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In April 2015, the website Tech.co revealed top 10 startups. Of course, the industries in this ranking must have some the top businesses like cloud computing (1st), analytics (2nd), and finance (3rd). However, our focus is not one of those, but Internet of Things (IoT) that was ranked 4th and has gained a lot of attraction in recent years.
Internet of Things (IoT) concerns smart devices being connected and able to communicate through the internet without human control.
Keith Mercier from IMB Watson explained the concept of Internet of Things as “Some possible project is, for example, a wristband that is linked with your smartphone while collecting the data of your body, and forwarding the data to a doctor in a real-time manner. If your blood pressure goes high, the doctor can prescribe some meds and mail them to your door within 24 hours. For another example, there may be a fridge that can adjust the internal temperature according to the food stored in it and can warn you when your ice cream is running out.”
According to Intel, it was reported that the benefits of Internet of Things come from using both smart devices used in household or via smart phones and using in a larger scale such as in business, industry, and public health. This is because smart devices are the data storages that companies and agencies use to track their inventories, improve business capability, and save costs. Furthermore, the number of smart devices with internet connection grows strikingly, from 2,000 million units in 2006 to 15,000 million units in 2015, and is expected to reach 20,000 million units by 2020.
Based on Intel’s report, it is unquestioned that Internet of Things opens an endless business opportunity, big or small scale. That is why it is not surprising that Internet of Things is gaining popularity and creating opportunity for startups. A solid example would be Nest, cofounded in 2010 by Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers. The cofounders were committed to build a house that has “feelings”. In 2011, Nest was successful at the beginning step toward its goal by inventing Nest Thermostat, a temperature regulator in a smart house applying the technology that processes the data of how the owner uses the house and weather forecasts, etc., to make the appropriate interior temperature according to the changing temperatures outside. The innovation makes the temperature inside the house temperate and suitable for living all the time. Besides, the house owner can control Nest Thermostat from a remote location through a smart phone application. The success of Nest Thermostat was attractive enough that Google bought it at 3,200 million dollars in 2014.
Another impressive example of startups that rose out of Internet of Things is Eddyn established by Jason Aramburu who was dedicated to creating the technology that facilitates people to manage their resources more efficiently. Aramburu made Edyn, a device that consists of sensors to be dipped into the soil to analyse the data about the soil and weather. Edyn helps farmers grow their plants more productively by providing data about the soil, including humidity, and the climate that suits the plants grown. In addition, Edyn can be connected to the user’s smart phone. By simply opening the application on the smart phone, the user will know the condition of the soil around the area easily, what soil nutrients are lacking. It even reports the weather forecast of that area at the time. Aramburu proposed Edyn project to the crowd funding site Kickstarter, and in July 2014, the sales of Edyn were as high was 2,000 pieces, and the product was chosen to be sold in Home Depot, one of the biggest home décor stores in the United States in spring 2015.
Amidst the trend of Internet of Things, come with it is the countless number of business opportunities. Like in the cases of Nest and Edyn, it is evident that in the current of changes, those who can keep pace with their ideas are those who can successfully grow their businesses in the digital era.
Photo by Pujohn Das/ Space10
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