As operators expand their commercial horizons ever more broadly with the rise of IoT – becoming not only the providers of connectivity, but connected services themselves – they’re taking more of an interest in broader tech innovation than ever. We take a look below at the five which most caught our attention at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.
Bare Conductive’s focus is on solutions which connect basic objects, rather than more complex devices. Their 3D-printable sensors can be adhered to surfaces and spaces to provide very low power connectivity – an interactive wall, for instance, or a connected sink. An ingenious form of conductive paint allows electrical wires to be ‘drawn’ across surfaces with liquid dispensers, allows such previously unthought of innovations like connected wallpaper to be knocked out cheaply and with ease – we can’t wait to see what use this will be put to as the connected environment takes off with the growth of IoT.
Zero Mass Water’s offering is one of those innovations which truly stands out – as something that could make a profound difference not simply to entertainment or commerce, but the viability of actual human lives. A blend of thermodynamics and materials science has yielded SOURCE: a hydropanel which creates water from nothing but sunlight and air. Connected by SIM, this inspiring piece of kit looks poised to deliver water access, quality and security to some of those who most need it around the world – as well as built environments such as schools and hospitals – while cutting down on transportation costs and emissions, allowing sustainable development goals to be more easily met.
Bell’s four passenger UAV taxi, the Nexus, has a 150-mile range, a top speed of 150mph, and is equipped with an augmented reality driver experience for the initial use cases, in which it will be piloted; the plan is ultimately for it to the fly autonomously. To bring this a little closer to relatable everyday life, we should point out that Bell are already partnering with Uber to bring this service into operation and start flying passengers from A to B! There’s huge potential here for cellular technologies to play a role in that service delivery, as operators move increasingly to enable deployments of UAVs which can not only travel further, but beyond visual line of sight.
Cosmo Connected’s connected brake light promises to save lives. Lights attached to the back of the user’s helmet indicate the turning or deceleration of motorcyclists, at the eye level of motorists behind them; and, should the motorcyclist fall, it detects and signals the accident to their friends, family and the emergency services via SMS, who can then respond to the GPS-tracked location. There are also no compatibility issues – no special helmet is required, it can go straight onto any ordinary model.
And, finally, Creative Semiconductor Limited upcoming voice-assisted LTE-M camera uses 4G connectivity, on both wide and narrow bands, to allow real-time streaming of video without the need for WiFi. Connected cameras are generally an expensive affair, which depend on a strong internet connection from the home’s router, posing obvious economic and security drawbacks. This camera sidesteps these with low power consumption and unit cost, drawing on wide area connectivity – a real step change in home security and won an award at CES for the difference it’s poised to make to smart homes.
As operators expand deeper into these areas, the agenda of Mobile World Congress takes an ever broader technological view. At the 8th Mobile IoT Summit at MWC19 next month, senior IoT experts from leading operators and their industry partners – including AT&T, Huawei, Telefonica and Verizon – will gather in Barcelona to consider the latest developments in Mobile IoT, and the commercial opportunities these provide. You can register to secure your place at the Summit here – early booking is recommended for what proves an increasingly hot ticket in the industry calendar with every new year.
Find out more and register for the Mobile IoT Summit