Check out our recap of the Internet of Things in 2018 :

The 10 Biggest IoT News Stories Of 2018

#10 Siemens Acquires Mendix To Make IoT Development Easier

Siemens took a step toward making application development easier for the industrial Internet of Things when it unveiled a deal to acquire. Mendix, a Boston-based provider of low-code application development software, for roughly $730 million. The industrial giant said the acquisition will help customers adopt its MindSphere IoT platform faster "by accelerating cloud-based application development." When the acquisition closes, which is expected to happen in the first quarter of 2019, Mendix will become part of Siemens' Digital Factory Division. Learn more on enterpriseiotinsights.com.

#9 Intel Sells Industrial IoT Player Wind River

Intel decided to reduce its focus on industrial Internet of Things software with the move to sell its Wind River Systems subsidiary to private equity firm TPG Capital, a deal that was announced in April. The semiconductor giant had acquired Wind River, a maker of embedded operating systems for industrial companies, in 2009. Intel said it divested Wind River to "focus on growth opportunities that align to Intel's data-centric strategy." In an interview with CRN when the deal closed in June, Wind River CEO Jim Douglas said that his company's growth had been "hamstrung" under Intel's ownership because of conflicting priorities. Find out more on crn.com and electronicsweekly.com.

#8 IoT Security Flaw Leaves 496 Million Devices Vulnerable

Armis disclosed in June that to cyberattacks because of an old web exploit called DNS rebinding. The cybersecurity startup, which previously discovered the BlueBorne malware attack, said the security flaw allows an attacker to bypass a network firewall and use a victim's web browser to access other devices on the network. The impacted devices include switches, routers, access points, streaming media players, speakers, IP phones, printers and smart TVs. More info on it.slashdot.org.

#7 LogMeIn Sells Xively To Google Cloud

LogMeIn significantly reeled back its Internet of Things ambitions in February when the collaboration software maker said that it was selling its Xively IoT connectivity platform to Google for $50 million. The company had acquired Xively, which was previously known as Pachube, back in 2011, and Michael Simon, LogMeIn's CEO at the time, had predicted a couple years later that Xively would become a majority of LogMeIn's business by 2020. But Xively failed to meet growth expectations over time. Google is integrating Xively's connectivity features into its Google Cloud IoT platform. For more check zdnet.com.

#6 Rockwell Automation Invests $1 Billion In PTC For IoT Partnership

Industrial software maker PTC received a major Internet of Things boost when the company announced it was . The investment was made as part of a new strategic partnership that included integrating PTC's IoT offerings —ThingWorx, Kepware and the Vuforia augmented reality platform—with Rockwell's FactoryTalk and Industrial Automation platforms. The deal was also expected to give channel partners for each company expanded cross-sell opportunities. Learn more on epam.com.

#5 California Passes IoT Device Security Law

California in September became the first state to pass a law that regulates the security standards of Internet of Things devices, which will impact any company that sells such devices in the state. The law requires manufacturers of devices with direct or indirect internet connectivity to include "reasonable" security features that prevent unauthorized access. For devices that come with password protection, the devices must ship with either unique passwords or an automatic password reset when the device is activated. The law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020. Read more on thesecurityblogger.com

#4 U.S. Acknowledges Russians Hacking Into Power Grid

The U.S. government acknowledged in March for the first time that Russian government hackers have been targeting and penetrating "critical infrastructure, including energy, nuclear and commercial facilities, since at least March 2016." While the hacks into the U.S. power grid have not resulted in any systems being shut down or altered so far, the news underscored the growing importance of security solutions for the industrial Internet of Things. Check kpbs.org for more.

#3 Microsoft Announces $5 Billion IoT Investment, Azure Sphere

Microsoft made a big splash in April when it said that the company would invest $5 billion into Internet of Things initiatives over the next four years—a plan that is expected to benefit channel partners. Some of that investment has already resulted in major IoT product news, including Azure Sphere, a first-of-its-kind IoT solution designed to protect microcontroller unit devices. The company has also unveiled Azure Digital Twins, a new IoT platform for building digital models of physical assets. Find out more on swc.com.

#2 Amazon Acquires Ring For $1 Billion

Amazon became an even bigger player in the consumer smart devices market when it acquired security device maker Ring in April for a reported $1 billion. The e-commerce behemoth, which already leads in the voice assistant market with Alexa, bought Ring not just to add to its home security offerings but to expand its smart home footprint. Ring's flagship product, a video doorbell, for instance, plays into Amazon's desire to improve home delivery and reduce package theft—an issue Amazon had already started to tackle with the Amazon Key product. For more check abcnews.go.com.

