IoT News from Mobile World Congress

Telcos look to both 5G and narrow-band LTE technology to support IoT applications; three new partnerships for Jasper; Nokia Growth Partners bets big on IoT; Bosch Sensortec eyes wearables with new sensors; GE pushes industrial Internet with partner program.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor

Nokia Growth Partners Launches $350M IoT Investment Fund
Nokia Growth Partners (NGP), the venture-capital firm owned and funded by Nokia, announced a $350 million fund that the company will invest expressly to "grow the ecosystem in IoT solutions," according to a company statement. At MWC, NGP said it will invest the funds in organizations that are working on connected cars, enterprise IoT, consumer-facing products and connected health solutions. It will also invest in "enabling technologies with a focus on capabilities in big data and analytics," and it is looking for opportunities in the United States, Europe, India and China. This is the fifth fund that NGP has established, bringing the total funding under management to $1 billion.

The fund IV commitment brings NGP's total assets under management to more than US$1 billion, including US$500 million available for new investments.

New Bosch Sensortec Sensors for Fitness Applications
Bosch Sensortec has announced two new multi-sensor products, BHV250 and BHV160, which it calls sensor hubs. The BHV160, measuring 3 millimeters (0.1 inch) square and 0.95 millimeter (0.04 inch) thick, includes a six-axis inertial measurement unit that contains an accelerometer and gyroscope. The BHV250, at the same thickness and with a footprint of 2.2 millimeters (0.09 inch), contains a three-axis accelerometer. Bosch says that these components, when combined with plethysmographic sensors that use light to measure rate of blood flow, and controlled with Bosch Sensortec's DSP Fuser Core, can provide detailed fitness analytics via Bosch's Firstbeat vital analytics software, which is designed to quantify an athlete's performance and level of recovery post-exercise, by analyzing his or her heart rate variability. These sensor components would be small enough to be integrated into a wide range of wearable devices, according to Bosch. These include eyeglasses, earbuds, clothing, rings, wristbands or footwear, the company reports.

GE Launches Digital Alliance Program, Names New Partners
During MWC, tech giant General Electric (GE) rolled out a new program to promote the use of Predix (its data analytics software platform designed for industrial IoT applications) and GE's digital services for industrial applications. The GE Digital Alliance seeks to connect systems integrators, telecommunications service providers, independent software vendors, technology providers and resellers to GE's industrial Internet ecosystem. Alliance members will receive Predix training and certification enabling them to begin building industrial apps based on the Predix platform. GE hopes to have 20,000 developers building on Predix by year's end. The GE Digital Alliance will also offer participants access to sales, marketing and technical resources.

In addition, GE announced strategic partnerships with a bevy of technology companies, including Intel, Capgemini, Ernst & Young and Deloitte Digital. More details regarding those partnerships are available here.

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