We are thrilled to be nominated as one of the 5 hottest IoT companies of Europe by The Europas Awards (which has TechCrunch as the exclusive media partner). In honour of this nomination, we are writing a wrap up of what’s happening in IoT in Europe.
But first things first, for those who have been living under a rock, what is IoT?
Coined by the British visionary (hooray!), Kevin Ashton, in 1999, IoT is short for, the Internet of Things and it refers to everyday physical objects that are connected to the Internet and able to identify themselves to other devices.
It describes a world where just about anything can be connected to the internet and communicate in an intelligent fashion. In other words, with the Internet of Things, the physical world is becoming one big information system.
According to Gartner Inc., there will be nearly 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020, and with such potential it is no surprise that there are a number of areas where this concept can be implemented. From media (connected customers generating data) to environmental monitoring (e.g. power usage or water quality..), to infrastructure management (e.g. automatically scheduling repairs), to manufacturing, healthcare, home automation, transportation… the list goes on!
When you add that the big players, such as Google, want their software to power every electronic device that connects to the Internet, whether it has a screen or not, you can tell it is a huge area of growth.
We will now go through the Europas IoT nominees and cover what is happening in Europe.
We have Automile, the platform that connects car drivers and owners with their car’s data, thus building an elegant car and fleet management system. This makes things like automated trip reporting possible, so that business drivers don’t need to spend time entering information for their legal and tax compliance. With this technology, users can keep track of their fleet movements, fuel consumption, service history and driver performance metrics remotely and at the click of a button.
We also have CubeSensors who are helping you understand how every room in your home or office affects your health… Their small connected devices measure things like temperature, humidity, air quality, air pressure, sound and light levels, and prepare it for processing. This enormous amount of data, can give you insight and feedback about your room, helping you change simple things that can make you feel better and be more productive.
With Spin, the Internet of Things meets coffee. Using their mobile app, you can browse, purchase and review a number of coffees from around the world, and have them delivered to your door when you want. You can then customise the coffee through the same app, with a number of settings including temperature, pressure and grind size, before pressing a button to make a fresh cup of coffee. This brings knowledge and barista skills that would take weeks if not months to practice and master into the hands of everyone who wants to enjoy a home ground coffee on request.
There are also companies like SIGFOX who provide dedicated cellular connectivity for the Internet of Things and Machine-to-Machine communications. The company’s network complements existing high-bandwidth systems, such as WiFi, by providing energy-efficient two-way transmission of small quantities of data. This helps ease the rollout of IoT concepts to markets where power is difficult or inefficient to supply, meaning battery lives and hence service time are significantly extended.
Last but not least, we have to mention Pointr. Voted by The Europas as one of the hottest IoT companies in Europe, we have built the best performing indoor navigation technology available today. Some of the above companies connect objects with other objects or people, while Pointr connect people and objects with accurate location information.
The power of location is fascinating. For example in an airport, their non-aeronautical revenues (retail) account for more than 20% of their income. Imagine if the passenger had the peace of mind that they could spend an extra 5 minutes in the duty free section because their phone showed them exactly where their gate is, along with the walking distance, route and time required. This extra time has been proven to result in further engagement with shops and restaurants, leading to a substantial increase in sales.