition of courts applying the “substance over form” doctrine.

Id. at *16 (internal citations omitted).

The Tenth Circuit ultimately determined that neither equitable subordination which it deemed “an extraordinary remedy to be employed by courts sparingly” nor recharacterization, after application of its own 13-factor test, were appropriate. As a policy consideration, the court refused to overemphasize the undercapitalization and financial condition of the debtor company because it would discourage lenders, including business owners, to provide rescue financing in similar situations. Notably, the court also pointed out that the promissory notes in question were not found to be invalid or unenforceable under applicable state law and that sufficient consideration was exchanged under state law. Thus, while rejecting the minority view, the Tenth Circuit’s decision still included analysis of applicable state law. While the Alternative Fuels decision appears to be favorable for lenders and business owners, it more importantly provides a reminder that the split among circuits remains and that both state law and the Roth Steel/AutoStyle factors warrant consideration.

What Should VCs Do When Dealing With Emerging Companies?

Most importantly, VCs should provide debt financing to emerging companies on terms that are consistent with arm’s-length negotiated financing provided by non‑insiders. Courts have emphasized that the more the transaction in question resembles a transaction negotiated at arm’s‑length, the more likely it will treat the transaction as debt rather than equity. Further, VCs should make sure that any debt financing provided to these companies reflect the characteristics of debt rather than equity, including the terms of the financing as well as how the transaction is documented. Notably, in some instances, courts employing both the majority and minority analyses may look to ascertain the intent of the parties. E.g., Alternative Fuels, supra, at *26; Bauer v. C.I.R., 748 F.2d 1365, 1367 (9th Cir. 1985) (applying California state law). Finally, VCs must make sure their dealings with the company on an ongoing basis reflect an upholding of the fiduciary duties they owe to the company.




Financial Restructuring requires more than just knowledge of the Bankruptcy Code. Dorsey’s Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring group includes not only experienced bankruptcy lawyers, but also a large network of lawyers experienced in mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, tax law, securities law, finance, business litigation, labor and employment and other disciplines that are critical to the restructuring of viable businesses and assisting creditors and others in preserving their rights. Learn more at: www.dorsey.com/financial_restructuring_bankruptcy/

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Apple’s new iPhone update is making the home screen obsolete for me

Apple’s next big software update for iPhones and iPads, iOS 9, is officially launching later today.

Don’t expect a redesign or flashy new features — iOS 9 is about improving the overall software experience on your iPhone.

So that means making Apple’s apps more useful, extending battery life, refining performance and stability, and most importantly: making it easier than ever to find apps and information on your iPhone.

After using an early version of iOS 9, there’s one thing I’ve noticed above anything else — I barely ever navigate to the home screen.

That’s because the new Siri Suggestions screen in iOS 9 has almost everything I need. And the improved search functionality in iOS 9 makes it easy to pull up other bits of information you may need from time to time.

Siri Suggestions is a new feature in iOS 9 that “predicts” who you want to talk to, which apps you want to use, and more. You can access it by swiping to the left of the home screen in iOS 9.

A hub for the apps you use the most

Siri Suggestions is essentially a screen that shows you the apps you used most recently and the people you’ve texted or called most recently. This screen also includes news headlines, suggestions for places to visit nearby, and iOS 9’s revamped search engine.

If you’re like me, and you tend to use the same apps repeatedly throughout the day, you can easily get by without having to look at your home screen.

The apps I store on my home screen usually appear in Siri’s list of options anyway, so over the past day I’ve been gravitating more toward the Suggestions screen since it gives me more information than my home screen does.

If I’m looking up directions, or places to grab coffee nearby, I can access all of that from the Suggestions screen without even having to launch an app.

When you click a link from the Siri Suggestions page or choose an app from that page, there’s also a button that takes you right back to the Suggestions screen. So you don’t even have to hit the home button to exit an app if you opened that app from the Suggestions page.

iOS9Suggestions.PNGLisa Eadicicco

Search and Siri take care of the rest

It’s unrealistic to think you won’t need to use an app that doesn’t appear in Siri’s suggestions. But with the new Search in iOS 9, you’ll find almost anything instantly.

Apple has updated the Search bar so that it’s capable of pulling up apps on your phone, apps in the App Store, content within third-party apps as well as Apple apps, text messages and emails on your phone, contacts stored on your phone, and more.

It can also handle queries without having to launch a web browser, just like Google Now.

Want to know how many ounces are in a gram? You can find that information just by typing it in the Search bar or asking Siri. In the past, the Search engine on your iPhone would provide a web link that you’d have to follow to find the answer.

iOS9Conversion.PNGLisa Eadicicco

The big win for search, though, will be the fact that you can search content within apps in iOS 9. It means you’ll be able to track down really specific bits of information stored on your phone without having to remember which app they’re stored in.

This will only be useful if a lot of third-party developers choose to incorporate this within their apps. But if it works well, it could be a game changer for the iPhone. Apple’s Craig Federighi showed this off on stage by searching for “potato,” which pulled up potato recipes from the third-party recipe app Yummly.

This feature isn’t working in the public beta — or rather, it only works when you type in the word “potato.” I tried typing in other foods such as chicken, avocado, and bacon, and it didn’t pull results from Yummly like I expected. And even when I typed “potato,” it pulled up recipes Yummly’s website rather than the app. That’s likely because the software isn’t finalized yet — I’m expecting this feature to work much better when the final version launches in the fall.

iOS9SearchPotato.PNGLisa Eadicicco

I’ve also noticed that after canceling a search, it takes a little while for the screen to snap back to the Suggestions page. This is also probably because it’s an early version of the software that’s not meant for widespread release yet, so we’ll get a better idea of how it really works in the fall.

Catching up to Android

This combination of showing your recently used apps/contacts with the powerful search in iOS 9 make it incredibly easy to find what you need without going to the home screen.

Apple is catching up to Android in this regard, since Google Now has been able to offer contextual information for quite some time now.

But the home screen is still relevant in Android because you can customize it with whatever you want — whether it’s widgets, the Google Now search bar, sports scores, etc. With iOS, the home screen seems less valuable now that the Siri Suggestions page exists because it only includes apps you use the most.

iOS 9 gives us a more productive iPhone

It’s clear that Siri Suggestions and the revamped search in iOS 9 are designed to help you find information more quickly. But there are other additions that contribute to this as well.

Siri can also search for photos based on time and location, which means you won’t have to scroll through hundreds of photos to find those pictures from your vacation two years ago. There’s a new app switcher that makes it easy to flip between your recently used apps quicker. If you have an iPad Air 2, you can view more than one app at a time without having to exit one app and switch to another. There’s a new power saving mode that Apple says can add up to three hours of extra battery life to your iPhone.

Those are just a few of the subtle yet useful features you’ll find sprinkled throughout iOS 9. If one thing is clear, it’s that Apple focused on making your iPhone and iPad more productive with its latest software update. With iOS 9, you’ll find yourself going to the home screen less often, charging your phone less often, jumping between apps less often, digging through the settings menu less often, and sifting through your massive photo library less often. That’s because Siri, search, and other small tweaks make it easier to find what you need faster.

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Gerbsman Partners is seeking to identify a business partner in an Incubator or Accelerator operation for the sale, licensing or joint venture of GreenEdge Technologies, Inc.’s proprietary Intellectual Property portfolio of Smart Home Automation Patents.


1. Green Edge Technologies, Inc. was formed in 2012 to develop a disruptive smart home system that is universally affordable, wirelessly controlled, cost effective, secure, and easy to install and use. The Company raised $2.7m of capital from the founders and 8 outside investors. Leveraging more than 100 years of experience from wireless technology powerhouses including Motorola & Nokia, the Company’s experienced team produced 19 Patents (5 Patents issued and 14 Patent pending), Trademarks and Copyrights.

