IoT News Roundup

Tillster to leverage Gimbal beacons, boost eatery apps; Comcast adding gaggle of smart devices to Xfinity gateway; PTC to acquire software analytics company ColdLight; GreenIQ hooks Home Depot, user can customize hub with IFTTT.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
May 08, 2015

Tillster Partnering With Gimbal for Restaurant Apps
Tillster, a digital engagement and online and app-based ordering platform serving the quick-service and fast-causal restaurant industry, has partnered with beacon maker Gimbal. Through the agreement, Tillster will incorporate Gimbal's geofencing services and data analytics into its customers' branded mobile applications, so that those restaurants will have greater visibility into the locations and movements of app-using consumers, and be able to offer mobile location-based guest services to restaurants where Gimbal beacons are deployed. The beacons will trigger a given restaurant's mobile app running on the smartphone of a patron who enters the store, which will help facilitate services such as functions that allow customers to order and pay for their meals from their tables.

Tillster's clients will also be able to target personalized messaging and offers through their branded mobile applications, based on a customer's location—even if that individual is merely walking by the restaurant. Through the agreement, Tillster will also be able to provide its clients with insights into their customers' visitation habits, in order to help restaurants target marketing messages and content more effectively.

Comcast Pulls Bevy of Products Onto Smart Home Platform
Comcast this week announced that it is partnering with a number of companies that make connected electronic devices, enabling those products to be managed through Xfinity Home, a Comcast service that allows homeowners to control security systems, smoke detectors, lights, thermostats and motion sensors via a touchscreen gateway or mobile app. In so doing, Comcast hopes to appeal to customers who are interested in purchasing a range of connected products—even those used outside the home but linked to a smartphone—but are turned off by the prospect of having to control each product through a separate interface. Comcast also announced that it will release a software development kit (SDK) and introduce a certification program to help prospective additional partners to integrate controls for their products with Xfinity Home as well.

The eight companies' products include August's Bluetooth-enabled door lock; Automatic's so-called driving assistant, comprising a module that is inserted into a car's on-board diagnostics to warn the driver of poor driving or potential engine problems, and connects to his or her phone via Bluetooth; Cuff's smart jewelry; Leeo's device that connects wirelessly to a home smoke or carbon monoxide detector and alerts users via their smartphone, so that they can respond if they are away from home; Lutron's LED lighting controls; Rachio's Wi-Fi-based home sprinkler system; SkyBell, a Wi-Fi connected doorbell and security camera; and Whistle's GPS-based dog-tracking device and Wi-Fi- or Bluetooth-connected canine activity tracker.

PTC Buying ColdLight to Bolster Predictive Maintenance Services
Manufacturing software maker PTC announced this week its plans to acquire ColdLight, a software company whose data science platform, Neuron, uses machine learning to find patterns in large stores of data in order to power its predictive analytics services. PTC, which acquired the ThingWorx IoT platform last year, says ColdLight's Neuron will automate the analysis of data collected through ThingWorx from sensor networks, in order to detect and predict failure patterns, as well as model correlations. PTC reports that ColdLight's analytics services will help its customers in the manufacturing, health-care, media and retail sectors to take proactive measures to maintain their IoT applications.

PTC says it will purchase ColdLight for approximately $105 million.

GreenIQ Announces Partnership With IFTT; Home Depot Selling Its Products
GreenIQ's an Wi-Fi-enabled irrigation hub is now being sold through The Home Depot. The hub links to a homeowner's irrigation schedule to current and forecasted weather from nearby weather stations, and can connect to garden sensors made by Parrot and Koubachi. The company has announced a partnership with IFTTT (If This Then That), which provides Web-based software that lets users create automated commands for their connected devices. The partnership will allow homeowners who use the GreenIQ hub to manage connected devices inside or outside their homes.

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