Broadcom recently released a dev kit that combines both Bluetooth Smart for connectivity and also 5 MEMS sensors, this seems to me to be a good implementation to bring together these two staples of IoT devices and make development of many new devices even simpler.
There are many connectivity suppliers out there and many MEMS sensor suppliers but not many that can do both. It seems likely that partnerships will continue to be made by these largely disparate groups, consolidation is a very likely future trend.
This is not a place to speculate on which companies are likely to consolidate but there are many good combinations that I can think of.
SensiAn Research’s recently published “mHealth Wellness Product and Technology Database 2014″ contains more than 370 devices from more than 100 suppliers.
From the data it is clear that Wireless Connectivity is a key component of the technology that is enabling these devices to operate. Our research shows that almost 80% of mHealth Wellness devices used some form of wireless connectivity.
Some key data includes:
60% are Bluetooth enabled
10% are ANT+ enabled
Almost 10% use a proprietary wireless technology but this number has fallen dramatically in the last few years.
It seems clear that interoperable standards are a key technology that is helping drive growth in this market.
More information is available in a trio of products recently released by SensiAn Research, more details can be found here
Although the activity tracker market is becoming increasingly crowded there is still room for innovation and for new products to capture the imagination of consumers.
Indiegogo continues to be one of the major enablers for entrepreneurs to reach a wide audience and help get their products to market and move from a concept to production.
The Sync Smartband is another device that is making waves on Indiegogo and has reached its rather modest goal of raising $50k with almost 4 weeks to go before funding close date. The underlying technology doesn’t seem to be all that different from other products on the market – it seems to uses Bluetooth for proximity, tracking and connection to a smartphone/tablet and an accelerometer for motion detection. What sets this product apart from others though is that it is aiming at a family market.
We’ll be keeping an eye on this campaign, our guess is that it is on track to reach $200k+ before the campaign is over.
The latest press release from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) predicts good news for semiconductor suppliers in the short term.
WSTS expects the overall market to grow 6.5% in 2014 (from 2013) to reach total annual revenues of US$325 billion. It stated “All major product categories will show a high single digit growth rate, except microprocessors which will show a soft decline. The growth will be largely driven by smartphones, tablets and automotive. The highest growth rates are shown for the Analog (9.1%) and Sensor (9.1%) category. ”
SensiAn Research’s assumption is that while overall microprocessor revenue may be falling the market for microcontrollers is growing as many low power devices associated with IoT (wearable devices, beacons, etc.) are growing rapidly.
WSTS predict that overall market growth will continue into 2015 and 2016 reaching US$350 billion in 2016.
Another Beacon device has reached its goal on Indiegogo
The Silent Beacon has reached $20k+ in 2 weeks.
What sets this apart from many other beacons is that it uses GPS to track location rather than using Bluetooth for proximity.
It does use Bluetooth as the connection technology though and is capable of being used as a Bluetooth hands free device.
Wearables and Beacons come together in a system to track the elderly and vulnerable in the home. CarePredict is soon to start shipping an activity monitor and beacon system that can continuously track a persons movements and vital signs and then transmit them via beacons/hubs situated around the home to a loved one or care professional.
Uses Bluetooth for communication between the 2 devices, Wi-Fi to send data to the cloud and then alerts, when needed, can be sent over a cellular network.