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Next month, Startupbootcamp IoT | Connected Devices is hosting a Demo Day for its IoT and hardware program, where the nine participating startups will present their products after three months of acceleration in London.
The startups cover a wide gamut in both consumer and industrial IoT. During the program they have tested and validated their ideas and are turning them into viable products, whether it’s building hardware or developing the software that runs everything.
In designing the program and choosing the participants, Startupbootcamp spent months pulling apart the various pitches it received and met with investors, partners, and IoT experts to make sense of the current state of the internet of things. What IoT ideas could be viable businesses? What would be the biggest trends going into 2017?
Raph Crouan is MD of the IoT accelerator and a founding board member of the Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation (AIOTI), a European Commission organisation for developing the IoT ecosystem across Europe. Through his own background and the IoT | Connected Devices program, he has identified four major trends that will define where the IoT ecosystem is headed in 2017.
Wearable technology is a segment of the IoT that’s still developing and changing, moving beyond smartwatches and fitness trackers.
The IoT’s capabilities in sports and recreation are well known, but in healthcare and wellbeing they are still being explored, according to Crouan, and this will be a new trend to keep an eye on in the near future. We should expect to see more startups emerging with embedded health monitoring and ingestable technology.
One of Startupbootcamp’s cohorts, Trackener is applying these ideas to animal care with a wearable tracker for horses that monitors their health and behaviour. On the sports side of things, YodelUP is creating a wearable device for skiers and snowboarders to check their devices on the slopes without having to remove their gloves.
Connected buildings and homes
The home automation market is growing fast and is likely to reach $78 billion by 2022. Major players like Amazon and Google may have a significant foothold in the area of smart homes and automation thanks to products like Echo and Google Home but that doesn’t mean that the innovation has ended.
When creating its latest program, Startupbootcamp found several startups in the connected home space that are working on everything from security and access to growing and preparing food.
One such startup is smart cooking tool Eskesso that is creating a smart sous vide appliance controlled with an app. CityCrop meanwhile is building vertical indoor gardens for growing produce in your home faster and smarter.
Crouan points out that the function of the home has changed thanks to the likes of Airbnb, which has shined a light on security and access.
With that in mind, the program has been working with two startups that are turning smartphones into keys. Doordeck is creating a B2B solution for how people get into an office, allowing them to use their smartphone rather than an outdated proximity card to move within their building. Meanwhile Homyhub lets you control your garage door from anywhere via your smartphone, meaning you can open it up to a delivery even when you’re not there.
Both startups have huge potential in the ever-growing sharing economy as people look for quicker, easier, and secure ways to share assets. There is a clear need for better services in this area.
The home is still a place for growing and learning too though. Technology is influencing children’s development, says Crouan, and KidTech is a burgeoning market that’s only just starting to take off. Woogie is an IoT | Connected Devices startup that’s working in this area with their voice-activated device providing children with both entertainment and educational content, helping parents track their child’s development.
We hear a lot about consumer IoT products but the potential for industrial applications is huge too, if not bigger. Industrial IoT is tipped to be worth $151 billion by 2020 with functions and technologies being reinvented, such as 3D printing, condition monitoring, and robotics.
In this new industrial revolution, referred to by many as Industry 4.0, data is the oil. Accelerator participant ThingTrax is building hardware and software for collecting data from industrial machines to improve operational efficiency and cut down on any production downtime.
Cities across Europe are becoming smart cities with the implementation of IoT technologies like sensors, smart street lighting and data-driven traffic management systems. This all gathers huge amounts of data allowing for significant improvements to transport systems, local businesses and even the lives of the city’s residents.
It’s not easy though. Budget constraints, the costs of replacing legacy systems, and security and privacy are all major concerns for city governments.
Startupbootcamp is trying to instil confidence in the future of technology in the running of a city. It’s also running accelerator programs such as smart transport as well as a smart city-specific program. With its IoT program, it has identified one startup, Joyride, that’s building a Wi-Fi-powered platform for cities to monitor their bike sharing programs. It gives city planners a view into how the sharing program is being used and what needs to be improved.
These are just four of the biggest areas that will shape the internet of things in the coming year and beyond, and Crouan noted that overarching all of these is the development of AI and blockchain technology to enable IoT solutions.
Cisco, one of Startupbootcamp IoT | Connected Devices partners, projects that the internet of things will make up half of all connected devices by 2020. Crouan and Startupbootcamp have found nine startups they feel are creating products and services that can capitalise on these trends and can build successful businesses.
The Startupbootcamp IoT | Connected Devices Demo Day is taking place at Oval Space, Bethnal Green in London on January 25. You can now apply for tickets.