From Light bulbs that switch on when they detect movement to thermostats that automatically regulate heating and cooling to fitness trackers that record your body statistics, the internet of things has made it possible to create all kinds of smart devices. Any simple machine can have a microchip added, which turns it into an IoT appliance. Internet of things is connecting ‘dumb’ devices to the internet. The interconnectivity allows objects to communicate with each other with no need for intervention from humans. Less than a decade ago, IoT was more science fiction than anything. Efforts to have machines that could talk to the internet began in the early 1990s but no innovations were good enough for production.
Albeit slowly, the IoT sector has grown into a billion-dollar company. Industry experts predict that by 2020, spending on IoT will hit the $1 trillion mark as more enterprises invest. Top internet of things companies are currently spending money to improve the devices already on the market. Manufacturers are working on developing more products to cater to the rising demands from consumers. It is paramount to comprehend why IoT is a critical investment opportunity and what value businesses gain from doing so.
Several Top Internet of Things Companies
Here are some of the enterprises that are putting time, money and other resources in the furthering the internet of things.
Google is one enterprise that leads the way in high investments towards IoT. It acquired Nest for $3.2 billion and has continued to put more into the sector. Nest was one of the businesses that began mass-producing smart devices. It makes and sells fire detectors that are designed to respond to their environments and interact with users. Nest is among the brands that made the concept of ‘smart homes’ feasible. Its thermostats detect when the temperatures in a room are too high or too low and trigger the correct response. Then, there is the Google Cloud Platform that provides businesses with data management services. This platform offers various capabilities for enterprises.
The networking company has built an impressive infrastructure that allows it to cater to various IoT requirements from different companies. It provides IoT solutions for oil & gas, aviation, maritime, rail and a host of other industries. Cisco makes it possible for factories to have connected plants that improve productivity and safety. The internet of things enterprise builds smart grids and utilities, which is how it comes up with smart cities. Energy distribution is one area that Cisco has a heavy focus on with part of its infrastructure catering to embedded networks. The field network provided by the company makes it possible to track and control the distribution of energy. Cisco also has IoT products used for cybersecurity.
IBM is always at the top of technological innovations, and IoT is no exception. It has several offerings in the industry, including MessageSight. The platform facilitates messaging between machines, making it possible for device makers to come up with IoT products. MessageSight is built with a simple design that is easy to employ and offers security for all internet of things environments. IBM created the machine-to-machine platform to cater to the challenging scaling requirements of large-scale IoT. BlueMix is IBM’s development platform where developers can build apps to analyse IoT data. MobileFirst is another IBM product that is changing the internet of things sector as it is designed to make different objects mobile responsive. Additionally, the IT giant has Watson, an AI whose capabilities are now being used in various devices.
4. R-Style Lab
One of the top internet of things companies making waves is software maker R-Style Lab. The enterprise is steadily gaining a reputation as a software provider for all kinds of IoT requirements from wearables to mobile. It caters to manufacturers of smart home IoT devices with management applications, firmware and central hubs. These features contribute to the self-learning functionalities in appliances. R-Style Lab produces software that is used by industrial companies in areas like warehouse inventory management, drone inspection and predictive maintenance. Healthcare and fitness is another industry that R-Style Lab works with to deliver IoT solutions. The company makes embedded software that is fitted into portable trackers and other wearables. It also structures IoT systems for medical facilities to help with their scale-up requirements and improved patient care.
Ingenu is another provider of machine-to-machine IoT solutions, but it also doubles as an IT company. A major stride in the internet of things includes a project that Ingenu handled for Shell. The oil & gas company was developing a project in the Niger Delta titled ‘Digital Oilfield’ and Ingenu provided pipeline surveillance by installing sensors on the site. Shell was able to monitor the wellhead remotely and collect data that was used for site maintenance. Ingenu also has the Random Phase Multiple Access network with it used for craft IoT solutions for end-to-end users with help from Microsoft Azure IoT. The partnership that was struck in February 2017 means that Microsoft’s IoT customers will have the advantage of the Ingenu device management capabilities.
Britain’s ARM has been making big moves in the IoT sphere. The manufacturer was known for low-power appliances, and its expertise in the sector has allowed it to move into IoT with great options for consumers. From smartphones to set-top boxes, ARM provides low-powered products that can be fitted with sensors. The company develops chips to meet IoT requirements for different manufacturers. All-in-one IoT packages from ARM are suitable for integrating SIM features, operating systems and designing. ARM also focuses on growing security solutions for the IoT appliances because it is one of the urgent issues that the industry is working to solve.
It is one of the internet of things companies that has a finger in everything from healthcare to smart cities. The IT enterprise is known for its custom software solutions, which it has delivered to some of the world’s biggest brands, including WHO, HTC and Skoda. HQSoftware provides a wide range of IoT services to cater to the varying needs of its clientele. It designs platforms from scratch for different IoT applications and it can also tailor existing systems to new requirements. The company does IoT-centric mobile and web development as well as programming for internet of things machines. HQSoftware can integrate an entire IoT ecosystem and customise it to suit specific end consumers.
A household name known for quality appliances, Bosch is another shaker in the IoT sector. In 2015, the company announced its Internet of Things Suite, which focuses on offering solutions for businesses. This platform is designed to accommodate other systems seamlessly, which makes it possible for users to develop IoT apps. The Internet of Things Suite is open source, and that gives users flexibility to be as creative as desired with business models. It can also be hosted in different cloud environments. Bosch uses sensors in all types of appliances from thermostats to racing car data recorders. The enterprise also has a cloud service, which is meant to provide an alternative to AWS.
The Value that Enterprises Get from the IoT
The benefit that IoT devices offer to consumers is apparent. They get more convenience when machines can learn patterns then streamline their functionalities to suit the user. IoT appliances are efficient and excellent at cutting waste. However, what do the top internet of things companies gain from investing in the technology? Understanding this value is useful in learning the growing interest that enterprises are showing.
The availability of real-time information is one of the biggest plus points of IoT devices. When an appliance is made with sensors, they are not just for adapting to the environment; they send critical feedback to the manufacturer. Predictive maintenance is one area that real-time machine data has changed dramatically. The same way that a business uses analytics to predict future earnings is what happens with IoT devices. Every time a chipped object turns on, it collects information, which includes past performances. Using this data, a manufacturer can tell when a device is about to suffer a malfunction and can implement the necessary measures to correct it.
Besides developing interconnected devices, players in the IoT sector are working on improving the security of products. Being connected to the internet means facing all the threats that online use comes with like the theft of information, unauthorised surveillance and targeted marketing. IoT companies, with the help of IT experts, are crafting ways to make their innovations more secure for users. Privacy and security of IoT devices are some of the topics discussed at the IoT Solutions World Congress in Barcelona.
The implementation of IoT systems will determine what value an enterprise gets from it. The lack of intervention that internet of things devices come with make them viable solutions in many appliances from parking cars to ordering food from a smart fridge. Both businesses and consumers can capitalise on the potential of IoT.