Amazon Dash – this genuinely deserves the ‘Internet of Things’ tag

The Internet of Things hype continues unabated, with companies allegedly hiring Chief IoT officers, though a quick search on the Indeed website failed to throw up any ads. However, today I came across a news item that genuinely deserves a bit of hype. While all sorts of technologies and products get pitched as an IoT play, Amazon’s Dash service is a genuine internet of things application. In a nutshell this service allows companies to use Amazon as a fulfilment service … Read more…

Please welcome the Wireless IoT Forum

It is a new week (well, nearly) so it must be time for a new Internet of Things consortium or standards initiative. Please welcome the Wireless IOT Forum which is being established with William Webb, President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) as its head. Wireless IoT Forum launches to drive Internet of Things development This blog has already addressed the multitude of standards in the Internet of Things space. In fairness this new grouping aims to bring … Read more…

IBM – $3billion in IoT and Weather Company tie-up

While there is nothing particularly exceptional about an Internet of Things – related announcement, this one is pretty big, at least in dollar terms. IBM has announced this morning that it will create a new Internet of Things business, consolidating its existing activities in its Smarter Planet and Smarter Cities initiatives. The numbers are quite striking – $4 billion to be invested over three years, and 2000 consultants, developers and researchers assigned to it. The key capabilities IBM will bring … Read more…

ARM, IBM and Freescale in new IoT partnership

In the quest to get mindshare of the maker movement, ARM and IBM yesterday announced an Internet of Things starter kit based on an ARM Cortex M4 powered board, connected to the IBM BlueMix cloud service. ARM’s aim, similar to a previous initiative by Intel covered on this site is to help migrate the IoT enthusiasts who may be the founders of the next big thing away from Arduino towards ARM-based development platforms that can then be easily productised. Intel’s Edison-based development … Read more…

IoT Network Sigfox secures $115 additional funding

Sigfox, the low-power wide area network being deployed by Arqiva in the UK secured a new round of funding to drive its international expansion. As discussed in a previous post, Sigfox allows devices to remain in contact with a network for several years using normal AA-style batteries, and represents a much lower cost alternative to cellular networks for applications such as metering. This makes it quite interesting that NTT Docomo, Telefonica and SK Telecom are amongst its investors, clearing seeking to … Read more…

The Internet of Things – A conceptual model

Earlier this week, we saw how TechCrunch attempted to model the Internet of Things ecosystem. In this post I propose an alternative model, albeit one quite similar in structure . I will not attempt to reproduce in comparable detail the vast number of companies and organisations involved, but will simply provide a representation on how the overall model can be represented. In common with many other models, I too split the connected things ecosystem into industry verticals and horizontal enablers. … Read more…

Mapping the IOT Ecosystem – 612 companies at a time

One of the most ambitious attempts to pull together the key players in the IoT space can be found in TechCrunch, courtesy of Matt Turck of FirstMark Capital. Originally compiled in 2013, their ecosystem is divided into verticals, enablers and building blocks. Like any attempt to make sense of such a complex web of players, it is imperfect – see ARM, Amazon and Sony grouped rather randomly into a ‘Corporates’ bucket. What is startling is that this version has increased … Read more…

CES 2015 – Internet of Things goes Mainstream

Reviewing the various round-ups on what was big at CES, most agree that the Internet of Things was pretty high up the agenda of the companies attending, and was the underlying theme for the event. Not that this is a reliable predictor – don’t forget that 2012 was the year that supposed saw 3D TV come of age. The Absentees It is perhaps worth starting with a reminder of the notable absentees, Apple, Google and Microsoft, the three industry’s largest platform and … Read more…

FTC warns of privacy risks of ubiquitous connectivity

The need for means for managing user privacy as more and more devices become connected is a topic that has been raised a number of times on this blog. This week, at CES, someone slightly more influential, the chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, Edith Ramirez raised these very concerns. While highlighting all the wonderful benefits the Internet of Things can bring, she highlighted the risks of ubiquitous data collection, the impact of unintended uses of data and the increased security risks will … Read more…

New wireless networks for M2M and IoT

Earlier this year, Arqiva, a UK company that owns most of the broadcast masts in the UK announced that it was building a nationwide wireless communications network for the Internet of Things. As we are accustomed to hearing mobile operators tell us how many billions of pounds are invested in their networks, how can it be profitable to build such a network from scratch just to provide low-cost connectivity to connect meters, trackers and the like? The answer is to … Read more…

IOT World Forum Day 2 – completing the picture

Day 2 of the Internet of Things World Forum was characterised by a similar mix of speakers as the first day, with the mobile operator community being a lot more visible and engaged in the debate. Although there was no shortage of big numbers nor of technology companies offering solutions, a new set of themes emerged. 1. Manufacturing represents the biggest immediate opportunity Bernd Heinrichs of Cisco opened the session with a sweeping view of the IoT landscape. Much was made of the importance of … Read more…

IOT World Forum Day One – Some things we learnt

Today saw the first of two days at the Internet of Things World Forum in London (not to be confused with the event with the same title hosted by Cisco in Chicago earlier this year). Attendance was very high, though predominantly a corporate crowd – technology providers, IT companies, operators and investors. The vast majority of the smaller companies were so-called ‘horizontal enablers’ selling some form of IOT-related platform, middleware or gateway or other. Although much of the discussion was on innovation in individual segments … Read more…

Blackberry’s Project Ion

A year ago Blackberry was in what appeared to be terminal decline and attempts to find new owners failed. Newly-appointed CEO John Chen sought to turnaround the company by reconnecting to its core enterprise customers, stemming the losses that were haemorrhaging the company, and outsourcing manufacturing to China’s Foxconn. The rather bizarrely shaped Blackberry Passport phone has been somewhat emblematic of Mr Chen’s first year at the company – slightly more successful than expected. One pillar of Blackberry’s overall strategy … Read more…

Gartner predicts 25 billion connected devices by 2020

Today Gartner released a report forecasting the number of connected “things” – i.e. excluding phones, tablets and computers that will be in use until the end of the decade. This year, Gartner estimates that there will be 3.7 billion devices in use, while this will jump to 25 billion by the end of the decade. This estimate is somewhat higher than that provided by Cisco, who predicted 7.3 billion devices by 2018. Gartner believes that the single three largest industry … Read more…

The Internet of Things standards tussle – A phoney war?

  One thing that all commentators on the ‘connected everything’ space agree on is the need for common standards to allow a wide range of sensors, appliances and devices to talk to each other. This is nicely captured in an article in the Economist magazine, where the key problem is described as there being too many overlapping and conflicting initiatives. This is nothing new, and most new technologies which benefit from network effects, starting with the battle between direct and … Read more…

M2M device explosion to fuel growth in cloud infrastructure

This week, Cisco released its latest forecast on global data centre and cloud computing, covering the time period 2013 – 2014. During this time Cisco forecasts that annual data centre traffic will triple, a compound growth rate of 23%. But to what extent is this being driven by the growth in connected devices, and the traffic they generate? The answer can be found by digging into the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) published in June. Over this period, it can … Read more…