Good year/Bad year – Internet of Things

By in Enterprise IT
On January 27, 2016

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Throughout 2015, the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) continued to weave its way into the consciousness of businesses and consumers. Despite genuinely warranted excitement at the potential for a slew of new connected devices, the market is still at a very early stage and there’s a lot of hype and hot air out there. Some companies have disappointed customers and commentators with ill-conceived, insecure or poorly thought out devices. Those who’ve had the best year have tended to be companies developing the platforms likely to connect all these devices or make sense of the data they’re generating. Even here, though, only a handful of the organizations competing in this space are likely to emerge victorious. So for which firms does it look like the Internet of Things can only get better, and whose IoT ambitions could result in teary eyes?

Good year for…

IBM

IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence engine is a unique, game-changing technology. Big Blue has been wowing customers, investors and analysts alike with the capabilities of its ground-breaking ‘cognitive computing’ system. These include being able to understand natural language, analyse masses of ‘big data’ (including text, audio, images and video), and quickly draw out useful and original insights and patterns. IBM’s latest release includes a set of cloud-based APIs to allow any organization to take advantage of Watson’s abilities to create new value from IoT-generated data. It promises to bring true cognitive intelligence to a host of dumb devices, realising the IoT’s true potential and ensuring the company’s continued success.

Bad year for…

Philips

We’ve all heard the conspiracy theory that lighting manufacturers long ago invented – and quickly covered up – the everlasting bulb for fear it would dent their recurring sales revenues. In December, Electronics giant Philips re-kindled speculation about sharp practices in the industry. It came to light that a new firmware update to the firm’s Hue series of connected, smartphone-controllable bulbs locked out competing manufacturers’ compatible bulbs. The firm was forced to make a rapid U-turn and reverse the update after news of the tactic went viral, and customers vented their outrage.

Good year for…

Amazon

As the world’s premier online, the largest provider of public cloud infrastructure, a leading provider of online entertainment content, and maker of popular consumer IoT devices (Kindle, Fire TV, etc), it seems Amazon has a finger in every digital pie. It’s been widely covered that the company is almost ready to deliver customers’ purchases by aerial drone However, its real strength in IoT could be as a major end-to-end platform provider. It’s been busy developing, acquiring and integrating all the capabilities it needs and recently the company announced that it was bringing its AWS IoT service out of beta. Given the company’s track record, few pundits would bet against it being successful.

Good year for…

LogMeIn

Cloud connectivity provider LogMeIn [client] gained some high-profile plaudits for its IoT platform, Xively. Xively is a connected product management platform and application solution which helps bring new connected IoT offerings to market. . Although much bigger players like Amazon and Microsoft are better known players in this market, the fact it’s predicted to grow to a trillion dollars or more means there’ll be plenty of interest. And the Boston Globe noted in July that, having come to market early, the £222 million turnover company could conceivably turn into “a multibillion-dollar global tech titan”.

Bad year for…

WInk

In April, the smart home device manufacturer suffered a major set-back when a security update bricked all its devices. In September parent company Quirky’s woes were exacerbated when it filed for bankruptcy and announced it was selling off Wink.

 

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