2. The Company initially focused on lighting, switches, and electrical outlet control and monitoring. The “EDGEhome” system is applicable to many household and commercial building systems and use cases beyond electricity. The system was built based on powerful, smart, yet low cost sensors and controls which enable household and building systems to have powerful and expansive measurement and control capabilities. Using this technology, residential or commercial/hospitality/industrial customers can not only enjoy savings, but piece-of-mind through automated and customized convenience and security features. The technology and end product potentially provides for healthy gross margins, due to low product acquisition cost, installation and service costs, with a recurring revenue model, based on demand-response, with premium and add-on features, as well as the marketing of big data. The company initially chose to target new residential construction and electrical retrofit (such as solar installers) where standard electricians are already on-site, dramatically reducing installation cost.

3. The founders of Green Edge collectively have over 30 years of experience at Motorola, and were able to recruit and tap into a broad network of wireless and consumer products experts. The company’s wireless protocol, smart devices, gateway/hub, cloud service, and user interface were developed with the same consumer orientation, wireless technology expertise, and consumer products know-how that made Motorola the worldwide cell phone and smart phone powerhouse that it was during the 90’s and 2000’s.

4. With their passion and experience, the team:
· developed two generations of smart switches, outlets, and lighting controls;

· achieved commercial traction and revenue in their primary go-to-market targets of new residential construction and solar system installers;

· formed a partnership with a major HVAC manufacturer;

· received awards from SxSW, Sustainable Brands, and notable media outlets;

· received UL & FCC approvals, secured volume manufacturing at a notable tier-1 manufacturer in China;

· filed 19 innovative patent applications of which 5 have already issued or been approved for issue.
5. The company’s “EDGEhome” system consisted of iOS and Android applications with user experience designed by the notable Magic+Might design firm in Chicago, a cloud service, an on-premises gateway/hub, a secure and robust wireless protocol, a low-power low-cost standalone transceiver/sensor/control module, and integrated wirelessly-communicating stylish smart electrical outlets and switches, and smart lighting control devices. This system is easily installed and configured by electricians, is robust and secure, and provides revolutionary sensing capability including room temperature sensing in every outlet, switch, and transceiver.

6. After achieving revenue in 2014 with its first-generation larger form factor products, the company developed its second-generation integrated outlets and switches during 2014 and was ready to ramp its second generation smart switches by late 2014 with UL approval in process for its second generation smart switches. In 4Q/2014 and 1Q/2015 the company was unable to secure the capital it needed to scale and in March 2015 the company’s Board of Directors decided to cease operations and seek a partner for the company’s intellectual property assets.

Strong Smart Home / Intelligent Electrical Device Patent Portfolio

EDGE home intellectual property operated in a high technology, competitive, and very innovative space. As such, EDGEhome successfully created an intellectual property portfolio of high quality, defensible, and differentiating intellectual property in the form of patents and trademarks. In fact, the Company believes that its patent 8,957,551 covering electronic tamper resistance (shock prevention for electrical outlets) is already being infringed upon by at least one US company.

EDGEhome’s intellectual property expert Bill Alberth was the second most patented person in Motorola history, and has over 140 patents issued. Under Bill’s leadership, the Company has enjoyed strong success with its patents including having its first patent issue in the USA within 14 months and enjoying multiple patents issued or being allowed for issue in the USA, with several office actions on others. All patent families are active.

Companies in the smart building and home automation space will recognize the innovation and significance in EDGEhome’s issued and allowed patents:

1. Patent 8,639,391 – enables electrical outlets to detect what is plugged in and controls it appropriately. This allows the outlet to only dim if something dimmable-safe is plugged in, for example. Any firm contemplating development of a smart controllable electrical outlet could well see offensive and defensive value from this patent. In the commercial, industrial, and hospitality space, this patent and EDGEhome’s smart outlets unique satisfy California Title-24 energy efficiency regulations that went into effect in summer 2014. These same regulations will gain significance nationally in the USA.

