The concept of the Internet of Things isn’t new and you might have already come across its definitions in a variety of sources. In brief, the idea behind the Internet of Things lies in the following: everyday devices are equipped with sensors, that make devices smarter and enable direct communication between devices and internet. Devices endowed with intelligence are able to gather data from the environment and send it to the cloud for processing, analysis and storage. Intelligence enables different forms of communication between devices, or between devices and people.
People can control smart objects remotely using smartphone, tablet or PC. Remote control of devices became possible through the implementation of different standards and protocols. To name just a few: ZWave, low energy Bluetooth, ZigBee, mesh routing technology, and etc.
We have already started witnessing a pervasive nature of the Internet of Things and the impact of intelligent objects on our lives. And it is only the beginning as the number of smart devices is growing at an exponential rate: it is predicted that approximately 50 billion things will be connected to the internet in 2020.
The following factors will make it happen:
- the costs of producing smart hardware have been reduced
- each device will acquire its own IP address
- a greater number of ubiquitous wireless networks will crop up, thus making access to more cost effective ways to gather and share data anytime, anywhere
- communication between devices and internet will require minimal human intervention
Regarding Austrian startup scene, I would say that the number of startups that operate in the Internet of Things field is growing. The most notable among them are the following:
Flatout Technologies developed an M2M platform for businesses interested in joining the market of the future, the Internet of Things. May it be Smart Homes, Ambient Assisted Living, Transportation, Hospitality, Smart Cities, E-Mobility.
Its IoT Platform connects "things” with the internet, transforming them into smart devices, which exchange real time information and thus open up new possibilities of how people live and businesses are run.
LoccaMini not only allows to monitor exact location of your belongings, but also serves as alarm system and notifies you when, e.g. your pet leaves home zone, or when someone is trying to steal your bike. Website: http://www.locca.me/
- Runtastic Libra – the smartest scale on the planet that measures overall weight, body fat and water percentages, muscle and bone mass, BMI, BMR and calories burned. Runtastic Libra enables data transfer to smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth Smart Techonolgy.
- Runtastic Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Monitor – measure not only your heart rate, but also speed, pace, altitude, distance and duration, thus making workout statistics more useful and reliable.
- Runtastic GPS Watch and Heart Rate Monitor – monitors your most important workout values, including pace, speed, distance, duration, laps, calories and heart rate, as well as elevation change and target heart rate zones.
- Runtastic Receiver and Heart Rate Monitor – tracks your heart rate data
- GPS-tracking device that allows you to monitor and locate your pets in real time. Live tracking feature allows to identify the current position of your pet.
- Tractive Motion device – monitors activity of your pet
- Tractive Pet-Remote – allows to control your pet
QGate offers QGate device that is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and allows to monitor, regulate and optimize functioning of home appliances. Embedded SIM card enables your communication with device and allows you to control appliances using your smartphone, tablet or PC from anywhere in the world. QGate connects your smartphone to living spaces and enables a wide range of uses. To name just a few: with QGate you are able to switch electric appliances on/off remotely, adjust temperature in the room, monitor energy use, track activity of your baby and well-being of your parents/grandparents, monitor your house when you are on holidays, receive notifications about fire/water alarms etc. QGate knows your expectations, adjusts environment to your preferences and takes care that you always stay in touch with your home. Website: https://qgate.com/intro/
Twingz, or Twitter for Things, is a service where hardware meets microblogging, allowing people and machines communicate between each other. The idea behind Twingz is explained by the founder of startup in this video: