When we talk about the Internet of Things, it’s not just putting RFID tags on some dumb thing so we smart people know where that dumb thing is. It’s about embedding intelligence so things become smarter and do more than they were proposed to do. — Nicholas Negroponte, Founder of MIT Media Lab
The phrase “Internet of Things” was coined by Kevin Ashton of the MIT Auto-ID Center in 1999 to describe the “network connecting objects in the physical world to the Internet.” Our founders worked closely with the MIT Auto-ID center in the early 2000s to develop the first wave of IoT standards (ALE, EPCIS) and technologies (ONS, Savant).
The term IoT has now evolved to describe any technology that connects the physical world to the digital world, such as smart thermostats and fitness trackers. During this same time, the focus of IoT vendors has shifted away from standards compliance and towards delivering vertically-integrated solutions that target specific use-cases.
The most successful IoT vendors today combine their hardware technology with cloud-hosted software services and APIs to address specific needs of the customer. This trend started with Nest Labs which was acquired by Google for $3.2 billion in 2014.
A vertical focus helps target the right use-cases and deliver the best user experience. Furthermore, it helps IoT hardware vendors avoid the competitive pressure from commoditized standards-compliant hardware products. Enterprises that need the IoT data can use APIs on the public cloud, hosted by the IoT vendor, rather than connecting directly with the hardware devices.
We collaborate with IoT vendors to envision and build cloud-hosted portals and solutions that address their target market. The team at LambdaZen has very deep expertise in creating software products that connect to sensors and actuators and realize enterprise use-cases such as inventory management and asset tracking. Software products developed by our team have been deployed at several large retailers, CPG companies and high-tech manufacturing giants.