India is taking rapid strides towards the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution by ensuring strong collaboration among the ecosystem partners – niche startups, technology providers, and the government. Although at a nascent stage, a lot of IoT action is already happening in the country and a lot more can be done. The potential is huge. The major drivers of this market in India are initiatives taken by the government, growing acceptance of smart applications, and increasing internet penetration across the country. According to 6Wresearch, India IoT market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 28.2% during 2016-22.
Industry experts believe collaboration is key in IoT. “IoT is like the blood in our system which is needed for the smooth functioning of all the other organs,” says Farhana Haque, Vice President – IoT for Vodafone.
The much-needed industry collaboration seems to be already happening. Recently, UNLIMIT, an IoT-focussed business venture owned by Reliance Group partnered with IBM to co-create IoT solutions for specific industry verticals including automotive, insurance, utilities, and industrial automation. For example, insurance companies will be able to reduce cost of damage to goods from tampering through real-time tracking of cargo via an ‘asset tracking solution.’
“With 2.7 billion connected devices and growing, Indian economy, enterprises and consumers are embracing IoT at a rampant pace,” says Harriet Green, General Manager, Watson IoT, Customer Engagement and Education, IBM. “Our collaboration with UNLIMIT is a significant example of IBM leading the global IoT movement with a growing ecosystem of clients and partners. This exciting news underscores how IBM and UNLIMIT are taking the power of IoT to Indian enterprises and capturing the phenomenon of digital disruption for joint client innovation.”
Moreover, IoT seems to have an unfair advantage. In contrast to artificial intelligence (AI) which has been criticised by a section of the industry for killing jobs, IoT seems to be able to solve the problem of unemployment. According to Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, government of India, IoT has the potential to generate 10-15 million jobs in India in the next few years.
The vibrant startup ecosystem in India is certainly fuelling the rapid growth of the IoT ecosystem in India. “With more startups foraying into the IoT space, it is an opportunity to identify young companies and thought leaders with breakthrough innovation in IoT that are progressing the IoT movement in India,” says Shekhar Sanyal, Director and Country Head of the IET.
The recently-concluded IoT India Congress in Bengaluru introduced a new platform this year for startups to interface with angel investors. Twelve of India’s leading angel investors including Ajeet Khurana and V.C. Karthic committed Rs 14.4 million of investment to IoT startups Intelitaap and Swajal. Intelitaap uses IoT to offer retailers real-time insights about consumers while they are inside the stores. Swajal addresses the need to provide safe drinking water to communities that have no access to grid electricity by using solar power for energy efficient pumping and purification of water.
Last year, the Ministry of Electronics & IT (DeitY) and Education and Research Network (ERNET) in association with Nasscom set up an IoT Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Bengaluru, which is an initiative to build an IoT ecosystem in India that connects various entities such as startups, enterprises, venture capitalists, government, and academia. The CoE IoT enable startups in areas of IoT, Big Data, AR/VR, AI, and Robotics to reach their maximum potential.
Globally, enterprises are increasingly being asked either to implement or to participate in IoT solutions. “Business units and outside partners are demanding IoT enablement of services and products. Unlike the adoption of other ‘new technologies’, IoT modifies and enhances existing services and products, which are already essential. IoT’s triple challenge is to implement quickly, avoid disruption of existing operations and ensure high levels of service quality,” technology research firm Gartner stated.
To help enterprises in their IoT journey, Hitachi Vantara, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd, today unveiled its new appliance for IoT deployments – Hitachi IoT Appliance, powered by Lumada, Hitachi’s IoT platform. Hitachi IoT Appliance has been fully pre-architected and pre-validated to provide a plug-and-play solution that can be easily deployed and production-ready in under an hour. This gives users the ability to more rapidly connect, monitor and extract actionable insights from their business and industrial assets.
Below is a list of shortlisted Indian startups for incubation at the CoE for IoT.
IOTPOT: IOTPOT is engaged in developing solutions for the kitchen cooking domain addressing three critical hot spots: risk, complex processes and archaic methods. Their products include BurnerBuddy, a smart burner knob that replaces existing stove plastic knob and makes the stove smarter.
