UNLOCKING THE EDGE

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Top 10 African Internet of Things startups to watch

7 December 2017

IoT is growing and will continue to grow beyond 2017. IHS Technology predicts that there will be 75 billion connected devices by 2020.

IoT is about connecting exponentially more devices to the internet. This trend promises to make our global society more efficient and productive than we ever imagined possible.

The Internet of Things is disrupting every aspect of business and industry. It is transforming the way industries function and interact with the world. IoT is also impacting the way people live, work, entertain, and travel. According to Gartner, there will be 8.4 billion connected things in use worldwide this year. On the back of this trend, a number of startups have come up with innovative IoT solutions to our most difficult challenges in energy, safety and security, healthcare and food security. Here’s a list of 10 African IoT startups to watch.

1. UjuziKilimo
Kenya-based UjuziKilimo has developed a soil analysis platform that measures soil characteristics for assessing quality in farming use cases. Hardware elements of the solution include an electronic sensor placed in the ground, which alerts and gives farmers guidance, via SMS, on real-time soil conditions. The startup uses Big Data analytics to provide useful insights on farming trends and productivity based on the accurate data that is generated. UjuziKilimo uses the data to further customise farmer recommendations and make the advice more actionable.

2. Vula Telematix
Vula Telematix has partnered with San Diego-based Ingenu to develop “The Machine Network SA,” a network providing IoT and M2M solutions with further reach, a global range, and longer lasting battery life than any existing network. The company’s Random Phase Multiple Access (RPMA) technology connects machines wirelessly for lowering development costs and enabling a faster time-to-market. Vula Telematix is enabling the Internet of Things in South Africa.

www.itnewsafrica.com

The IoT.nxt big thing

By Steven Meyer, editor, SA Instrumentation and Control October 2017, IT in Manufacturing

Better, cheaper, faster. The digital technologies of the fourth industrial revolution have disrupted markets around the world, but many companies cannot afford just to rip and replace their existing systems in an effort to stay competitive. Luckily, they do not have to. Local technology innovator IoT.nxt is one step ahead of the game and has set itself up to partner with any enterprise wishing to take advantage of the efficiency of digitisation. All without having to discard any existing legacy systems or the valued operational know-how accumulated over decades.

“We see ourselves in the business of digitalisation, rather than as system integrators,” explains IoT.nxt’s chief operations officer, Terje Moen. “Our speciality is incorporating all the different moving parts and components of an organisation into a single integrated view designed to give managers the support they need to make better business decisions in real-time. Working in isolated silos is simply no longer economical.”

Early days

IoT.nxt evolved out of a company that was contracted to work on a project which required the integration of multiple complex subsystems – 16 in total. The team found it tough going. They needed to engineer one common user interface across all of the platforms, but everything had to be developed from scratch. On completion, the power of what they had accomplished dawned on them, along with the understanding that there simply had to be a better way to do things.

Shortly thereafter, the seed company was sold to the firm of consulting engineers that had managed the original project. “This gave us the opportunity to refine our solution,” explains Moen. “We realised that what we had just done could easily be replicated across almost any organisation, but we had to have a common reusable infrastructure before we could offer this as a service to industry.”

In December 2015, IoT.nxt was founded to do exactly that. The solution – Raptor – looks unremarkable from the outside. It’s a deception. The modestly sized enclosure is jam-packed with all the functionality required to implement a successful Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) project. Moen describes Raptor as a combination intelligent field gateway, able to handle all device connections; a data manager that regulates the load as it is transmitted across the network; plus a translation platform, which incorporates all common industry standard protocols.

Raptor is an edge device that amalgamates the data from any number of disparate systems and orchestrates this data into the IoT.nxt platform and upstream systems, all the way up to the cloud.

Read more: http://www.instrumentation.co.za/9027a

IoT.nxt to open Dutch office for Europe

Wednesday 26 April 2017 | 13:48 CET | News

 

South African startup IoT.nxt will be opening an office in the Netherlands this July, the company told Telecompaper. The opening of a Dutch branch follows the opening of one in London early this year. The new offices will help IoT.nxt shape its international ambitions.

The Dutch office in the Hague will serve Europe, headed by Joe Bester, the marketing director at the company. A number of South African employees will also be involved in the new office, as well as Dutch staff.

“The Netherlands has a strong technological focus and was therefore a logical choice”, Bester explained, around the company’s choice for the Netherlands. Bester also believes the Netherlands provides a good climate for startups as well as highly educated developers. Bester also added that Dutch legislation relating to the protection of privacy and data fits the company’s own values.

New phase for growth

IoT.nxt developed a platform for companies to integrate their IT platforms seamlessly into IoT devices. The company built a field gateway that allows data flows to be managed efficiently. IoT.nxt last month raised ZAR 100 million (around EUR 7 million)to fund its expansion plans.Since its launch in October 2015, the company said it has grown sharply and that the new investment will allow for a new phase of growth.

