IoT News Roundup

ABI Research gives sunny outlook for beacon industry; Electric Imp debuts vertical platform for manufacturing; CNET decides smart home could use some work; ThingWorx 7.0 features new device-management tools.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
May 13, 2016

BLE Beacon Market to More than Double in 2016
Market research firm ABI Research estimates that Bluetooth Low Energy beacons are on track to exceed 400 million shipments by 2021, with shipments in 2016 more than doubling this year over last year's figures.

Principal analyst Patrick Connolly says some vendors' contracts are beginning to exceed one million units, and that while retailers still comprise the main vertical deploying the technology, applications in the non-retail commercial and smart-home sectors are growing. ABI predicts that beacon-based mobile advertising will remain strong in the near term, but that the rate at which new beacon networks will be deployed will begin to slow, due to collaborations among companies deploying them.

ABI says beacon manufacturers are trending toward adding such features as improved security, large-scale deployment management, improved battery life, sensor integration and concurrent support for both Google's Eddystone and Apple's iBeacon communication protocols.

Connolly also notes that Quuppa and Bluvision are leading a "shift toward proprietary, high-accuracy technology" and that manufacturers are beginning to design beacons for specific vertical applications. The findings are part of ABI Research's BLE Beacon Technologies and Services Research Service.

Electric Imp Rolling Out Manufacturing-Focused Product
IoT platform provider Electric Imp—which earlier this year announced it was broadening its focus beyond helping consumer goods manufacturers IoT-enable their products, in order to also focus on commercial and industrial markets—this week debuted its Connected Manufacturing solution suite. The suite features impFactory, a hardware appliance running Electric Imp's BlinkUp software. The impFactory appliance enables users to securely configure, track and activate IoT-connected devices connected to machines used in manufacturing processes. It also collects and feeds production data directly to business systems for real-time analytics and includes multiple interfaces to attach printers, scanners and other machines used during product testing on the factory floor.

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