Thinking June 23, 2017

3 Questions
Alessandro Levi, Semplus

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Where are the touch interfaces going, Alessandro Levi, the founder and CEO of ​Semplus?

We called up Alessandro Levi, the founder, and CEO of ​Semplus, for three quick (but big) questions about his work and his industry. Levi founded Semplus, which develops next-generation touch interfaces. Their multi-touch pressure sensors are designed to address and solve the needs of 3D-enhanced user experience across today’s touch interfaces in automotive, mobile, gaming, virtual reality, and desktop.

What is your vision of the future of your field?

Devices will be very different from what they are today, and a lot smaller. I imagine implants in our bodies and the ability to perform a call with just a simple move or two, for example. For certain types of communication, we will still rely on displays and touch screens. As humans, we will continue on with our five senses. We like to touch, so that will always stay.

Every device will have touch and force capacity, it will be a totally mainstream functionality. Current technology is very limiting, and in the future, we will eventually move away from the current dominating technologies.

How is it to run a start-up in Silicon Valley?

It is a unique place. There are a lot of companies, start-ups, a lot going on everywhere. You live and breathe tech and startups 24/7. I love it and enjoy it. You can see things happening very fast. Interactions are easy, everyone gets coffee with everyone, you’re always sharing what you’re doing and what’s happening. With so many start-ups, the competition is high, even if the investor community is more active. The big difference is that the number of companies is unbelievable. Within 15 miles, there is everything that I can possibly need. I can meet all my suppliers in one day. Had I started a company like this in Italy, it would have been much harder.

What excites you the most about what you do?

I am ambitious, and what pushes me is the desire to build something unique—to deliver a new product, to create something from scratch that did not exist before. This means taking something from idea all the way to a real thing. It’s not always easy though. In creating something important and big, there are endless little things that I don’t necessarily have fun doing, but they are important, so that keeps me on track.

My interactions with my customers, partners, and suppliers are open and positive, and I enjoy it when I get to share their vision. I learn a lot.

Read more about what we do in Silicon Valley.

In this series, we ask three quick (but big) questions to our partners, clients, and thinkers in the fields of design, tech, and innovation.