A year ago at CES 2017, the proverbial Internet of Things looked full of promise, but also fairly immature.
Many top electronics, home appliance and industrial equipment vendors had only begun fleshing out their IoT offerings, proprietary solutions were often needed to control devices and seeing devices from different vendors play nice with each other was quite rare.
This time around at CES 2018, one could find pretty comprehensive home IoT product lines from the likes of Samsung (SSNLF) , LG, Panasonic, Huawei and Haier. There were also a slew of intriguing and reasonably-priced consumer IoT solutions from startups. Examples include water-monitoring devices for tracking usage and detecting leaks; tiny health sensors that can be integrated with fitness bands and track everything from blood pressure to stress levels; and bikes and scooters with built-in navigation and smart speaker function.
Google showing off smart home devices that work with Google Assistant.
Meanwhile, widespread support among devices for Amazon.com's (AMZN) Alexa and/or Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google Assistant is making devices easier to set up and control, and growing support for Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) is starting to allow hardware from multiple vendors to be jointly controlled.
And for businesses and governments, the likes of Bosch, Philips and Alibaba (BABA) (yes, Alibaba) showed off platforms for automating and monitoring everything from factories to electrical systems to transportation infrastructures, while the likes of DJI and Intel (INTC) showcased powerful drones targeting everyone from farmers to security agencies to Hollywood directors.
Chip and cloud service suppliers might end up being the biggest winners of the IoT gold rush. On the chip side, notable names include Cypress Semiconductor (CY) , NXP (NXPI) , Microchip (MCHP) , Bosch and (if one counts the processing/analyzing of IoT data) Intel. And on the cloud side, Amazon, Microsoft and Cisco (CSCO) (through its Jasper unit) are notable players.
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