I thought it’d be fun to put together an A-Z list of IoT related companies. I had some difficulty finding a public company for EVERY letter of the alphabet, so if you have any suggestions, as always, let me know! I’ll attribute any edits to YOU, my fellow #4IR prepper.
I KNOW I’ve left our some interesting IoT companies… at some point, I just have to push the “publish” button, lol. I don’t see very many of these lists out there right now, and they’re SUPER valuable for organizing thoughts on investment, so let’s continue to build this one together and make it the best on the internet!
Note: this list includes companies involved in not only IoT, but Internet of Everything, Industrial Internet, and more. I’m working on an aggregated list, not one segmented by IoT sectors or uses cases.
Check out this never-to-be-completed-work-in-progress list of companies using the Internet of Things:
Factory of the Future – To say that assembling a commercial jetliner is an elaborate affair would be an understatement. Such craft have millions of components and tens of thousands of assembly steps, and the cost of mistakes during the process can be enormous. To tackle the complexity, Airbus has launched a digital manufacturing initiative known as Factory of the Future to streamline operations and bolster production capacity. The company has integrated sensors to tools and machines on the shop floor and given workers wearable technology — including industrial smart glasses — designed to reduce errors and bolster safety in the workplace. In one procedure, known as cabin-seat marking, the wearables enabled a 500% improvement in productivity while nearly eliminating errors.
One of the more obvious IoT industry leaders is Alphabet Inc. and its line of Nest home monitoring products. Alphabet, under the Google name at the time, acquired Nest for $3.2 billion in early 2014, and since then the brand has become one of the biggest names in home automation with its smart thermostats, smoke detectors, and safety cameras.
Reinventing warehousing – The online retail giant doesn’t often get called an IIoT company, but, to be sure, the company is an innovator when it comes to warehousing and logistics. As MIT Technology Review has put it: Amazon is “testing the limits of automation and human-machine collaboration.” While the company’s ambitions to use drones for delivery has won considerable media attention, the firm’s fulfillment warehouses make use of armies of Wi-Fi-connected Kiva robots. The basic idea behind the Kiva technology, which Amazon acquired for $775 million in 2012, is that it makes more sense to have robots locate shelves of products and bring them to workers rather than have employees go to the shelves to hunt for products. And we haven’t even started talking about Amazon’s smart home assistant, Alexa… the company’s Echo smart speakers, which utilize its Alexa home connectivity technology, are probably the most popular consumer IoT product on the market right now. Additionally, Amazon’s Dash Buttons, which allow users to re-order specific products with the click of an actual physical button that can be placed anywhere in the home, could be considered an entry-level IoT device.
AT&T is banking on its broadband network being a key enabler of IoT. The company has launched a cloud-based data storage dervice and Data Flow, a development portal for building applications for the world of IoT.
Using IoT to drive manufacturing efficiency – Aviation pioneer William Boeing quipped that it “behooves no one to dismiss any novel idea with the statement, ‘It can’t be done.’” The multinational aviation company founded in Boeing’s name apparently still subscribes to that ethos. It is now working toward the long-term goal of making its service offerings more important than its products while being the most valuable information provider in aviation. The company has already made significant strides in transforming its business. Boeing and its Tapestry Solutions subsidiary have aggressively deployed IoT technology to drive efficiency throughout factories and supply chains. The company is also steadily increasing the volumes of connected sensors embedded into its planes.
Track and trace innovator – In 2015, Bosch launched what would be the Industrial Internet Consortium’s first test bed. The primary inspiration behind the so-called Track and Trace program is that workers would spend a sizable amount of their time hunting down tools. So the company added sensors to its tools to track them, starting with a cordless nutrunner. As the resolution of the tracking becomes more precise, Bosch plans to use the system to guide assembly operations.
An IIoT pioneer – Heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar has long been an IoT pioneer. For instance, consider how CAT is using IoT and augmented reality (AR) to give machine operators an at-a-glance view of everything from fuel levels to when air filters need replacing. If an old filter expires, the company can send basic instructions for how to replace it via an AR app. The company’s marine asset intelligence division is also an innovator.
Cisco predicts that by 2020, there could be 50 billion devices connected to what it calls the “Internet of Everything.” It’s hoping many of those devices will use the company’s networking equipment to communicate. Cisco has carved out a range of IoT services, from network connectivity (including switching, routing, wireless access and embedded network hardware), to fog computing services (which bring data collection, storage and analysis to the network edge), to data analytics, security, management, and automation.
Like many of its peers, Comcast has been contending with fleeing cable subscribers thanks to Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming media companies that are threatening traditional pay-TV. To offset this somewhat, Comcast has decided to forge ahead into the IoT. Comcast is focusing on Icontrol’s “Converge” software platform, a recent acquisition, which is the muscle behind Comcast’s Xfinity Home touch-screen panel and back-end servers, that lets the devices communicate with and manage security sensors in the home, along with providing support for home automation devices such as cameras and thermostats.
