Bangalore, August 21, 2017: India-based Applied Singularity (previously known as IoTBLR) has been recognized as the largest hardware/IoT meet-up globally, for the second year in a row, and is ahead of similar communities in London, San Francisco, Paris and New York, who work actively towards upskilling and nurturing the ecosystem. ( see graph)
This is acknowledged in the annual Hardware Trends Report 2017 compiled by China-based HAX, the world's the first and largest hardware accelerator and released in India last week. The report analyses the latest developments in key industry segments like consumer, healthcare, enterprise, and industry. It suggests that the IoT industry has come of age: hardware companies like FitBit, GoPro and DJI Drones are already a decade old now. Software giants like Facebook, Google, Amazon and Microsoft are hedging their bets: either building their own hardware or buying hardware startups, and driving adoption of platforms that facilitate the easy use of connected devices. Various industries, from construction to insurance, are embracing the maturing hardware space, driven by the efficiency improvements and data generation that connected hardware is making possible.Healthcare tech
Health tech has seen startups and companies make bold moves, shifting focus from wellness devices like activity trackers to medical-grade devices and solutions, such as wearables and implantables. By using devices instead of medication to treat ailments and using device-generated data to create more personalized treatments, the competition is now with the pharmaceutical industry.
Privacy of data remains a thorny issue and there are challenges in acquiring and ethically making big data accessible to health tech companies so that they can use it to build radically better solutions. “Donating your data might help more than donating an organ,” says Duncan Turner, Managing Director, HAX Seed. Startups like Ray Baby and Diabeto in the area of smart medical devices are among Indian health tech startups who raised funds this year from HAX.
Says Nihal Kashinath, Founder and CEO of Applied Singularity, “In 2015-16, innovation in connected hardware far outpaced adoption. 2017 looks like the year when adoption will start catching up in a big way, even though innovation continues to accelerate.”
With machine learning, computer vision and artificial intelligence also starting to see increased usage, hardware’s importance is growing even faster as it serves as a critical tool (and sometimes the only tool) for data acquisition for AI.
It also identifies significant movements in areas such as investments, grassroots growth, and hardware focus in different countries. Excerpts and insights from the report:
Enterprise v. Consumer tech
The report highlights an interesting development: Enterprise IoT is growing faster than Consumer IoT. While consumers are adopting more and more hardware solutions, enterprises are discovering significant value in sectors such as Mining, Agri Tech, Logistics, Utilities, Retail and Building Management for tracking physical assets, predicting maintenance and managing resources. Industries are seeing the value of automation with robots joining the workforce leading to the rise of “Dark Factories" ( ie with few or no humans).
Globally, the number of hardware startups with over $100 million funding quadrupled since 2014 from 8 to 35. The Indian ecosystem, companies and governments are coming together to increase momentum and create new opportunities in this space, as evidenced by the Applied Singularity platform.
The full 243 page report which conveys its message mostly with graphics can be downloaded here