2. Patent 8,957,551 – covers electronic tamper resistance. With tamper resistant electrical outlets being mandated in residences by the USA National Electric Code, and with child safety being a key consumer concern, this patent is likely to have significant offensive and defensive value in the future. Today, mechanical shutters serve to implement tamper resistance in electrical outlets, but they are large, they add cost, and they frustrate many users. With smart outlets becoming commonplace over the next few years, electronic tamper resistance is predicted to become quite popular.

3. Allowed Patent 13/766,123 – patents methods that enable easy configuration and initialization of a smart home or smart building system. With ease of installation and use posing significant friction to adoption, this patent provides potential for a competitive advantage in the space.

4. Allowed Patent 13/830,420 – patents the ability for a switch to have different functionality based on household or user set conditions. Convenience and ease of use for consumers are keys for unlocking the mass market in smart home/smart building and IoT, and this patent enables unique features in that regard for smart electrical switches.

5. Allowed design patent 14/302,141 – enables an off-the-shelf Android Nexus 7 tablet to be used as a high gross margin wall-mounted tablet, using a beautiful and sleek bezel design. Using the bezel specified in this patent, consumers can enjoy the convenience of a sleek wall-mounted smart home/smart building control panel at a competitive retail price, while the company can enjoy high gross margins.

Since inception of the company in September 2012, the company has filed a total of 19 patent applications (17 utility, 2 design). In addition to the issued and allowed patents above, the company’s other 14 pending patents are all active and cover significant growth areas in the smart home/smart building and IoT space:
1. Associating switches with devices or outlets (Convenience)

2. Changing how switches operate based on context (Convenience, Intelligence)

3. Tracking energy costs individually for each occupant in a building (Energy Costs, Meter-less Billing)

4. Detecting unsafe wiring or electrical load conditions, mitigating them, and informing the consumer (Peace-of-Mind)

5. Determination of what types of loads are safely dimmable (Convenience, Peace-of-Mind)

6. Ease of installation and configuration (Convenience)

7. Physical design of company’s smart switch (Compact, modular)

8. Augmented reality for smart building monitoring and control (Convenience, Energy Savings)

9. Enhanced thermostat capabilities (Rich Temperature Profile of a House or Building)

10. On-device indicators (lights, etc) to provide information to installers & consumers (Convenience, Peace-of-Mind, Energy Savings)

All of these patents are active with continuations open or in-process on issued and allowed patents.

The Product that GreenEdge developed – a smart home user interface for cloud, hub, and devices

For consumers, the EDGEhome system provided cost-effective peace-of-mind, convenience, and energy saving capabilities that are unmatched by any competitive offerings. This complete system is turnkey and is installed and configured by DIY consumers or by standard electricians. The easily installed and feature-rich system competes well with and exceeds the features of most competitive offerings.

Acquirers active in or pursuing Smart Home, Smart Building, Home Automation, or IoT will find great value in EDGEhome’s proprietary Intellectual Property portfolio forsmart home/smart building devices and services as:

1. Mass-market enablers
2. Economical buy-vs-make opportunity
3. Quick path to market for new entrants
4. Technology boost for companies adding smart home or IoT to their portfolio
5. Fast-track to enable tailwinds and additional revenue: e.g. California Title-24 energy savings regulations, demand-response capabilities, powerful thermostat capabilities
6. Complete smart electrical solution – almost immediately add smart switches, outlets, and lighting controls to an existing smart home/smart building portfolio

EDGEhome’s complete system consists of intellectual property in the form of devices, user interface, cloud service, transceiver module, protocol, and hub.

Smart electrical devices with world-class energy monitoring, dimming capability, sensors (including room temperature at each device), and wireless control. Energy monitoring, device management, electrical switch re-assignment, scene creation and activation, weather, indoor/outdoor temperature, data gathering, telemetry, and more.

