Robert Bosch GmbH is taking a challenge of its U.S. competitors such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft by launching own Cloud network that will connect everything to the Internet, from cars to dish washers.
Traditional German consumer electronics manufacturers like Bosch are striving to innovate and improve their products and services by taking advantage of data generated by their devices. Bosch reps believe that its technological and engineering experiences will give the company an opportunity to boost the IoT by enabling interoperability, data analytics and voice control.
Bosch Cloud platform will be fully managed from its Germany-based R&D center and will supposedly attract users that question security of U.S.-based servers. One of the leading German electronics manufacturers is planning to develop around 50 proprietary Cloud-based applications by the end of 2016 prior to attracting 3rd party developers in 2017. In addition, Bosch is planning to establish few more data centers across the Globe, the exact number hasn't been unveiled though.
As of today, over 5 million devices are already connected via Bosch IoT. Available apps allow users to remotely control and manage air temperature at home, help drivers find appropriate parking slots or help manufacturers keep track of their products quality after shipping.
Although Bosch kept its spending on the IoT platform development undisclosed, it did mention its annual investments into the IoT and innovative technologies account for $548 million.
One more brand that's putting a lot of efforts into boosting the IoT evolution globally is IBM that's just presented Quarks, their new open-source tool for IoT application development based on sensor data. Quarks is based on IBM Streams, the company's patented tool for live Big Data processing and analysis.
With Quarks, developers can now build apps allowing for health tracking of patients with diabetes using a wearable gadget or health tracking of a coal miner wearing a smart helmet fitted with sensors. Each of these and other scenarios suggests that data be retrieved from sensors and be then transmitted to users or devices in the real time. For instance, once the sensor on the miner's smart helmet sends out a danger alert, the miner will be notified about it right away.
Although such apps are supposed to ensure fast and seamless machine-to-machine (m2m) or machine-to-user (m2u) communication, their functions should extend far beyond data transmission. Potentially, they can submit information to enterprises for more efficient datasets comparison across similar devices over time.
In case of eHealth application, medical researchers can use Quarks-based apps to see dynamics of target group reactions to the chosen therapy or receive instant data to track patient's health in general.
IBM is looking forward to converting Quarks into a community of companies and developers that will use its features to build robust data analytics or eHealth applications for the IoT.
Ford Motor Company is launching a new generation of their SYNC infotainment system that would allow drivers to control smartphones, audio devices and navigators as well as use voice commands to manage air conditioning and other in-car parameters. SYNC 3 features an improved 8-inch sensor display and better productivity. Drivers will be able to find a nearby cafe, parking lot, gas station or hotel using voice commands tailored specifically to their voice.
SYNC 3 was first introduced at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016 as a new Ford Kuga feature. The company also named some applications that are compatible with SYNC AppLink, are enabled for voice recognition and will let drivers earn money from goods delivery, as well as record and share video clips or check weather forecasts in the real time.
All Ford drivers whose cars are equipped with SYNC 3 will now be able to use a broader variety of functions and features, including the following:
- iPhone users will be able to activate Apple CarPlay, the safest and most convenient way of using the iPhone while driving. While fully focusing on traffic and road conditions, drivers will nonetheless be able to make calls, receive and send text, turn music on/off or fix the itinerary by voice. The system is also compatible with Siri Eyes Free that provides easy access to Siri via Bluetooth.
- Android users have access to a specialized Android Auto interface that allows using such traditional apps and services as Google Search, Google Maps and Google Play.
SYNC 3 is upgraded automatically via Wi-Fi when the car is connected to the Internet, no matter if in-door or on the drive. Also, using Ford Service App, SYNC 3 can significantly reduce a car trip time. Ford Service App provides instant updates on current traffic state which allows for more effective trip planning with consideration of ongoing traffic changes.
With SYNC 3, Ford lets drivers access some of the truly unique applications integrated with Ford infotainment by default, including MyBoxMan and HearMeOut. MyBoxMan is an app that allows drivers to deliver parcels and earn 5 to 8 Euro for a 5-km drive. HearMeOut is the world's first voice application for social networks that allows for recording audio clips of up to 42 seconds in length, publish them instantly to Facebook or Twitter as well as listen to and evaluate other drivers' audio clips they're subscribed to.
And what other IoT developments by famous brands are you aware of? Please share them in comments below!