IoT News Roundup

By Mary Catherine O'Connor

McKinsey Global Institute offers rosy forecast, with warnings, for IoT market; Curb's crowdfunding off to strong start; M2M service provider Aeris to launch analytics software tools; Fujitsu turns to IQP Corp. for app development.

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McKinsey Foresees $11.1 Trillion IoT Market by 2025
Economic impacts from Internet of Things technologies could reach $11.1 trillion by 2025, according to a new study by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI). But the study's authors say that the technologies comprising the IoT are being underutilized, especially for commercial uses and in developing countries.

McKinsey determined that despite the greater attention consumer-facing IoT applications receive, Internet of Things technologies will have a far greater impact on the business world. Business-to-business applications could generate nearly 70 percent of the potential value enabled by the IoT, the authors claim.

But a lack of compatibility between IoT systems, they say, is a major inhibitor to success. They note that 40 to 60 percent of the IoT's potential impacts are dependent upon interoperability between systems.

The report also asserts that end users of IoT systems must do a better job of utilizing the data they collect. As an example, it says, "only 1 percent of data from an oil rig with 30,000 sensors is examined. The data that are used today are mostly for anomaly detection and control, not optimization and prediction, which provide the greatest value."

The report, titled "The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value Beyond the Hype," is available for download here.

Curb Home Energy Product Launched
Austin, Texas-based startup Curb has launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund its eponymous product, an energy-savings tool composed of a hub device mounted inside or next to a home's breaker box, as well as wired sensors snapped onto breakers. The hub transmits energy-usage data, via the home's broadband Internet connection, either through Ethernet over Power (enabled by a small receiver plugged into an outlet near the home router, which is provided) or through an Ethernet cable, to the home's Internet router and then to Curb's cloud-based servers. Homeowners can then use the Curb app on their smartphones or computers to monitor their energy usage in real time, and to receive alerts if any breaker indicates higher-than-normal use.

The app shows a breakdown of the energy use and costs, based on appliance, device or zone. An alert feature lets homeowners know if consumption patterns may indicate that an appliance is not functioning properly or may soon fail. It also offers bill estimates based on usage and suggestions for changing behaviors in order to converse more energy. Curb says it plans to develop partnerships with smart home product manufacturers in order to integrate controls of those devices into the Curb app. In that way, a homeowner could use the app to, for instance, change the set temperature of a smart home heating or air conditioning system.

At one week into the Indiegogo campaign, Curb has already raised $40,000 to fund the product—well past its $25,000 goal. Curb is made in three different configurations: Lite, Pro and Duo. The Lite version plugs into only six circuits, is designed for use in apartments and costs $249. The Pro model has 18 circuit leads and costs $299. Curb offers a 20 percent discount when professional home energy service providers purchase 10 Curb Pro units. The Curb Duo, for $549, is simply a two-pack of the 18-lead devices and is designed for large homes containing multiple breaker boxes.

Aeris Launcheing IoT Analytics Tool, AerVoyance
Aeris, a provider of cellular-based machine-to-machine (M2M) communication systems, is introducing AerVoyance, an M2M and Internet of Things analytics service designed to help customers gain insights into the data they collect, and to better manage and troubleshoot the IoT devices they deploy.

AerVoyance provides an overview of billing, data usage and the status of each device in a customer's deployment, which can be viewed on either a historical or real-time basis. The diagnostics and data-analysis tools help customers scrutinize their bills to keep costs under control. AerVoyance also allows users to set alerts if pre-determined data thresholds are met, and machine-learning algorithms are used to search for anomalous events, such as data-transmission failures, and to create forecasts based on past performance.

The AerVoyance product is offered in two tiers. Basic functionality is available at no charge to Aeris customers, while advanced functionality includes the forecasting features and is priced on a per-device, per-month basis. Aeris has not disclosed those fees, but reports that AerVoyance will be generally available early in the third quarter of this year.

IQP Corp. Partnering With Fujitsu
IQP Corp., a Tokyo-based Web applications development company, says it has partnered with Fujitsu. Through the agreement, IQP will contribute its Code-Free App Development System—a platform designed to help companies and their customers quickly create IoT applications using tools that do not require coding—to Fujitsu Ltd.'s IoT initiatives.

According to IQP, Fujitsu began testing the application-development platform in November 2014, and plans to make it accessible to Fujitsu's customers through the Fujitsu Cloud IoT Platform, which the company just launched.

IQP says it plans to develop an office in Silicon Valley. What's more, the firm has recently received an equity investment of an undisclosed value from Fujitsu's corporate venture fund.