Tag Archives: connected devices

There will be 6.4 billion connected devices by next year


By 2016, 5.5 million things will become connected to the Internet each day.


Just in case you needed any more validation that the Internet of Things has arrived, get ready for several billion smart objects in our world by as early as next year. According to Gartner, the number of devices connected to the Internet is actually expected to exceed 6.4 BILLION come the end of 2016. This mind-blowing figure represents a 30% increase from 2015, and is projected to continuing rising to 20.8 billion by 2020.

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To put this number into perspective, 5.5 million new “things” will become connected every day. As a result, the growing IoT will support total services spending of $235 billion in 2016, up 22% from 2015. Beyond that, Gartner anticipates most of that money will be spent on what it calls the “professional category” — services in which businesses contract with external providers in order to design, install and operate intelligent systems. At the same time, both “connectivity services” and “consumer services” are also expected to grow at an exceptionally fast pace.

“IoT services are the real driver of value in IoT, and increasing attention is being focused on new services by end-user organisations and vendors,” Gartner VP Jim Tully explains.

Aside from connected cars, Gartner believes that consumer applications will account for the greatest number of smart gadgets, while enterprise will account for the largest spending. The analyst firm estimates that four billion connected things will be in use in the consumer sector next year, and will hit 13.5 billion over the next five years.

In terms of hardware spending, consumer applications will amount to $546 billion in 2016, while the use of connected things in the enterprise will drive $868 billion in 2016.

Gartner

When examining the enterprise computing segment, Gartner says it considers two classes of connected things. The first class consists of generic or cross-industry devices that are used in multiple industries, such as smart light bulbs, HVAC and building management systems that are mainly deployed for purposes of cost savings. Meanwhile, the second class includes vertical-specific machines that are found in particular industries, like specializes equipment used in hospital operating theaters and tracking devices in container ships.

“Connected things for specialised use are currently the largest category, however, this is quickly changing with the increased use of generic devices. By 2020, cross-industry devices will dominate the number of connected things used in the enterprise,” Tully adds.

Xiaomi announces a lineup of smart home devices


To celebrate its fifth anniversary, Xiaomi has unveiled the Mi Smart Scale, the Mi TV2 and Mi Power Strip.


It was only five years ago that Xiaomi was founded, and in that time, the China-based company has catapulted itself atop the mobile technology industry. According to IDC, the brand is now the third largest smartphone maker in the world followed by Lenovo and LG at fourth and fifth place, respectively. Beyond that, the world’s most valuable tech startup became the largest smartphone vendor in China last year, having overtaken Samsung. In fact, a recent press release projects over 100 million units to be sold in 2015.

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In celebration of its fifth anniversary, which is actually April 6th, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun announced five new products, some of which targeting the burgeoning smart home market. Among those devices include the Mi Smart Scale, the Mi TV2 and Mi Power Strip. Two phones, a pink version of the company’s flagship Mi Note and the RedMi 2A, were also revealed.

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First, the Mi Smart Scale connects with your smartphone via Bluetooth, enabling you to track weight, BMI and other sorts of data using its accompanying Mi Fit app. It has a precision of 50g (1.8 oz) and can track weights between 5kg to 150kg (11lbs. to 330 lbs). The scale features a glass platform and LED display, which remains hidden until stepped on.

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Meanwhile, the Mi TV2 is a 4K LED TV that runs Android to offer smart features. The 55-inch system comes with a wireless eight-speaker sound bar and aluminum subwoofer.

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Finally, there’s the new Mi Power Strip, which includes three power sockets and three USB ports that allow for quick 2.1A charging for tablets and larger phones. The product was designed with safety in mind, including surge protection, childproof features, as well as comprised of fire-resistant materials.

This group of products will be made available at special prices in China beginning April 8th. Given that the company will soon be opening an online Mi Store for accessories in both U.S. and Europe, it may not be too long before you too can obtain these gadgets. Those interested in learning more can head over to the company’s official page here, or check out a slew of photos from the anniversary launch event here.

Report: Smart cities will use 1.1 billion connected things in 2015


Smart homes to lead with 294 million smart objects in use this year.