As an enterprise hardware manufacturer, Dell is preparing its infrastructure components for a world of IoT. It’s offering endpoint connectivity for devices plus back-end storage and analytics platforms to manage IoT data. In 2014, Dell opened its IoT Lab in Solicon Valley in partnership with Intel.
Ericsson has a vision of 50 billion connected devices by 2020. Included in this vision is the Networked Society where all aspects of people’s lives, the operations of enterprises and society in general are impacted by the proliferation of communications. The Internet of Things will be a major cornerstone of an emerging networked society.
Freescale sees the Internet of Things (IoT) as billions of intelligent connections that will encompass every aspect of our lives and make our world smarter, greener and safer. “We believe that the biggest opportunities within the IoT will be in the transformational shift from the computing nexus to highly intelligent nodes – when intelligence massively scales, and the nodes have the power to learn, adapt and communicate.”
A pioneer in connected manufacturing – Gehring Technologies, a 91-year-old company that makes machines for honing metal, was early to embrace IIoT technology. Now, the company enables its customers to see live data on how Gehring’s machines work before they place an order. It does so by using digital technology, beaming real-time information from a new machine to a customer to ensure that it meets the customer’s requirements for precision and efficiency. Gehring uses the same cloud-based real-time tracking to reduce downtime and optimize its own manufacturing productivity through monitoring its connected manufacturing systems, visualizing and analyzing data from its machine tools in the cloud.
GE is credited with coining the term the “Industrial Internet of Things” to depict the idea of connecting devices used in manufacturing to the Internet. GE hopes to help facilitate that through its Asset Performance Management platform, which aims to use data and real-time analytics to prevent unplanned downtime. Predix, a cloud-based data and analytics service, is another pillar of GE’s IIoT plans.
An integrated IIoT approach – The Japanese company stands out from other industrial companies in terms of its integration and experience across operational and information technology. While most other industrial conglomerates leverage partnerships to fill in the gaps in their IoT knowledge, Hitachi is more independent. The company has more than 16,000 employees focused on the technology in some capacity. While it offers an IoT platform known as Lumada, Hitachi also makes a plethora of products leveraging connected technology, including trains, which the company is beginning to sell as a service. Hitachi has also developed an IoT-enhanced production model that it claims has slashed production lead times by half within its Omika Works division, which manufactures infrastructure for electricity, traffic, steel manufacturing and other industries.
Honeywell’s primary focus is in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the integration of digital technologies into manufacturing. This puts the emphasis on information rather than physical machinery, even for areas that traditionally require physical labor. Investors would be wise to consider Honeywell because of its considerable size and resources. Accenture conducted a worldwide survey of more than 1,400 business decision makers and found that 84% think their organization would potentially benefit from IIoT in multiple ways. But a mere 7% said they have actually created a comprehensive IIoT strategy and invested appropriate funds to support that strategy. This creates a tremendous opportunity for Honeywell, which can step in and increase that 7% figure considerably.
Chinese telecom/network vendor Huawei made a big push in the IoT market when it released LiteOs, a micro operating system for IoT devices. It joined the Cloud Foundry open-source community to help create an IoT application development platform, too. Huawei is taking on the IoT market in Asia and increasingly in the U.S., hoping a world of connected devices will usher in new opportunities for its core networking products.
Primarily an information technology-focused company, IBM figures to be a major player in the IoT. Currently, IBM holds a patent regarding data filtering in Internet of Things devices, which describes a process in which devices receive and interpret information. This patent puts IBM amongst the frontrunners in technology that allows devices to communicate without human interaction. Furthermore, IBM has an Internet of Things partnership with Cisco Systems. IBM will implement its Watson technology into Cisco’s wide network of edge devices and end points in an effort to provide real-time feedback and data for the oil & gas, manufacturing, shipping, and mining industries.
In a world of connected devices, all those gadgets are going to need processor chips. Intel wants to be the company supplying silicon for the Internet of Everything. The company has rolled out a variety of products to serve the IoT, from its Quark line that provides low-power computing for small-form factor appliances, to Atom processors that are ideal for rich graphic rendering.
John Deer, one of the leaders in the area of equipment manufacturer, uses IoT and Big Data system and sensors to monitor the soil health, moisture levels, wind speed, solar radiation, rainfall, air and soil temperature, and leaf wetness and sends this data to farmers. The farmers can use this information to make more timely and accurate irrigation decisions. As the field of agriculture becomes more of a science and less of an art passed down the generational line, John Deere is responding by deploying Internet of Things technology — perhaps most notably with self-driving tractors. As The Washington Post wrote in 2015, Google didn’t lead the self-driving vehicle revolution, John Deere did. The company also happens to be a pioneer in GPS technology. The most-advanced systems it uses in tractors are accurate to 2 centimeters. In addition, the company has deployed telematics technology for predictive maintenance applications.
