The future is chomping away at our present. What used to be assumptions for ten years' time are now realities that we are actually experiencing. The Internet of Things is well on its way thanks to a growing number of startups that have decided to use it as the new business gold mine.
According to some research, by no later than 2017 the Internet of Things, or IoT, will be originated by technology solutions developed by startups or companies less than three years old. The ideas that are cropping up at the moment will therefore be the ones to shape the reality of IoT in less than a decade from now.
Let us look at a handful of startups that are already specializing in IoT and which will draw out our future. We will start with some ‘Made in Spain’ companies, to show that once again innovation continues to be paramount in Spain.
Using sport as the excuse, this startup has developed an image and data recording system built into its own wearables. Athletes of any level can therefore monitor their activity via this intelligent system.
Given that our smartphones have become an extension of ourselves, why not use them to control everything around us remotely? This company has designed a remote control system for household appliances via WiFi and the terminal.
This startup could be considered a “necessary enabler". Its development is based on integrating ‘cloud’ solution to operate smart cities.
Health has found its perfect ally in technology to improve the quality of people's lives. This company has developed pill dispensers that intelligently provide patients with the right dose at any given time, also warning them when they need to buy their next dose.
Another factor that can be improved thanks to IoT is linked to saving. This startup has developed intelligent energy control systems so that a building can save up to 40% on electricity costs.
This company believes that IoT has such a far-reaching scope that it will only be sustainable if everyone pitches in. They have developed a free-access platform for any programmer to submit their ideas to develop “intelligent things” to connect people or machines.
Of German origin, it also focuses on making life easier for developers and programmers. In this case, and in the shape of a chocolate bar, it produces hardware sensors with different functions to transform it in accordance with the users' needs.
The targets of this startup are large companies and industrial corporations. It has created software to control and manage industrial utensils at large factories and turn routine processes into “labor intelligence”.
Children and entertainment feature among companies that specialize in IoT. This company has developed a program that turns parent voice commands into messages that can be played through their children's toys. This means that they do not need to be continually exposed to screens that could damage their eyesight.
Like the previous example, this startup focuses on developing saving-based intelligence. It makes LEDs that, via consumption algorithms, can regulate their energy with the consequent savings for consumers.
Not all innovation comes from the US. Here we have another case in Europe, this time a French company involved in the mobile phone sector. Via ultra narrowband frequencies it aims to create low-cost intelligent mobile communications so that everyone can have access.
This startup, recently associated with Samsung, wants to take the concept of Internet of Things to social networks. Its ultimate goal will be to unify each user's network use intelligently via codes.
So how to connect all of the elements we have talked about? Because that will be one major problem, this startup is developing unification protocols so that those connections between people, machines and "everything that can be connected" are kept under control.