By: North Forge
Posted: 6:00 PM CST Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Imagine that you are out collecting data in the far north and becoming separated from your team when the weather takes a turn for the worst. You need to send an emergency message but, there is no cell service and, on top of that, your mobile device’s battery just died. Your company is concerned because you have not returned yet; they need to send out an emergency crew to bring you back to home base but cannot find you because there is no location device on the employee’s snowmobile. Your survival skills help you weather the winter storm, and you find your way back the next day. Situations like this can become a thing of the past with the right innovative technology.

Making better decisions with better data allowing you to travel remotely with confidence have been vital to solving the frustrations of non-existent cell service, tracking, and battery life for Solara Remote Data’s President, Tom Tessier. His success with Solara comes from a patented communication method that provides your location, texting, and cell phone battery charging capabilities anywhere in the world.

The spark of Tom’s idea arrived when working at Spaceport Canada. While preparing the rocket range for orbital launches in Churchill, he worked closely with Inuit organizations to obtain permission to drop and retrieve rocket stages (the components of the rockets that are jettisoned after launch to reduce weight) from Inuit land. By getting permission, they wanted to ensure respect and acknowledgement was given to the Inuit and their land, that no one would be in the area when a stage dropped, and create local jobs. What he found was that during the stage retrieval process, or when the Inuit would be out hunting on the land, there was no way for them to communicate or track their location in case of emergency. Tom’s Inuit colleagues asked him “to come up with something that works.”

With this request, Tom saw the opportunity to create innovative products; a device for a cell phone app to completely control all the functions to text anywhere over a Bluetooth connection to an external satellite radio and a personal GPS tracker. This thought process led to his latest invention, the Flare, which turns your cell phone into a satellite phone for texting through several iterations. It uses the global Iridium Satellite system, which works anywhere on earth. This quarter-pound handheld one-button device can also charge your phone at high power and simultaneously send messages through satellite because of its patented innovative engineering capabilities.

With the guidance from North Forge and continued membership with the Fabrication Lab (FabLab™), Tom created his startup, which ensures you get the right wireless data communication services and hardware in a simple-to-use interface to fit your needs. Being able to iterate prototypes at a low cost in the FabLab quickly helped Tom bring his innovative inventions to market better, faster, and cheaper.

The pandemic gave Tom the push to investigate new verticals which he found in a new alliance with a US company near Washington, DC, international links including UNESCO, and organizations in Africa. His comprehensive solutions include “Internet of Things” (IoT) remote sensor data gathering and utilizing AI to analyze data to predict behaviour and spot trends for future opportunities.

North Forge immensely aided Tom through this time as well with access to mentorship and networking. Being able to discuss his business needs with mentors who have expert local, regional, and international experience has helped him make better business and financial decisions. Networking with like-minded tech entrepreneurs allows him to learn from others through shared experiences. The guidance he received on saving time, hiring the right people, and finding low-cost alternatives to current processes have catapulted Solara’s growth potential.

To learn more about how Winnipeg based Solara Remote Data can tailor wireless communication technology that fit your business needs, visit

Original Article

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