Despite all the hype around the Internet of Things (IoT), it still remains a concept more than a reality. This coming revolution, which will connect billions of physical devices to the Internet, promises to fundamentally change how we interact with everyday electronics, appliances and industrial machines. But for now, only a handful of devices in our homes and offices are Internet-ready.
One bottleneck is the usual chicken-and-egg issue with innovation. Design the platform and users will come, or so goes the theory. But for the company that takes the risk of designing the first platform, what's the best way to go about it, and how much buy-in is required?
These are heady questions when trying to win over hundreds -- if not thousands -- of original equipment manufacturers (OEM). A new startup called Ayla Networks thinks it may have the answer.
Until now, any OEM interested in making an IoT device had to design new hardware and software from scratch. The most successful products, such as the iPhone and Kindle, were designed by tech giants capable of integrating online and offline experiences and even reshaping consumer behavior.
But what about hot water heater or lawn sprinkler manufacturers? These are but a few products that could be used more efficiently through cloud-connected monitoring. For manufacturers of these products, however, redesigning for connectivity can be a formidable, even unrealistic business challenge.
Enter Ayla Networks
Ayla Networks is a Silicon Valley-based startup that has designed a platform of hardware and software tools to make it easier and cheaper for OEMs to make Internet-ready devices.
In a statement released last week, Ayla says:
[It] has developed an end-to-end platform that allows manufacturers and service providers to turn home controls, HVAC, appliances, lighting and other everyday products into intelligent devices that can collect information, be managed remotely, or perform tasks automatically on behalf of consumers and businesses.
Image courtesy of Ayla Networks.
Next page: Ayla raises funds, lands big client