Powered by the Internet of Things (IoT), the smart city of tomorrow will feature intelligent buildings, roads and public transport systems that are connected to each other and its inhabitants through sensors. This real-time information exchange will save people time, reduce environmental impact, lessen traffic and even create value for businesses along the way. Though still relatively new here in the United States, the advent of smart cities has already started taking shape across the world.

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Smart homes and commercial buildings will represent 45% of all connected objects in 2015 and 81% by the end of 2020, according to a new report from Gartner. The study also estimates that 1.1 billion Internet-enabled items will be used by smart cities in 2015 with that number to rise to 9.7 billion over the next five years.

The majority of IoT spending for smart cities will come from the private sector, explained Gartner Research VP Bettina Tratz-Ryan. This will surely be some great news for technology companies and service providers that stand to benefit most in terms of revenue.

According to the report, there are a wide-range of IoT deployments for on-street and off-street parking guidance, road traffic guidance and traffic flow metering as well. A quick win within transport is the reduction of traffic congestion. California and the UK have already begun implementing radio receivers or sensors that are embedded on a section of highway to diagnose traffic conditions in real time. Another successful use of IoT in the city is smart parking. The city of Los Angeles, for instance, has been deploying new parking meters, parking space vehicle sensors, real-time parking guidance and a full parking management system to influence demand during peak times.

Beyond that, residential citizens will lead the way by increasingly investing in smart home solutions, with the amount of connected things used in smart homes currently at 294 million and projected to hit 1 billion units by 2017. These include smart LED lighting, healthcare monitoring, smart locks and various sensors for such things as motion detection or carbon monoxide. Smart LED lighting will record the highest growth of IoT consumer applications, from 6 million units in 2015 to 570 million units by 2020. As the study reveals, light will migrate from being an illumination source to a communications carrier incorporating safety, health, pollution and personalized services.

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We expect that by 2020, many IoT TSPs will have grown their hardware revenues through services and software by more than 50 percent,” Tratz-Ryan concluded. The researcher goes on to say that smart home security and safety will represent the second-largest service market by revenue in 2017, and that come 2020, the smart healthcare and fitness market will have grown to nearly $38 billion.

Interested in reading more? You can find the entire Gartner report here. Meanwhile, discover how Atmel is powering the IoT by focusing on edge nodes, a category that includes everything from smart home appliances to infrastructures for smart cities.

Are you ready for a smart kitchen?


Here are 5 reasons why the smart kitchen will be a $10 billion opportunity. 


Who remembers the Disney Channel hit Smart House? For those who may not recall, the 1999 flick centered around a family who won a computerized house that ends up taking on a life of its own. While some of the features may have been a bit far-fetched, Disney certainly helped paint a clear picture of the kitchen of tomorrow — one in which can learn its owners’ eating habits through atmospheric sensors and whip up beverages and other snacks instantaneously.

Now 15 years later, a Smart House-like future is coming to fruition. As the ever-evolving Internet of Things continues to experience widespread adoption, one of the areas in the smart home that is expected to see the greatest change over the next decade is, indeed, the kitchen. According to a recent report from NextMarket Insights, the result of this burgeoning technology will make way for a $10.1 billion smart kitchen market by 2020. Running out of milk, eggs or cold cuts? Replenish your stock with just a press of a button. The study, which was conducted back in October, found that out of all connected kitchen appliances, many consumers favor refrigerators that’ll allow them to monitor food inventory with their smartphone.

“Whether it’s food storage, preparation, or the act of cooking itself, the arrival of new technologies will enable consumers to become more efficient, knowledgable and possibly even better cooks in coming years,” explained Michael Wolf, NextMarket Insights Chief Analyst. “As a result, we believe that appliance makers, smart home companies as well as those who provide food to consumers will see both enormous opportunity as well as disruption to their existing businesses with the arrival of the smart kitchen.”

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Surveying over 500 households, the study revealed that the next-gen technologies are already beginning to alter the way consumers interact, prepare and consume their food. Nearly one-quarter (24%) who were self-proclaimed cooks already use a tablet or smartphone “all the time” when in the kitchen to help them prep meals, while another 34% indicated they use a tablet or smartphone “sometimes.”

“Appliance and device makers are integrating smart features at both the high and low end of the device spectrum,” Wolf adds.

