The Berkeley Varitronics Systems Story
Wireless and Security Innovation is in our family Berkeley Varitronics Systems, Inc. (BVS) is a privately owned family business and known as an engineering think tank delivering custom wireless RF engineering products and solutions since 1972. BVS clients range from NASA to many Fortune 500 companies all the way down to small entrepreneurs looking for rapid development and prototyping of an idea. Our word of mouth and repeat business is fueled by our reputation of treating the customers the way we would like to be treated ourselves and delivering every engineering specification as promised.
Explosion of ideas Back in 1972 in Berkeley Heights, NJ, BVS founder and CTO, Gary Schober, began to assemble a team of expert RF hardware and software engineers. This team has led BVS to many innovations including the first wireless link used to monitor artificial hearts, remote monitoring systems for Pepsi vending machines and even the design (over 30 unique instruments) and delivery (over 6,000 units) of cellular test devices used in the U.S. cellular network buildout in the late 80s.
Since 1990, BVS has been designing, manufacturing and shipping our own branded products all from our headquarters in Metuchen, NJ. Over the years, the entire catalog has grown to some 200 unique products consisting of wireless test, security, safety and cybersecurity solutions including stimulus transmitters, cell phone detection solutions and cybersecurity training and education. This vast array of products and categories allows BVS to serve government, corporate, military, law enforcement, correctional, telecom and transportation industries by leveraging decades of wireless and manufacturing expertise into every project and product we ship.
World class achievements
In the 90s, the cellular industry was poised to transition their networks from analog to digital. This massive shift required test transmitters and receivers to build out new wireless networks and BVS responded with the Gator™ stimulus transmitter. Gator™ became the top-selling transmitter in the world due to its ruggedness, lightweight and reliability and established BVS as a world class innovator of wireless test products.
In 1999, BVS began development on Grasshopper™ Wi-Fi Receiver as soon as the Wi-Fi Alliance finalized the 802.11b standard. The resulting product was embraced by Wi-Fi engineers and spurred on further by the rapid build out of Wi-Fi networks around the world. Grasshopper™ quickly led to a follow-up hit, Yellowjacket™, the world’s most advanced Wi-Fi analysis receiver still recognized and used by many engineers nearly 20 years after it’s initial release.
As smartphones became ubiquitous, the need to detect and locate them grew. This led BVS to develop PocketHound™, the industry’s most sensitive covert phone detector. To date, BVS has sold thousands of PocketHounds to law enforcement, universities and correctional facilities around the world and has established themselves as a leader in wireless security.
In 2010, BVS developed a cellular detection system for mass transit in order to detect and curb smartphone use by distracted operators. To date, TransitHound™ has been deployed in over 10,000 locomotives by some of the railway industry’s largest companies. TransitHound has already detected and alerted authorities to many distracted railway and heavy machinery operators potentially saving lives and further solidifying the reputation of BVS as a wireless safety innovator.
In response to massive data breaches and cyber attacks against small businesses and consumers, BVS CEO and President, Scott Schober, embarked on a campaign to educate and arm customers with cybersecurity solutions. In 2016, Scott wrote Hacked Again and followed that book up with Cybersecurity is Everybody’s Business in 2019. Both books have been strongly embraced by the cybersecurity community and have even become part of the academic security curriculum in universities. In addition, BVS has recently unveiled Skim Scan™ and BlueSleuth™ products in order to combat the widespread problems of card skimming and resulting identity theft.
Innovation from our customers’ needs
Some of BVS’ best customized design solutions come straight from our customers’ mouths. Since sales and engineering teams both deal directly with customers daily, we are able to keep our ear to the ground to listen for the latest tech trends and customer requirements. In 2010, we developed a wireless receiver specifically tuned to the RF signature of common cellular phones for customers in law enforcement. Our RF engineers managed to create a sophisticated yet low cost receiver that fulfilled our customers’ immediate needs and also spawned a complete line of cell phone detection products now used worldwide by educational, correctional and law enforcement professionals.
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