Cloud Service – Economical and reliable
· Securely bridges remote devices to the home’s automation network, if they have the right security credentials

· Collects usage data and telemetry

· Tracks deployed software versions on user’s devices

· Expandable

Wireless Transceiver Module – Small, inexpensive and low-power

· Integrate program memory and non-volatile data memory
· Sensor and control capability – runs from power supply or battery
· Encryption and full automation protocol to securely and easily join anything to the EDGEhome network
· Measures room temperature
· FCC approved – embeds into other devices

Secure Wireless Protocol for smart building/smart home applications – Reliable & designed by ex-Motorola experts
· 128 bit XTEA-CCM encryption
· Rich protocol with broadcast and directed messages with ACK/NAK and configurable retries
· Over-the-air software upgrades and non-volatile memory setting
· Any device can become a repeater/zone hub

Gateway hub – powerful, inexpensive, expandable
· Bridges IP/internet to EDGEhome automation network
· Manages initialization, operation, and health management of wireless automation network
· Uses inexpensive, readily available single-board Linux computer
· Securely allows authorized remote devices to access the network
· Updates software on any/all automation devices in the network
· Enables inter-operation with other protocols and platforms e.g. Z-Wave, Zigbee, Thread, HomeKit

Green Edge Technologies –Founders and Management Team

Scott Steele –Founder

Scott is a seasoned international product development leader and wireless technology expert. With over 23 years of experience, Scott has a track record of innovation, recruiting world-class teams, delighting customers, and delivering game-changing products.

As an entrepreneur, Scott founded EDGEhome (Green Edge Technologies, Inc), a smart home/Internet-of-Things (IoT) company and grew it from a powerful idea to an award-winning revenue-generating smart home system, grew the EDGEhome brand, developed business in multiple verticals, inked partnerships with electric utilities and Fortune-1000 companies, and ramped the product for volume manufacturing at the Tier-1 contract manufacturer in China. He took the elements that made smartphones a “must-have” item and applied them to the emerging smart home industry, giving consumers a turnkey system that is affordable, easy, and valuable to consumers.

Prior to EDGEhome, Scott was Senior Vice President leading engineering, product management, information technology and quality issurance for Edgewave, a notable internet security products company. At Edgewave, Scott rationalized the product portfolio, drove significant quality improvements, shortened product development cycles, and created an innovation team to develop a new cloud-based SaaS product line.

Scott’s 20 year career at Motorola began as a software engineer and ended as a Corporate Vice President leading Motorola’s $7b global smartphone and tablet portfolio. During his career Scott spent 4 years living in China & Korea and led over 1000 engineers developing dozens of smart phones, tablets, software features for customers worldwide, filed multiple wireless technology patent applications and had 4 patents issued, created industry-leading products including the first Android phone shipping China, Motorola’s first Wifi enabled phone, the RAZR family of products for Sprint, and Motorola’s first CDMA push-to-talk phone.

Scott holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA in marketing from the University of Illinois @ Urbana/Champaign. He and his family live in Poway, California.

Seang Chau –Founding Board Member

Seang is an experienced product development executive specializing in embedded, user facing, and cloud applications and services. He has been developing software for 22 years, starting in industrial data acquisition products before moving to the defense and telecommunications industry. Seang joined Green Edge Technologies, Inc. as a founding board member primarily focused on software solutions, including the primary tablet interface, mobile clients, and cloud service.

Seang is currently SVP, Software at Motorola Mobility where he leads development of software applications, experiences, and services. Prior to joining Motorola, he was GM, Mobile Development and Devices at Microsoft where he oversaw development of Lync and Skype applications for 200 million users across smartphones, tablets, Macs, consumer electronics, and wearables. Prior to joining Microsoft, Seang was Corporate Vice President and Chief Software Engineer at Motorola Mobility, where he led software development on numerous products, including the first 3G RAZR in North America, the first fully virtualized single processor Linux phone, and Motorola’s first Android phone. During this time, he also drove the advancement of Motorola’s open source and Linux efforts, evolving the UX, software development, test, build, and release process for modern smartphone platforms. He also drove the concept and development of Motorola’s context aware engine and Webtop application, further reinforcing his reputation as one of their top software leaders and visionaries. Earlier in his career, Seang developed avionics software for the F-22 Raptor and Cubic Defense System’s MILES tactical training system.