At the end of last month, ABI published a survey that showed the number of wired and wireless IoT connections in the industrial sector rising this year by 13 million worldwide to an installed base of over 53 million.

https://www.telecompaper.com

SA ‘internet of things’ startup eyes global expansion

2016-06-03 – Gareth van Zyl, Fin24

Johannesburg – South African based technology firm IoT.nxt hopes to make the ‘internet of things’ a more beneficial reality for companies across the globe.

The ‘internet of things’, or ‘IoT’, has become a buzz phrase in technology circles in recent years as it refers to connecting everyday objects such as fridges and even cars to computer networks.

Thus far, consumer-use cases of the internet of things have included the likes of using a smartphone app to switch on lights in a room or adjust thermostat temperatures.

However, the internet of things can also be tapped to unlock greater efficiency and cost-savings among companies.

But a key challenge facing this unlocking has been complex, differing systems that don’t talk to each other and which don’t provide users with a single interface to view all connected objects.

IoT.nxt – which has a 30 person team in Tshwane – plans to solve this problem by using its secure field gateway device dubbed the ‘Raptor’.

The Raptor is interoperable with various input and output devices on the edge of networks.

A practical application of the tech could connect a company’s air conditioners, lifts, alarm systems and conveyor belts to the internet of things. Subsequently, a company can then react faster when incidents occur and possibly save on costs.

“What our technology does is, first of all, it hooks up everything you have out on the edge. It doesn’t matter what type of technology you’ve got,” Nico Steyn, the CEO of IoT.nxt, told Fin24.

“What we say is whatever you’ve got out there, we’ll connect to that firstly. So, even it’s an analogue device … something that doesn’t have an IP (internet protocol) address; something that you can’t plug a network cable into it. We will bring all of that onto a digital platform, which basically means we give it an IP address and then on top of that what we’ll do is we’ll visualise it,” Steyn said.

IoT.nxt also has a software system that provides a single user interface that helps monitor all connected objects on the ‘edges’.

“A lot of people have created an application. We haven’t created an application; we’ve created a framework. So, this framework can be applied to any industry and to any device,” said Steyn.

“These applications reside in vertical silos. And the true unlock of IoT is based on the fact that you need interoperability.

“What really makes this unique is that we are agnostic,” added Steyn.

To date, IoT.nxt has implemented its solution at a large scale abattoir delivering products for retailer Woolworths.

The company says it is also in the final stages of introducing its technology at a well-known wine estate in the Western Cape.

Looking at South Africa, Steyn told Fin24 that IoT is starting to take off locally.

“There’s been a lot of digitisation that’s taken place in South Africa,” Steyn said.

Steyn also told Fin24 that IoT.nxt has also raised funding from investment holding company Talent10, whose shareholders include Sipho Nkosi, the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Exxaro Resources Limited.

Meanwhile, Steyn said that the company’s technology is a world-first and that it is eyeing global opportunities.

“We believe that we have a global product. Having said that, we believe that there’s a massive opportunity inside of Africa,” Steyn told Fin24.

“I believe that Africa has got a massive opportunity in terms of IoT,” he added.

http://www.fin24.com/Tech/News/sa-internet-of-of-things-startup-eyes-global-expansion-20160603

This SA startup wants to open up IoT to local businesses

If you’re a regular reader of the Burn Media suite of sites, you’ll be up to speed on all the latest developments in the Internet of Things (IoT) space. But the truth is, many businesses are simply unaware of how big an impact this array of technologies could have on their operations.

One company hoping to change that is a Pretoria-based startup called IoT.nxt.

Helmed by former Pinnacle Africa Gauteng MD Nico Steyn, the company has built an IoT solution which it says will unlock serious cost savings and create real efficiencies within corporates.

“Our innovation offers companies a consolidated view of their entire IoT ecosystem, allows them to input all documented business processes into one workflow application, detect all devices on a network and dynamically capture their IP and MAC addresses,”says Steyn. “We have already implemented the solution at a large scale abattoir delivering products for Woolworths and are in the final stages of introducing this at a well-known wine estate in the Western Cape”.

According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the solution allows any device, application, sensor, machine and also people on any network using any operating system to connect and interact.

A business could, for instance, have Siemens air conditioners, Chubb lifts, mostly Apple computers but a few Dells in-between, an alarm system by ADT and conveyer belts by Truco and manage them all on a single platform.

That kind of business focus sets IoT.nxt apart from a number of South African startups in the IoT space, many of which are focused on retailer or consumer solutions. It also gives it an edge on the big corporates who deliver IoT solutions in the business space and have preferred partners.

“The platform is completely technology agnostic which allows a company to leverage off existing investments in systems and devices installed,” Steyn says.

The startup has also developed a device known as the Raptor, which allows companies to more easily manage their IoT ecoststems. The Raptor allows migration of analogue devices and inputs into a digital platform. It serves as a filter for big data and delivers cost savings and efficiencies to the client’s IoT ecosystem. Raptor apparently also functions as a translation tool that aides communication between less sophisticated devices over an IP network.

“The biggest breakthrough we developed was creating a solution that allows any device, application, sensor, machine and also people on any network using any operating system to connect and interact. The platform is completely technology agnostic which allows a company to leverage off existing investments in systems and devices installed,” Steyn says.

This SA startup wants to open up IoT to local businesses

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