Smart Shelf – Kroger, one of the world’s largest supermarkets having annual sales of more than $110 billion, has embraced IoT to enhance its profitability, customer satisfaction, and workforce efficiency. Kroger also implemented interactive shelves and products using testing sensors and analytics technology at some of its stores – these shelves tell you exactly where the items on your grocery list are and also send you an alert if you accidentally pass those by on the shelf. The shelves are also smart enough to highlight the exact item you are looking for on the crowded rack.
Libelium is a wireless sensor network platform provider that delivers, open-source, low-power consumption devices that are easy to program and implement for Smart Cities solutions and a wide range of M2M and sensor projects. All of Libelium’s products are modular, horizontal and easy to integrate into third-party systems. Because of its innovative hardware integration design and horizontal approach, Libelium’s Waspmote—the company’s open-source wireless sensor platform—has the potential to be the standard, universal platform for the upcoming technological age of the Internet of Things. Waspmote works with different protocols (ZigBee, Bluetooth, 3G/GPRS) and frequencies (2.4GHz, 868MHz, 900MHz) and is capable of communicating over long distances (up to 12 km) while maintaining low power consumption Smart Cities, Smart Environment, Smart Water, Smart Metering, Security & Emergencies, Retail, Logistics, Industrial Control, Smart Agriculture, Smart Animal Farming, Domestic & Home Automation, and eHealth. It’s been said that Libelium is the quintessential IoT company.
Intelligent logistics – Shipping millions of containers to 121 countries across the world, the Danish shipping company has embraced the Internet of Things to keep track of its assets and optimize fuel consumption and the routes of its ships. The technology has proven to be especially useful for refrigerated containers, whose contents could spoil in the absence of tight temperature control. Because the company spends some $1 billion annually on transporting empty shipping containers, Maersk has enlisted sensors and data analytics to inform how it stores and locates them. The company is using blockchain technology to optimize its supply chain operations further.
Microsoft has rolled out an IoT Suite for its Azure public cloud, which includes an IoT Hub for users to connect, monitor and control devices; a streaming analytics service combined with machine learning; a notification hub for sending messages across IoT devices, and Power BI. To ease customers’ transition to IoT, Microsoft has a handful of preconfigured IoT templates, including one for customers to remotely monitor IoT devices, and another for rolling out preditive maintenance.
The bears’ misconception regarding Nvidia is that it’s just a gaming company that succeeded in using its GPUs in autonomous cars and datacenters. Well, that’s wrong. Even though the majority of Nvidia’s revenues are from gaming, its future is far away from a gaming company. Nvidia won’t just be limited to the three sectors mentioned. Instead, it will take part in everything regarding the internet of things (“IoT”). Nvidia will take advantage of the booms in everything related to artificial intelligence, and thus the IoT. This include, but not limited to, data centers, autonomous driving, drones, new-generation whiteboards, virtual reality, and many other booms that are expected to take place in the coming decades.
Oracle wants its database and applications to be the platform its customers use to manage and analyze IoT data. Oracle is building connections for its SQL, NoSQL and Hadoop databases to ingest IoT data and integrate data back into the company’s applications (Oracle Sales cloud, Service Cloud and CRM). Oracle has an IoT service and IoT cloud that prepackages these workflow services into a product.
In the IoT era, PTC’s customers are bringing to market increasingly smart and connected products which can generate value in new ways as streams of real-time operational data are captured, analyzed, and shared to deepen a company’s understanding of its products’ performance, use, and reliability. PTC will use the ThingWorx platform to speed the creation of high value IoT applications that support manufacturers’ service strategies, such as predictive maintenance and system monitoring, in complement to PTC’s existing service lifecycle management (SLM) and extended product lifecycle management (PLM) solution portfolio.
Semiconductor company Qualcomm has its fingers in all sorts of IoT initiatives, including projects which aim to create open-source protocols for IoT devices. Qualcomm is offering a variety of connectivity services and platforms.
Intelligent Engines – Rolls-Royce is collaborating with Microsoft to transform the aerospace industry. The Rolls-Royce’s TotalCare Services is incorporating advanced analytics and IoT to aggregate data from disparate sources, integrate large quantities of airline operational data and apply smart data analysis capabilities and predictive tools to help airlines reduce fuel usage and fly routes more efficiently. This information will also be useful for ensuring that the right teams and equipment are in place to optimally service the engines.
Royal Dutch Shell
Smart oil field innovator – Named the most innovative oil-and-gas company in a survey from Rigzone in 2016, Shell reports that its smart oil fields can obtain 10% more oil and 5% more gas than traditional fields. The company links its high-tech wells with fiber-optic cable that allows remote employees to monitor operations remotely. The company recently launched a digital twin initiative for an offshore rig in the southern North Sea.
