The Internet of Things is a hotbed of innovation. Some of this comes from established companies with a global presence and a keen interest in areas like Big Data, cloud storage, and infrastructure support. Among the names to conjure with are Amazon, Cisco, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, and Qualcomm.
But the IoT is also a place for agile new start-ups, and some of the most exciting ideas around the Internet of Things come out of new companies whose very reason for existence is that their owners have spotted a problem and want to produce a solution to deal with it.
Here are ten start-ups we here at IoB think are doing great work with the Internet of Things.
WiFithing is an IoT development platform designed for the non-programmer. Users don’t need to know anything about coding to set up different services and devices – though anyone who wants to delve deeper can do so. WiFithing is as suitable for the home as for the office. Firmware updates over the air, settings via a web app and open source code are central to the WiFithing ethos. It’s early days for WiFithing which is currently a Kickstarter project.
nCube is focussed on ensuring you have access to all your smart tech devices in one place – a ‘brain at the heart of your home’. It acts as a hub for all the devices you may have obtained from different providers, giving you access to them through a single app on your handset. And it takes things a step further by letting you set up ‘cubes’ – pre-sets across different devices to suit specific requirements.
Intelligent homes are crying out for efficient application of IoT, but to appeal to the masses applications need to be easy to use. Chui contributes an intelligent doorbell to the landscape. It uses facial recognition to provide you with secure, keyless access to your home. It’s not just about opening the door for yourself, though. Chui can also tell you –and show you – who is at the door through its on device camera and app for your phone.
Evrythng specialises in connecting products and packaging to each other and the web. Its Internet of Things Smart Products Platform works across different protocols, providing cloud to cloud connectors and managing the real-time IoT data that they generate. It is a company as happy with inventory management as it is with the connected home, and it already has an impressive array of household name customers.
Skycatch makes drones which map and measure the landscape capturing more and better data than humans can and integrating this with CAD and BIM software. In Japan, where there’s a shortage of construction workers, Skycatch drones are being used to automate the work of machinery like dozers and excavators. After the 2015’s Nepal earthquake they were used to create visual intelligence information to help provide relief to people and to make maps to help record and ultimately restore World Heritage Site structures.
Kinsa specialises in smart thermometers that are child friendly. Its in-ear thermometer is even baby friendly, taking temperature in one second and using its on-device display to let you know if there’s cause for concern. Kinsa’s thermometers synchronise with an iOS app so you can keep a history of recordings for your own or doctor’s use.
OpenTRV is designed to use home automation to help you save money. The company aims to help reduce the UK’s carbon emissions by making household heating more attuned to whether anyone is in the room or not. So OpenTRV is focussed on thermostatic radiator valves which can sense if someone is present and have manual override to provide heat if you want it. The company is at the stage of making trial devices.
Farmers need to pay careful attention to a range of variables if they are to make the most of growing conditions and maximise income. KisanHub uses satellite technology and sensors in fields to provide detailed monitoring that helps farmers do just that. Data on weather at a hyperlocal level combines with crop yield forecasting information while there’s also traceability data for crops, commodity information, news and tools to calculate soil/water balance. All delivered through easily accessible dashboards in the office and on mobile.
1248 helps companies connect their products to the internet without spending time managing infrastructure by providing that infrastructure through its DevicePilot product. The company’s previous experience includes helping develop the open HyperCat standard for interoperability between IoT hubs.
Thingful is a search engine for the Internet of Things. It provides a geographical index of connected objects around the world. The range of ‘things’ it covers is very wide, and includes energy, radiation, weather, and air quality devices as well as seismographs, iBeacons, ships, aircraft and even animal trackers. Thingful lets people find devices, datasets and real-time data sources by geolocation across popular IoT networks and presents them using a proprietary geospatial device data search ranking methodology called ThingRank.