Seang has a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of California, San Diego and PLDA from Harvard Business School in Boston, MA. Seang lives with his family in Los Altos, CA.

Bill Alberth – Advisory Board

With more than 155 patents issued or pending, Bill is a leading innovator in the wireless communications field. He has over 25 years of experience in digital communications, RF systems engineering, digital signal processing and new technology introductions. Prior to EDGEhome, Bill was Mobile Devices Chief Technology Officer at Motorola where he is a member of Motorola’s Science Advisory Board.

Potential interested parties should contact the parties below for additional information regarding the sale, licensing or joint venture of the GreenEdge proprietary Intellectual Property portfolio of Smart Home Automation Patents.

Steven R. Gerbsman
Gerbsman Partners
(415) 456- 0628

Kenneth Hardesty
Gerbsman Partners
(408) 591-7528

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Apple is about to hold the biggest event it’s had in years — here’s what to expect

tim cookMarcio Jose Sanchez/APApple CEO Tim Cook introduces Apple Watch , which he is wearing on his wrist, on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

On Sept. 9, Apple is holding an event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, where it will presumably unveil its new flagship iPhone as it has done in years past.

It’s an announcement we’ve been expecting for months; Apple has held press events to introduce its newest smartphone to the world every September since 2012.

But what makes this event different is that analysts and industry watchers are expecting the company to talk about more than just its new iPhones and the updated software that’s launching for it soon.

Next week, there’s a chance we’ll hear about a handful of new devices that give us an idea of what Apple’s product road map will look like for the rest of the year.

Some of these will likely be incremental updates to Apple’s existing products, while others will represent new categories for the company. Apple teased its event with an invitation that reads, “Hey Siri, give us a hint,” hinting that its virtual voice-activated assistant will play a big role in what we’re going to see on stage.

Based on media reports and predictions from analysts, here’s a look at what to expect.

The new iPhone

iPhone6Sand6Unbox TherapyA reportedly leaked photo of the new iPhone 6s’ shell alongside the current iPhone (not affiliated with Apple).

Apple’s new iPhone will undoubtedly be the headlining announcement at this event. The company is said to be announcing two new iPhones on Wednesday, which may be called the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. The 6S will likely have a 4.7-inch screen while the 6S Plus will probably be larger at 5.5 inches like the iPhone 6 Plus.

A pressure sensitive screen

The biggest improvement will be the addition of Force Touch to the iPhone’s screen. This is Apple’s pressure sensitivity technology that the company debuted in the Apple Watch and its new MacBooks. It’s probably going to work differently in the iPhone, as 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman recently reported.

Force Touch on the iPhone will be more about shortcuts since its screen is much larger than that of the Apple Watch. Some analysts have expressed skepticism on whether or not Force Touch will be enough of a draw to motivate consumers to upgrade.

A new camera

The other big addition that’s supposedly coming to the new iPhone is a much better camera. The main camera is expected to come with a 12-megapixel sensor and a five element lens, which we reported last month. A 12-megapixel camera would be a big jump from the current iPhone’s 8-megapixel camera.

It essentially means the next iPhone will come with a sensor that’s capable of taking in more light, which means image quality will get better. Reports have also said the new iPhone will be capable of shooting 4K video.The front-facing camera is getting some improvements too. It’ll have a 5-megapixel sensor rather than a 1.2-megapixel sensor, according to the usually accurate KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and it’ll likely have a flash.

Other stuff

Other general additions we may see in the new iPhone include a faster processor and a new rose gold color option. Apple is also said to be using the same aluminum it uses for the Apple Watch Sport for the casing of its next iPhone, which will make it more durable.

