Their partnership at the startup that builds smart parking systems ended last year. These days the two are still married, but their work collaboration is more at arm's length.
Fernandes is now at Keen IO, a startup that provides an analytics service for companies in IoT such as a smart jukebox maker and the company behind the Pebble watch. Reich is in the early phase of creating his own startup, a stealth-mode operation called SensingElements.
"We are likely to work together again because I am planning to use the system from her new company in my stuff as well," says Reich. "We talk a lot about what we are doing...
"I saw at Streetline that developing analytics was a lot of work, and it would have been better not to have had to do it. Seven years ago, it wasn't about getting an SoC here and a back-end service there -- we had to build almost everything from scratch, and it was a lot of work for a small team.
"The ability to scale your systems is a big deal, so I will outsource as much as I can. I don't want to do my own sign-on and credit card systems -- now it's easier because it's all broken into pieces."
Although both attended MIT, they did not meet until an alumni event in the Bay Area. In the early days of their relationship, Reich was a researcher at Xerox PARC where he spent a decade on various projects. Mark Weiser, one of the early pioneers of IoT, was doing his work on ubiquitous computing at the same time Reich worked there.
Another IoT pioneer, Kris Pister of Berkeley, told Reich about Streetline starting up and Reich was intrigued. He was hired as employee No. 8.
One of Reich's favorite projects from his Xerox days was working on sensor networks and considering uses of them such as an intelligent parking system. "We are both city people living in downtown San Francisco where we would see people circulating around the block all the time" seeking a parking spot, he says.
"A lot of people Streetline's people came from Dust Networks [Pister's seminal startup], so I thought it had huge potential. Caroline thought I was slightly crazy to leave PARC because it was such a great place, but a few months later she was convinced and joined, too."
"Jim went from PARC to parking, and I am a Silicon Valley person always chasing new technologies," says Fernandes.
Indeed, the two used Fitbit, the wristband pedometer, to help them get in shape for a bucket-list hike up the Half Dome peak in Yosemite, shedding big pounds in the process.
"Connected devices have had an impact on us personally and professionally," says Fernandes. Wearing Fitbit, "you strive for 10,000 steps a day, and it's good to have a constant awareness, a graph that shows how sedentary you are and how little you leave your desk."
Reich says he appreciates the so-called quantified self, too. "I found when I am sedentary, I am insanely sedentary."
— Rick Merritt, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, EE Times