#1 GE To Spin Off GE Digital Into Stand-Alone IoT Company

General Electric ended months of speculation about the fate of its GE Digital business with the December news that it would spin off the industrial Internet of Things player into a $1.2 billion stand-alone company. The Boston-based company said GE Digital would remain under GE's ownership and operate independently, with its own equity structure and board. At the same time, GE said it had reached a deal to sell a majority stake of ServiceMax, its field service management software that was part of GE Digital, to private equity firm Silver Lake. Read more on siliconangle.com.

Top 10 IOT Gadgets for 2018

#10 Logitech Harmony Smart Remote

Harmony Elite is the powerful, intuitive way to control your entertainment. But life doesn’t only happen in the living room. Or only at home for that matter. Harmony Elite goes beyond TV and movies. Far beyond. You can buy device here.

Logitech Harmony Smart Remote

#9 DJI Mavic Air Drone

Adventure Unfolds, 32 MP Sphere Panoramas, Foldable & Portable, 3-Axis Gimbal & 4K Camera, 3-Directional Environment Sensing. You can buy it here.

#8 August smartlock

Secure, keyless entry for your smart home. Lock and unlock your door, control keyless access and keep track of who comes and goes, all from your phone. You can buy device here.


#7 Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch

Introducing Fitbit Ionic—the watch designed for your life. Find the guidance to reach your goals with dynamic personal coaching, built-in GPS and continuous heart rate. Stay motivated by storing and playing 300+ songs and get inspired by a global fitness community. You can buy it here.

#6 Star Wars Augmented Reality Robot with Companion App

Companion App with Augmented Reality: Protect the First Order against the Resistance in your own room, issuing direct verbal orders, and launch attacks via the app interface in first and third person views for immersive interactive app play. You can buy it here.

#5 NEST Learning Thermostat

The Nest Learning Thermostat is here to help make your home work for you. Using smart learning technology, the Nest Learning Thermostat can learn what you like and automatically adjust itself to your comfort level. You can buy device here.

#4 LIFX — WiFi Smart LED

LIFX is a smart lightbulb that uses Wi-Fi to bring immersive color to your home. A simple-to-use app allows you to fine tune your lighting experience; control a single light or your entire home and enjoy strong vibrant colors along with delicate whites. You can buy it here.

#3 Google daydream View VR

Daydream View is a headset and controller that lets you experience high-quality, immersive virtual reality (VR). Simply place your Daydream-ready phone into the headset to get started. You can buy device here.

#2 Awair Glow — Air Quality Monitor

Awair Glow tracks toxins and chemicals in your air and gives you personalized tips to help you stay safe and healthy. Glow plugs directly into the wall and can also turn on your “non-smart” devices the moment your air quality drops (or at certain times throughout the day). You can buy device here.

#1 Tile Mate Key Finder

The world’s best-selling Bluetooth tracker just got 25% smaller. Tile Mate easily loops onto keychains or attaches to anything you don’t want to lose so you can find it fast. Buy it here.

10 IoT Companies of 2018: Some old companies are embracing the new

General Electric

  • Formed in 1889 by Thomas Edison, GE is one of the largest companies in America, and I’m sure that it can be bureaucratic and slow-moving. But I have seen GE embrace IoT as a way to reinvent itself and stay relevant.
  • In early 2014, GE was one of the founding members of the Industrial Internet Consortium that writes guidelines for bringing IoT to the factory floor. It has reshaped many of its products from jet engines to programmable logic controllers to give them new life as smart, networked products that generate data flows that are seen as valuable as the products themselves.
  • Indeed, GE aims to be an arm’s supplier for industrial IoT with a suite of products launched in late 2016. At its core, GE’s Predix software aims to sift the big data stores that industrial IoT will generate with the latest neural network technologies, helping companies search for nuggets of insight.

For more check arcweb.com, padtronics.com, globalbigdataconference.com.

Schneider Electric

Like GE, Schneider is an old tech company in the old business of electricity. And like GE, it is embracing IoT as a way to energize its business and the business of its customers. In May 2016, Schneider announced an IoT cloud service linking offerings across its portfolio of electrical switches, breakers, and distribution products.

The company has made IoT a priority for top execs who see it reshaping the products and business models that it offers. Likewise, its engineers are making hard choices about the technologies that it backs, such as Zigbee for factory floor mesh networking, evangelizing others to follow them.

