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IoT Perspectives Internet of Things Blog: July-August 2015

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Maxine Bingham

IBM's Smarter Planet Going IoT
3 August 2015 - by Maxine Bingham, Editor-in-Chief


When a technology leader like IBM announces that it will invest $3 billion over the next four years to establish a new Internet of Things (IoT) unit, and that it is building a cloud-based open platform designed to help clients and ecosystem partners build IoT solutions, the industry sits up and takes notice.

The importance of a cloud platform is that it enables developers to scale up as IoT devices proliferate and manage the massive amounts of data that IoT devices and applications generate. With the IoT predicted by IoT Perspectives to approach 50B devices by 2020, the need for massive scalability becomes critical. And, it’s happening now!

The IoT is a broad term encompassing devices connected to the Internet and with built-in intelligence. The power of the IoT is the ability to garner data and return that data quickly for consumers, enterprises or machines. For example, on the consumer side, there is the Fitbit, the Apple Watch, the Nest thermostat, smart energy monitoring and control, and smart cities with lighting, parking and traffic controls.

The value of the IoT is the ability to return functionality back to a user, enterprise or machine so that actions can be taken as automatically as possible. Even virtual reality IoT is starting to penetrate industrial operations so that maintenance can be accomplished more efficiently from afar.

IBM has announced a number of recent IoT initiatives for developers, such as:

The measureable business benefits of the IoT are why B2B and B2C companies, cities, utilities, automotive manufacturers and insurers, oil and gas producers, retail and service providers, etc., are pouring resources into new products and concurrent IoT services. In addition, the barrier to entry is very low, thanks to low cost sensors, powerful and low cost semiconductors, open source software, and almost free design kits, and access to capital, which have opened the flood gates for new ventures.

According to Tata Consultancy Services in its Global Trend Study 2015, "Internet of Things: The Complete Reimaginative Force," “Companies with IoT programs in place reported an average revenue increase of 16% in 2014, in the areas of business where IoT initiatives were deployed. In addition, about 9% of firms had an average revenue increase of more than 60%. The biggest product and process improvements reported by companies were more customized offerings and tailored marketing campaigns, faster product improvements, and more effective customer service (in part, by being able to identify product problems before customers knew about them).”

IBM is known for its strong technology and marketing. The company’s commitment to the IoT is a smart move for a company who touts solutions for a Smarter Planet.

 

© 2015 IoT Perspectives


Maxine Bingham

It May Be Summer, But IoT Investment Isn’t Taking a Vacation
17 July 2015 - by Maxine Bingham, Editor-in-Chief

 

Enterprises, such as Cisco and Intel, are heating up the summer with investments in Internet of Things companies worldwide.

Intel, Cisco and Deutsche Telekom announced on 14 July the twelve startups selected to join the next phase of the Challenge Up! Program, a joint startup initiative organized by the three companies. The twelve teams will participate in a 4-month incubation program designed for young innovative companies building Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

The winning teams were selected after five days of intensive mentoring sessions, workshops and pitching during the Challenge Up! Acceleration Week at hub:raum Krakow, from 5 July-10 July. Out of more than 300 applicants, twenty startups from 13 countries were invited to meet over 100 international mentors, experts and entrepreneurs. The sessions were designed to help early-stage companies scale their business ideas for faster market entry.

Challenge Up! is designed to help IoT startups enter the market faster by combining access to corporate resources and joint projects with mentoring and high-value networking. The program unites resources and experience from the startup initiatives of the individual companies, including Cisco, Intel Business Challenge Europe and hub:raum powered by Deutsche Telekom.

The incubation program will take place in Krakow, Berlin and London from July to November 2015. Startups that successfully complete the program will be eligible for potential co-investment from Intel, Cisco and Deutsche Telekom, as well as other leading corporate venture funds. More details will be announced in December during Challenge Up! Summit, part of the unBoundDigital tech conference to be held in London, between 30 November 30 and 1 December  2015.

The startups invited to join the Challenge Up! Incubation program are:

- Admetsys (Denmark) www.admetsys.com Smart Pancreas, a solution that measures and helps maintain blood sugar levels of diabetic patients.

- ComfyLight (Switzerland) www.comfylight.com Smart LED light bulb, enhanced with a presence sensor and connectivity which helps protect homes.

- Devicehub.net (Romania) www.devicehub.net Offers a Platform as a Service (PaaS) through which users can connect easily and remotely manage multiple devices and create services on top of them.

- Hi-Park (Israel) www.hi-park.co Uses crowd-sourced data and images to provide information on parking vacancy.

- Ifinity (Poland) www.getifinity.com  Provides beacons based tailor-made technology to cities, public spaces and commercial clients around the world.

- n-Join (Israel) www.n-join.com Leverages the rapid advancements in the Internet of Things to make production facilities more flexible, maximize their output and reduce their environmental signature.

- OORT (Poland) www.oort.in Unique patent-pending technology that enables an open ecosystem consisting of smart devices, sensors, mobile software & cloud platform.

- ProGlove (Germany) www.proglove.de Smart glove that enables its users to scan hands free and provides them with an instant feedback.

- Senic (Germany) www.senic.com Universal dial for the Internet of Things, able to control smart lights, locks, thermostats or speakers with simple gestures rather than browsing through apps on a smartphone.

- SEMSEYE (Lithuania) www.semseye.com Unique solution for monitoring people flows, built on the most advanced algorithms for intelligent video processing, and can be used among others in retail areas.

- Taggalo (Italy) www.taggalo.co.uk iTunes for real world analytics. Open platform integrating video analytics, WiFi tracking and Beacon, all in a single, plug & play sensor. – Waylay (Belgium) www.waylay.io A real-time automation platform that integrates Internet-of-Things (IoT) with enterprise IT systems and online services.

Cisco also announced this summer that it will invest $150M for UK IoT ventures, as well as committing $1B to IoT in the UK.  Hardware incubator HAX has announced a slew of new investments in ventures with developed IoT products. They also provide a residential program for its startups in China. HAX are soon to announce their 7th group of 15 startups that they mentor and in which they invest.

Intel and Altera announced on 1 June that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Intel would acquire Altera for $54 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $16.7 billion.

The acquisition will couple Intel’s leading-edge products and manufacturing process with Altera’s leading field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology. The combination is expected to enable new classes of products that meet customer needs in the data center and Internet of Things (IoT) market segments. [Emphasis added]

Thus, we’re looking at hundreds of millions, and even billions of dollars, from just these deals, not to mention the millions of dollars in on-going investments in IoT startups and projects (from Smart Cities to Smart Cars) from venture funds, enterprises and angels.

While it may be summer and a time to lie on a beach somewhere, for the IoT market, there’s no vacation in sight.

© 2015 IoT Perspectives