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-- IoT, from a geek buzzword to a multi billion business economy --
After so many years of living in the shadow of geeks and computer freaks, Internet of Thing is finally gaining momentum. The concept of computer's controlled equipements (eg. M2M, WSM) is probably as old as the ICT industry. Nowadays this field of the industry is widely known as the Internet of Things and it's closely binded to two others majors technology trends such as Big Data & Semantic Web.
Indeed, the extension to the residential home automation (eg. Lockitron keyless door, Nest thermostat, Lifx lightbulb, Koubachi plant monitoring, Fifthplay or HW-Group energy & water monitoring) & wellfare/well-being (eg. Withings Fitbit body scale, Everspring Co2/Temperature/Humidity) businesses, the health/fitness domains (eg. Withings blood pressure & heart monitoring), the entertainment arena (eg. Netflix or Apple OTT set-top boxes, Interaxion brain wiring, Samsung SmartTV), or the broad set of dailylife objects such as wearable computing (eg. Google or Vuzix glasses, i'm or Sony Smartwatches, Jawbone or Nike+ wristband, Hydratech O.R.B rings) have raise huge interest and awareness in the global economy.
The way these connected devices gets financed is also going disruptive. While various project still get funding through the classical models of business angels and VC, the trend of crowdfunding sites (eg. Kickstarter, Indigogo) enable entrepreneurs to kick off without any shares dilution.
Most business successes are often binded to technology evolution, standardisation organisation (eg. IEEE, IETF, GS1/EPCglobal,ITSA) and international consortium (eg. IoTC, Wearable Technologies , GSMA Connected Car).
The IoT business count numerous of these from last meters wireless harvesting (eg. bluethooth, zigbee, z-Wave, EnOcean, WiFi, LiFi, RFid/Mifare), embedded system hardware platform (eg. Arduino, Raspberry PI, Open picus, Ninja Blocks) to infrastructure & data protocol (eg. 6LowPAN, http RESTfull, EAN ONS, Fibaro) and software developper frameworks (eg. OpenRemote, SmartThings, App.net, Sen.se). Even our cars becomes connected leaded by automotive players such as Ford Sync/Applink, BMW ConnectedDrive, Renaud R-Link, Audi Connect, Toyota Entune, GSMA MirrorLink, etc.
Belgium is a country full of clever entrepreneurs and counts numerous startups acting in this connected world: Skylane open.yoursen.se, Vision Smart pic2shop, Arguslabs Jini, TagTagCity, Carambla, Getyoo, Vigo Robotics, Enerban, Selinko, Nomics, HMI Products, Uniwan, etc
The Walloon region also hold two technology clusters for that field, Infopole Smarthome & Infopole Connected Objects. It as also some dedicated research centers such as CETIC, IBBT, Multitel, etc.
By 2020, analysts predict that the planet will count 50 billions device connected to the Internet. This incredible crow is leading a immensely large business which will reduce the border between the real world and the virtual digital one.