SAAR Microsystem: SAAR Microsystems is developing an Industrial IoT platform. It has created solutions for remote monitoring of smartenergy installations – batteries and solar farms – as well as agricultural fields and glass houses.
The Things Cloud: ThingsCloud has developed a solar grid-interactive inverter. The patent pending technology enables user to generate, consume, sell, and store energy. The cutting-edge cloud technology provides unparalleled control and access to these smart devices.
Uncanny Vision: Uncanny Vision is pioneering the task of bringing advanced Deep Learning/AI-based Vision technologies to IoT devices. Their Software Toolkit increases the performance of computer vision algorithms multifold and increased speed improvement to the order of 2 to 20 times.
Tabyy mHealth: Our sensors enabled platform helps patients to have right medicine at right time, report treatment progress and take instant corrective actions. AI, ML driven algorithms improve prescription compliance from the current level of 50% to 90% plus thereby reducing treatment cost and time many times. Our aim is to significantly reduce premature deaths in low income countries.
str8bat.com: They focus on enhancing the skill level of budding and professional cricketers by using wearable technology. str8bat gives INSTANT, VISUAL & ACTIONABLE insights to players and coaches and help them build their muscle memory. All this through a cutting edge AI engine which automatically identifies the shot types played and helps you to focus on those aspects of your game which needs your attention.
SeeHow: They develop smart cricket ball and mobile app to help bowlers in coaching. Their intelligent cricket ball will help bowlers improve their game. The ball contains a sensing system that detects information about the ball’s motion, spin on the ball, impact on the pitch, position of the seam and drift in the air. Also provides analytics of all the accumulated data.
NEEWEE: An Industrial analytics company, a Platform as a Service (PaaS) provider across domains with specialization in Predictive Maintenance/Condition based Monitoring Solutions for IoT. They are developing their HW solutions to integrate with their platform.
CARDIOTRACK: Uber Diagnostics is a disruptive healthcare diagnostics company that is making healthcare delivery more efficient and Cardiotrack being the company’s flagship product. CardioTrack is a network connected Electrocardiogram and can be easily installed in public health centers. Health reports through the device can easily be accessed through tablets, computers, and smartphones.
JioVio: They are developing a wearable device called SaveMom which will track the heart rate and sleeping pattern of pregnant women. The device connects to the user’s phone via Bluetooth and has a memory card which is used to store the data until it is synced with the phone or transferred to the laptop.
Fluxgen Engineering Pvt Ltd: The startup has developed a low-cost and local IoT solution for Energy and Water management called as EWM. Currently a team of 20, FluxGen has already deployed the solutions for various customers which includes, Indian Railways, Titan Watches, Robert Bosch, Bulher group, ITC, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore etc. and are the winner of the IoT start-up of the year 2016 at IoT India Congress held recently.
Senso Vision: SensoVision is an AI tech company working in building a platform for Advertisement solutions and Industrial Automation using machine learning and computer vision.
SenseGiz: They make IoT-based consumer & enterprise products for smart buildings, security, and smart city applications using a combination of connected hardware, cloud analytics & apps. With the Coin, we create a large, ultra-low power mesh network of sensor nodes with connectivity to the cloud via Wi-Fi as well. Each sensor node communicates with every other tiny sensor node as well as with the cloud.
Dheeyantra: DheeYantra is building an AI based vernacular conversational agent – dhee.ai. The USP of which is, it’s ability to support Regional Languages. It is capable of understanding, communicating & getting tasks done for an end user in their own vernacular. “dhee.ai” is backed with DheeYantra’s patent pending technologies related to Indian Language scripts & methods for generating self-learning data sets, which are crucial for deep learning based systems being built for Indian languages.
Edel Smart Devices: Edel Smart Devices is a IoT startup that is connecting ubiquitous, everyday devices to the Internet of Things. EDEL is developing a range of IoT ready/modular touch sensor switches and dimmers which will be priced close to conventional switches causing a huge disruption. These devices will leapfrog the efficiency, comfort, safety, user experience and security at a very affordable cost.