Read more on eetimes.com here and here.

ARM

As the dominant player in microcontroller technology, the IoT is ARM’s battle to lose — and so far, it is fighting with vigor. Early on, the core designer identified security as the weak underbelly of IoT and set out on a multi-year journey to build a portfolio of security options for its customers.

At its last annual event in October, ARM’s technical fellows gathered to share their thoughts about how IoT will impact the long-term future of everything from MCUs to memory, sensors, radios, and packaging. Clearly, they aim to stake out leadership positions in these fields.

Learn more on globalsources.com and pcmag.com.

Robert Bosch

At a time when the number of companies building semiconductor fabs is shrinking, Robert Bosch raised eyebrows in June with its plan to plunk down $1.1 billion on a new fab — the biggest investment in its 130-year history. The Dresden plant will make MEMS, targeting the expanding footprint of the IoT.

The new fab won’t be up and running until 2021. Nevertheless, it is a sign that Bosch is betting a big chunk of its patient capital on IoT.

In the last few years, smartphones made sensors sexy. IoT will spread this market in every direction. There will be plenty of room for innovation for Bosch’s wide and growing set of rivals. But if you want a view of this segment from someone not blinkered by the next fiscal quarter, look to the folks in Stuttgart.

Read more i-micronews.com.

The Channel

There is no one company to watch in the distribution channel regarding the future of IoT — and that is part of the problem. For IoT to reach its potential, there will need to be dozens, if not hundreds, of systems integrators pulling together the nodes, networks, gateways, servers, and applications needed to serve companies in different markets and geographies.

In the meantime, distributors are seeking their role in IoT. Both Arrow Electronics (the publisher of EE Times) and rival Avnet have put interesting stakes in the ground over the past couple of years.

For more check ebnonline.com.

Riot Micro

Riot Micro stands in a particularly gutsy spot, competing with the likes of Qualcomm and other cellular baseband chip suppliers. It created an ultra-low-power chip to run a subset of the LTE protocol stack that it developed.

If the startup can get its chips tested and qualified by carriers before Qualcomm, et al., can respond, it could go from zero to a significant place in the M2M market. Meanwhile, it could serve as a bellwether for carrier adoption of the new cellular IoT standards — Cat M1 and Narrowband-IoT.

Find out more on escortram.com.

zGlue

Advanced packaging is a key accelerator given the slowing pace of Moore’s law in high-end chips, and now it also is becoming a key ally for the IoT.Startup zGlue underlined this opportunity with its trailing-edge interposer with integrated passives.

It aims to enable a class of low-power, low cost SoCs with its 3,000 programmable pins and 100-MHz interfaces. Well worth watching.

Learn more on eetasia.com.

ETA Compute

Forget sub-watt processors; ETA Compute aims to enable a generation of sub-milliwatt chips that can crank out useful work. The company’s Dial architecture enables cores to run at 0.25 V, potentially delivering a five-fold improvement in MIPS/watt compared to today’s MCUs. At last check, they were still pushing beyond proofs-of-concept, but whether they get traction or not, this is the kind of design thinking that the IoT needs.

Check for more eetimes.com.

Bebop Sensors

This startup invested the last several years refining a process to make fabric-based pressure sensors from materials ranging from artificial silk to Kevlar and denim. They target everything from car and wheelchair seats to data gloves for VR gamers and factory-floor workers, some with customizable haptic feedback.

It’s still early days for the 20-person company that could be a significant enabler for wearables and other IoT uses. It aims to raise up to $5 million this year to fund production of some of its designs and R&D on others.

Find out more on bebopsensors.com.

TrackNet

This startup aims to take the LoRa network into both industrial and consumer markets for asset tracking and other uses. It’s worth watching for two reasons: LoRa is one of an emerging class of low-power wide-area networks opening up new use cases. Also, its founder was a lead designer on the first two generations of LoRa chips at Semtech and has a deep understanding of both the technology and the nascent market sector.

Check tracknet.net for more.

The 10 Hottest Industrial IoT Startups Of 2018

Arundo Analytics

Arundo Analytics provides advanced analytics software that allows companies to easily integrate machine learning into their industrial IoT operations.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup's suite of software includes an Edge Agent connectivity and analytics solution for remote environments and a cloud-based hub for accessing machine learning models, as well as applications for equipment performance monitoring and predictive maintenance.

