IoT is a growing buzz these days. Analysts are projecting billions of devices available online very soon. The number is impressive and IoT eco-system is fueled by newcomers developing variety of connected devices and related software.
Earlier this year, PTC surprised PLM community by their strategy related to IoT by acquisition of ThingWorx. However, ThingWorx is not the only IoT platform. The following publication by SiliconAngels caught my attention this week – IoT gets new platform for developers. The article speaks about few starup companies focusing on IoT platform opportunityAt least 3 platforms mentioned in that article – Relayr, ThingWorx and SigFox. I captured few common characteristic of these products – signal processing from sensors, sending data to “connected cloud”, framework for developers.
The platform play is interesting for all these products. Navigate to the following TechCrunch article – Sigfox Raises $20.6 Million To Create A Global Cellular Network For Connected Objects.
The company wants to create a global network that uses the same protocol everywhere. This network can be used, for instance, to monitor parking spots, communicate if your bus is approaching and more. And if you develop smart parking spot devices, you only need to support one network. Finally, it will cost you the same to take advantage of this network in every country.
Another article Relayr Gets $2.3M To Foster An Internet Of Things App Ecosystem also speaks about network, connected objects and data processing.
But the hardware dev kit is just one part of relayr’s vision; the larger play is a cloud services platform (that will be hardware agnostic), called the OpenSensor Cloud (OSC). In essence it wants its cloud to become a unifying platform for developers building IoT apps — acting as a central hub for data flows to and from connected sensors and the apps that leverage this data.
All these article made me think again about one of the main IoT challenges – data exchange and interoperability. Because of that, it is not surprising to see focus on development platforms and data connectivity. Will PLM vendors recognize the opportunity of IoT or PTC will be the only player in IoT platform game? IoT brings the potential to expand lifecycle of products much beyond manufacturing and build. This is a huge potential in my view.
What is my conclusion? IoT is a growing eco-system tightly connected to new type of product – connected devices. Connected devices will be here sooner than later and they will bring a new way to manage object (product) lifecycle. Network of devices reporting data and managed and supported by IoT platforms is a future extended lifecycle. Just my thoughts…