While many other companies are building ways for connected devices to impact industrial and commercial operations, Salesforce.com says that the IoT presents a new opportunity for marketers to gain deeper insights into their prospects and customers. Connected devices allow chief marketing offices to learn how their products are being evaluated and used, what stage of the process the prospects are in and potentially what factors influence buying behavior. Salesforce.com has introduced its IoT Cloud, powered by its real-time processing engine named Thunder. IoT is not just about connected machines, it’s about connected products and marketing, as well.
Samsung is another major player in IoT with its SmartThings brand. Samsung SmartThings are a series of in-home products, ranging from electric outlets to motion sensors, which allow for easier control of a users’ entire home. Samsung promises to make all of its devices IoT ready by 2020.
Stanley Black & Decker
Connected technology for construction and beyond – The maker of industrial and household tools is an IIoT pioneer in several respects. The company, which operates 16 core business units, has deployed connected technology for everything from commercial security to its manufacturing facilities to connected tooling used in its customers’ factories. The company’s smart factory program in Reynosa, Mexico, led to a 24% increase in production of routers used for woodworking. Where the company really shines, though, is in its connected job site initiative, which uses radio signals to help monitor the location of tools, monitor construction progress and comply with OSHA rules. The company’s DeWalt division is also launching an initiative known as Construction Internet of Things, which will use a Wi-Fi mesh network and an IoT platform to monitor workers and equipment across the job site. Already, DeWalt has debuted a connected battery service that can not only monitor battery levels but shut down tools if a thief attempts to remove them from a defined area.
T-Mobile has been the poster child for unorthodox but successful methods in the wireless carrier wars, and it’s also been extending its arms into the Internet of Things. The carrier partnered with Twilio to create Twilio Programmable Wireless, a cellular communications platform that could change how IoT developers work. Moreover, T-Mobile was ahead of the curve as it debuted its IoT program through its Value Added Reseller channel in 2005 and created a full, dedicated IoT team in 2008. Today, the company offers a full hub that serves as a one-stop shop for IoT customers.
UPS, one of the world’s largest shipping companies, has leveraged the power of IoT and big data analytics to improve its efficiency, save money and also reduce the impact on the environment. Sensors are used on delivery vehicles to monitor their speed, mileage, stops, and the overall engine health. Using the data of more than 200 data points for each vehicle, UPS takes measures to reduce idling time and fuel consumption.
Do you know that every component of Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787 is attached to a wireless airplane network? Per flight, the aircraft creates more than 1/3rd of a terabyte of data and gathers real-time IoT data on the flight performance, maintenance etc. With this, if there is even a small problem with, say, the engines, the ground staff knows about it even before the plane lands and the staff can make sure that the parts are ready before the plane lands. It has helped Virgin Atlantic in ensuring safer flights, lesser delays, and of course, happier customers.
Disney World’s MagicBand is an awesome example of IoT and big data working together. The MagicBand is a sensor-enabled wristband that the Disney World visitors can use to do all the things at Disney World – right from check into the hotel room, buy their lunch, buy rides, and also reserve a spot for specific attractions. When the wearers ‘check in’ at certain posts using the band, Disney collects this data on visitor movement and uses it to create a smooth experience for guests, allocate sufficient staff for rides and attractions, and optimize the inventory at shops and restaurants.
“Profit from the Connected Product Conversation with the Xively IoT Platform.” Xively (formerly known as Cosm and Pachube) is a division of LogMeIn Inc., a global, public company that provides remote access and collaboration products including Rescue, Boldchat, join.me, and Cubby. Xively by LogMeIn offers an Internet of Things (IoT) platform as a service, business services, and partners that enable businesses to quickly connect products and operations to the Internet.
Y Combinator provides seed funding for startups, the earliest stage of venture funding. “At Y Combinator, our goal is to get you through the first phase. This usually means: get you to the point where you’ve built something impressive enough to raise money on a larger scale. Then we can introduce you to later stage investors—or occasionally even acquirers.” It’s the investments of Y Combinator that make it interesting from an IoT perspective: As of 2017, Y Combinator had invested in ~1,450 companies, including , Airbnb , Coinbase , Stripe , Reddit , Zenefits , BuildZoom , Instacart , Twitch.tv , Machine Zone , Weebly , Paribus , and Chinese startup Raven Tech.
“Zebra makes business as smart and connected as the world we live in.” Real-time information is the life’s blood of today’s data-centric world. And with hardware, talking to software, talking to the cloud, Zebra’s intelligent, enterprise-level solutions give clients instant connectivity and visibility. The Internet of Things (IoT), mobility, and cloud computing have converged into a new operational model that Zebra Technologies refers to as “the Intelligent Enterprise.”
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