30 years ago today, Phase IV Engineering opened its doors. Curling had just debuted as a demonstration event at the Winter Olympics.

The Wayne’s World movie topped the box office.

And Billy Ray Cyrus was about to release “Achy Breaky Heart” and a line dance craze.

Also in 1992, you could run over to your local Blockbuster to rent the special 40th anniversary release of Singin’ in the Rain (on VHS!). This classic musical, set during the transition from silent films to talkies, of course features Gene Kelly “singin’ and dancin’ in the rain,” as his character Don Lockwood falls in love with starlet Kathy Selden. Equally memorable, however, is the diva Lina Lamont (played by Jean Hagen) and her not-ready-for-talkies screechy voice. This leads to the funny, climactic scene where the curtain is pulled back to reveal that Kathy (played by Debbie Reynolds) is the actual singing voice behind Lina. (Fun fact: Debbie Reynolds didn’t do her own singing in the movie – it was dubbed by Betty Noyes.)

What does this classic Hollywood moment have to do with Phase IV Engineering? We were founded as a contract engineering firm, acting as a kind of “Skunk Works,” doing advanced sensor research & development work for Fortune 500 companies – a version of singing behind the scenes for the big movie stars. We’ve had many breakthroughs over the years, including designing the first battery-free RFID temperature & pressure sensor, a version of which is now used in Boeing 777 and 787 jets. However, we’ve mostly been working behind the scenes, which is why many of our new clients may be surprised we’ve been around as long as we have.

Now, with the launch last year of the Leap Sensors® system, along with our new partnership with WIKA, Phase IV is ready to step into the spotlight as a leader in Industrial Internet of Things technology. Leap is our own system, designed from the ground up to meet the unique wireless sensing needs of commercial & industrial users.

Thirty years in business is significant milestone, and we couldn’t have done it without our team that often does the seemingly impossible, nor without our customers who have trusted us with their toughest sensing projects. Through it all, Phase IV’s creative vision has pushed the boundaries of what sensor technology can do.

Silent films to talkies. Blockbuster to Netflix. Billy Ray Cyrus to Miley Cyrus. The world around us is always moving ahead. At Phase IV, we are committed to continue at the leading edge of wireless sensing for the next thirty years – and beyond.