Apple will also probably talk about when its next major software update for the iPhone will be released. Apple unveiled iOS 9 in June, but it usually waits until it reveals the new iPhone to say exactly when the update will launch.

A refreshed Apple TV

AppleTVJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

Apple hasn’t updated the Apple TV in years, but it sounds like the company is going to announce a new model next week. The most important changes will reportedly include a new design, faster components, a revamped remote control that includes a touch pad as well as physical buttons, heavy Siri integration, its own App Store, and support for gaming.

The software is said to look a lot like iOS 9, which means navigating the Apple TV will feel a bit more like using your iPhone. Gurman notes that Siri will be the primary way you interact with the Apple TV. There will reportedly be a button on the new Apple TV remote that launches a microphone for voice commands.

There’s also some speculation that the new Apple TV will have a passive listening feature similar to the Amazon Echo, as Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster points out. This means you might be able to activate Siri to execute a command by simply saying “Hey Siri” rather than pressing a button.

Based on reports, it sounds like Apple is going to position its new set-top box as a multimedia entertainment center for your living room rather than as just a streaming device. For instance, one report from Gurman says Apple is going to make sure the box is compatible with Bluetooth gaming controllers. This hints that you’ll be able to download games directly from an app store onto the streaming set-top box.

The Apple TV’s new capabilities will come at a price. The new device is reportedly going to cost $149, compared to the current model’s $69 price.

Siri will be a focus point

wwdc ios 9 siri suggestionsScreenshot

As the event’s invitation suggests, we’re probably going to be hearing a lot about Siri at Apple’s event. Siri is expected to be a big part of the Apple TV. Munster, for instance, thinks that you may be able to use it to control any device you have in your home that are running on Apple’s HomeKit framework.

Beyond the new Apple TV, Apple has made it clear that Siri is a big part of the iPhone’s future as well. One of the most notable additions to come with iOS 9, for instance, is Apple’s new version of Siri, which can offer up suggestions about who you want to contact, places nearby that you might want to visit, and more.

We’re bound to hear more about how Siri ties into Apple’s products in new ways at the event.

Apple’s super-sized iPad and a new iPad mini

iPadPro12Martin HajekA concept of what the new iPad Pro could look like (not affiliated with Apple)

Here’s one way Apple’s September event may be different than those in years past: the company may introduce new iPads. Usually, Apple holds a second event in October to take the wraps off its new tablets, but Gurman reports that it’s going to happen in September this year.

Specifically, Apple will reportedly unveil its much-rumored iPad Pro and a new version of the iPad mini. The iPad Pro is expected to be Apple’s biggest iPad yet — reports have suggested that it will come with a 12.9-inch screen with Force Touch compared to the current iPad’s 9.7-inch screen. Apple seems to be tackling the enterprise and productivity-focused crowd, as Gurman reports that Apple is making its own stylus and keyboard for it too.

Although Steve Jobs famously hated the idea of using a stylus with a tablet, Apple has tested multiple prototypes for a stylus designed to work with the iPad, as we reported last month. Apple has also been testing its larger iPad since as far back as 2012, we also reported in July.

If Apple does unveil a larger iPad, we can probably expect to see some of Apple’s enterprise partners on stage to showcase how its apps will work on the larger tablet.

The new iPad mini, comparatively, is expected to have a thinner design than the current model and updated internal components.

Some Apple Watch updates

Apple WatchBusiness Insider / Matt Johnston

We probably won’t see a new Apple Watch model just yet, but Gurman reports that we’ll see new watch bands for the current watch. These will probably include sports bands in new colors, and possibly a new gold casing for the Sport model.

Apple will also likely talk more about its new Apple Watch software: watchOS 2. It brings significant improvements to the watch, including the ability to run apps natively on the device itself. Apple has previously said that the update will launch in the fall, but hasn’t said exactly when. We’re expecting to hear an official launch date at the event.

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