It wasn’t simply the notion of smart fridges that accelerated consumers’ appetites for the IoT era. Other notable devices in the connected kitchen that most appealed to them included smart coffee makers, oven ranges and crock pots.

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Writing for Forbes, Wolf recently highlighted a handful of reasons as to why the smart kitchen will, in fact, be a $10 billion opportunity:

1. The technology is already there: Nearly a quarter of cooks already use a mobile device to help in the kitchen.

2. They will reduce waste: With smart kitchen tech, not only can you see what’s in your fridge while mobile, some are beginning to tell us about is about to expire.

3. Technology can make us better cooks: As everything from ovens to thermometers get connected, users will be able to easily tap into cooking guide apps and datasets.

4. They will make us all healthier: Future devices will enable us to closely monitor and synchronize food consumption with our health and fitness routines, as well as help those with very specific dietary restrictions monitor what’s really in our food.

5. They will make us safer: Compliance organizations are already working closely with manufacturers to enable smart connectivity to allow for remote shut off of appliances like stoves and ranges.

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So, how close are we to a Jetsons-like world? If it’s up to companies like Whirlpool, GE, LG and Belkin, soon… very soon. While Whirlpool says some of the concepts may only be five years out from ubiquity, others like LG have already started to make the smart kitchen a reality. Take their latest connected fridge for instance, which uses its companion HomeChat app to communicate with an owner’s mobile device to let them know what items are needed while at the grocery store. Using its built-in camera positioned at the top of the main compartment, users can now easily monitor exactly what’s inside their fridge right from their smartphone. Or, GE, who has not only launched a wireless induction cooktop but is retrofitting older appliances with Wi-Fo modules. Another example, Mr. Coffee. Belkin and Jarden joined forces to debut their latest automatic, web-enabled coffee maker. Based on WeMo technology, the 10-cup Mr. Coffee Smart Optimal Brew can be remotely controlled right from bed via from any Android or iOS device.

Intrigued? Here’s a look at just some of the latest once-ordinary kitchen “things” given new “powers.”

​Sigfox shows off partner solutions for its growing network


The French IoT startup is launching 902 MHz network nationwide in United States.


While a vast majority of the mobile carriers are focused on super fast networks for their smartphone subscribers, our friends at Sigfox are tapping into an entirely different trend, a slow network. While that concept may seem like a bit of an oxymoron in today’s constantly-connected world, the French startup has found a significant customer base and some pretty big partners along that way, given its advantages like low cost and low power consumption.

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Sigfox utilizes UNB (Ultra Narrow Band) radio technology to connect devices to its global network. The use of UNB is key to providing a scalable, high-capacity network, with very low energy consumption, while maintaining a simple and easy to rollout star-based cell infrastructure. The company’s Atmel based connectivity solution uses license-free frequency bands (runs in the unlicensed 902 MHz band in the U.S. and the 868 MHz band in Europe), and don’t go more than a few hundred bits per second, but cost as little as $1 per connection per year.

The result is a simple, low-power network that can be deployed at a fraction of the cost of a traditional cellular network – without any risk of collisions or capacity problems. Due to power-emission regulations in the unlicensed band, Sigfox customers can only receive 140 messages per day from their devices, however. What’s more, those messages can only contain around 100 character and customers can send only four messages per day.

(Source: CNET)

(Source: CNET)

As CNET reports, the company showed off a number of these partnerships during Mobile World Congress, including a device from Securitas that detects if a car has been stolen and another from Traqueur to track it afterward, a monitor from Seur that ensures the “cold chain” is intact for refrigerated shipping, a solution from Air Liquide that helps analyze the condition of the gas tanks it sells, as well as a parking space tracker that sends alarts when a spot is empty or occupied. (You can find pictures of each of the new partner solutions here.)

“The mainstream mobile industry caters to mobile phone users watching video and posting selfies, pumping as much data as possible over today’s 4G network and racing to pump even more data with tomorrow’s 5G. Sigfox, though, limits network message length to just 12 bytes,” CNET’s Stephen Shankland writes.