The company raised a $25 million financing round in January from several investors, which brought its total funding to more than $32.5 million.

Learn more on bloomberg.com.

Altizon

Altizon provides an industrial IoT software platform that connects disparate systems and provides applications in a hybrid infrastructure.

The startup, which has offices in India and the U.S., has three core offerings. The Datonis IIoT Platform connects to devices, analyzes their data and integrates with existing business applications.

The second offering, Datonis Edge, provides analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities on edge devices whereas Datonis Manufacturing Intelligence connects to factory systems and measures key performance indicators.

Check altizon.com for more.

Claroty

Claroty is an industrial IoT security provider that focuses on threat detection and monitoring for industrial control networks.

The New York-based startup raised a $60 million funding round in June that counted Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric-backed Aster Capital and Siemens-backed Next47 among its investors, which brought total funding to $93 million.

Claroty's platform includes continuous vulnerability detection and threat monitoring, secure remote access and a security posture assessment tool.

Find out more on claroty.com.

Falkonry

Falkonry is a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based startup that provides predictive analytics tools for industrial IoT deployments.

The company in August made its first public move to sway channel partners to use its operational machine learning software that can integrate with existing software stacks and help industrial companies improve operations, throughput, quality and safety while reducing downtime.

Falkonry raised a $4.6 million Series A financing round in June led by Presidio Ventures, with participation from Polaris Partners, Zetta Venture Partners and Fortive.

Learn more on falkonry.com.

FogHorn

FogHorn is a provider of edge intelligence software that has scored partnerships with Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Google Cloud, among other large tech companies.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company recently announced a new partnership with Dell EMC that will allow the hardware vendor to sell gateways and other edge devices preconfigured with FogHorn's Lightning edge intelligence software.

FogHorn has raised $47.5 million in funding from investors, including Intel Capital, Dell Technologies Capital, GE Ventures and The Hive Group.

For more check foghorn.io.

IoTium

IoTium provides software-defined converged infrastructure that aims to simplify complexities found in secure industrial IoT deployments.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup raised a $13.6 million Series B financing round in September that was backed by former Cisco CEO John Chambers' venture capital firm, JC2 Ventures, along with GE Ventures, Juniper Ventures, Honeywell Ventures and former Cisco executive Pankaj Patel.

The company's platform includes a router, network switch, firewall VPN concentrator and hypervisor that allows it to combine security, networking and edge computing in one platform.

Find out more on iotium.io.

Inspirit IoT

Inspirit IoT provides a combination of hardware accelerator solutions and machine learning and advanced synthesis tools to enable smart IoT applications.

The Champaign, Ill.-based startup raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding in June from Senscape Technologies, a developer of embedded AI sensing platforms.

The company is a strategic partner for Intel's IoT Solutions Alliance, as well as the IBM Business Partner and Siemens Frontier programs.

Check out inspirit-iot.com for more.

Litmus Automation

Litmus Automation provides edge and cloud platforms for industrial IoT deployments that enable predictive maintenance, real-time production monitoring and other solutions.

The San Jose, Calif.-based startup's Loop platform allows system integrators, OEMs and enterprises to collect data from any IoT or edge devices, create alerts and automated actions and manage the entire lifecycle of devices on the network.

The company counts Nissan, Renault, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Intel as partners.

Learn more on litmusautomation.com.

Seeq

Seeq is a Seattle-based advanced analytics software provider that processes manufacturing data for industrial IoT deployments.

The startup raised a $23 million Series B financing round in July that was led by the Altira Group, a venture capital firm supported by large independent oil and gas operators, with participation from Siemens-backed next47, Chevron Technology Ventures and other investors.

The company serves more than 100 customers in oil and gas, food and beverage and utilities, among other industrial verticals, with software that can help companies diagnose problems using historical data, monitor systems in real time and predict when systems will fail.

Find out more on seeq.com.

Xage Security

Xage Security provides what it calls the world's first blockchain-protected security platform for industrial IoT deployments.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup raised a $12 million Series A funding round that was backed by GE Ventures to accelerate development of its security fabric for industrial IoT edge networks and national infrastructure, among other things.

The company's platform provides a decentralized security layer that enables autonomous network communication and the establishment of trust at scale. The company is working with NTT Communications, GE Renewables and GlobaLogix on deployments.

Check xage.com for more.


That’s it for 2018. Stay tuned and and subscribe to our newsletter not to miss next month Internet of Things digest. See you in 2019! Happy New IoT Year!