Mon, Jul 18, 2016 - Page 16 News List

Former Acer executive takes charge of start-up

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Former Acer Inc (宏碁) Taiwan operations president Towny Huang (黃鐘鋒) has set his sights on a new business of optical fiber sensors after retiring from the PC company last month.

After about 30 years of service at Acer, 60-year-old Huang is leading a local Internet of Things start-up, Citpo Technologies Co Ltd (奇博科技), to explore a new field of technology.

“I think it was time for me to leave Acer after all these years... This start-up is on the verge of taking off and my experience in marketing and operations might help the company to thrive,” Huang said on Friday last week.

Five-person Citpo was founded by Ho Yen-te (何彥德), who holds a doctorate in civil engineering from National Chiao Tung University, in 2013 with paid-in capital of NT$3 million (US$93,779).

The company’s optical fiber sensors have been used to detect and alert users of any abnormal changes in the environment, lowering the chances of, or even preventing, man-made disasters, said Huang, who joined the start-up as chairman on July 1.

Huang said the rationale behind his taking the post was that he wanted to help the start-up expand its reach in the domestic market through his years of PC business experience and personal connections.

In addition, he said the demand for cutting-edge technologies in optical fiber sensors would grow in tandem with the rising Internet of Things industry and the governments’ increasing awareness of disaster prevention.

Unlike traditional electronic sensors, optical fiber sensors are not affected by electromagnetic waves, water or lightning strikes, because they do not have electrical components, Huang said.

Given their characteristics, optical fiber sensors could be installed in tunnels, reservoirs, bridges and the slopes of high-speed railways to perform safety monitoring and transfer real-time data to users, he said.

The company’s optical fiber sensors are installed in Singapore’s Jurong Island, an artificial island housing a petrochemical industrial park, Huang said.

In addition, the China Academy of Railway Sciences has also used the company’s sensors in several projects for its high-speed rail system, he said.

In Taiwan, Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (台北捷運公司) is the only company using the sensors at a section of tunnel near the MRT’s Daan Park Station, Huang said.

Huang said he plans to help the company become a sensor monitoring system provider for Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (台灣高鐵) and oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油), not only for the company’s business expansion, but also to improve the safety of those facilities.

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