At the moment, the startup is in the process of rolling out its slow-speed IoT network in San Francisco with greater aspirations of covering 90% of the U.S. population within the next three years. Want to continue reading? Head over to the company’s official page here. Meanwhile, don’t forget to explore Atmel’s ATA8520 device, which recently achieved the Sigfox-ready certification, making it the first Sigfox Ready-certified system-on-chip (SoC) solution. You can learn more about that here.

Misfit Flash will soon control your smart home


Goes to show, the age of connected living has arrived. 


Back at CES 2015, wearable technology was once again smack dab in the middle of all the buzz. This time, the focus shifted towards its role in the burgeoning Internet of Things, most notably connected living. Among the notable companies leading the pack was Misfit, who revealed plans to move beyond fitness tracking with particular attention towards the smart home.

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Released last year, Flash is an entry-level wearable boasting a sleek and sporty design that measures your activity and sleep and syncs with your smartphone. That same connected functionally will soon serve as remote control for in-house devices as well, ranging from the lights to the thermostat and beyond. Flash will be compatible with a wide-range of smart home platforms and services, including IFTTT, Logitech’s Harmony API, Nest thermostats, August Smart Locks, as well as Misfit’s own Bolt light bulbs. For instance, double-clicking the band’s lone button will allow wearers to start a Spotify playlist or turn on the lights, while holding it down can set the mood or a desirable temperature.

Seeing as though it only has one button, Flash’s interactions with other smart devices may be limited. Needless to say, the integration definitely demonstrates how wearable tech and the Internet of Things can work together. Hendrik Bartel, an analyst at Gartner, told the Wall Street Journal that Flash’s app and smart home controls are a testament to the progress of the so-called IoT. “Sometimes it may feel like Misfit doesn’t have much of an identity, because they make fitness and sleep trackers and smart lightbulbs. But, really, that’s how the Internet of Things is. It’s the Internet of Everything. And we’re still in the early stages of that.”

Report: IIoT could add $14.2 trillion to the global economy by 2030


Accenture reveals that the Industrial Internet of Things will accelerate the reinvention of sectors that account for almost two-thirds of world output.


While the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to infiltrate the consumer world, a new report from Accenture reveals that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is also expected to boost growth in mature markets.

By 2030, capital investments in the IIoT and the productivity gains that should follow are expected to add $6.1 trillion to the United States’ cumulative GDP, the firm said. Potential gains from the IIoT — which refers to new digital services and business models based on intelligent connected devices and machines — could be at risk if companies or governments fail to take sufficient actions to put in place the conditions necessary for the wide adoption of the smart technology.

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If the U.S. were to invest 50% more in IIoT technologies and improve enabling factors, such as its skills and broadband networks, the gain could reach $7.1 trillion by 2030, raising its GDP 2.3 percent higher in 2030 than trend projections. The report goes on to note that Germany could also enhance its cumulative GDP by $700 billion during the same time period by taking similar additional actions, raising its GDP 1.7%. Meanwhile, the UK could increase GDP by $531 billion, lifting its GDP in 2030 by 1.8% over trend projections. With IIoT-enhanced measures in place, Accenture projects that China could up its cumulative GDP by $1.8 trillion as well.

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The firm surveyed more than 1,400 global business leaders, of whom 736 are CEOs. At the moment, nearly six in 10 (57%) of these corporate executives state that new revenues will be the greatest opportunity of the IIoT, while a number of their companies are focused on using the IIoT to make efficiency gains and see employee productivity and reduced operational expenses, cited by 46% and 44% respectively, as the most likely benefits for their companies. In addition, 87% of business leaders believe that the IIoT will be a net creator of jobs.

“The Industrial Internet of Things will make every worker a knowledge worker, enabling machine operators and other workers to use data to achieve more with equipment than they can today,” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture CTO. “It’s not just about productivity but about being able to offer new value with the help of data delivered to workers in new ways. The Industrial Internet of Things will not only augment work, but result in more virtual and collaborative working environments, as well as create entirely new categories of jobs.”

The IIoT is define as a network of physical objects, systems platforms and applications that contain embedded technology to communicate and share intelligence with each other, the external environment and with people. Interested in reading more about the topic? You can access the entire Accenture report here, and browse through the Bits & Pieces archive here.