From hundreds of new connected devices to partnerships extending the use of M2M (machine-to-machine) technology in vertical markets such as health and wellness, automotive, connected home, and smart energy, this year’s Consumer Electronics Show has proved M2M-enabled devices, products, and services are what consumers want. While the breadth of CES announcements this week precludes a complete list, here are some highlights from the show floor.
It was devices galore during the first few days of CES in Las Vegas, Nev. Samsung’s, www.samsung.com, Galaxy Note caught attendees’ attention and raised a few eyebrows, too. Labeled a “new category of smartphone,” we’re left wondering if the 4G LTE-enabled device (running on AT&T’s, www.att.com, network) is a smartphone, a tablet, or something new.
Wilson Electronics, www.wilsonelectronics.com, announced its first 4G LTE cellular booster, the Sleek 4G-V, in conjunction with Verizon Wireless, www.verizonwireless.com. The Sleek 4G-V boosts voice and data communications on 2G and 3G networks in addition to Verizon’s LTE network.
In the PND (personal navigation device) arena, Garmin, www.garmin.com, announced its nüvi 3500 series of connected GPS units featuring Garmin Smartphone Link. Smartphone Link creates a seamless navigation experience between the nüvi and an Android smartphone by allowing the two devices to share data such as realtime traffic, weather, and fuel prices.
In-vehicle connectivity was big this year at CES, with a number of announcements from companies such as GM, www.gm.com, which opened up OnStar’s API and promoted the Cadillac CUE connected solution. Telenav, www.telenav.com, unveiled Scout, a navigation platform that extends across the vehicle, computer, and a mobile device.
Ford, www.ford.com, also made some interesting announcements blending in-vehicle connectivity with connected-health technology. The company seeks to create a “car that cares,” by leveraging Ford SYNC technology along with biometric-measurement devices. Meanwhile, Withings, www.withings.com, unveiled an integrated cloud platform capable of compiling data from dozens of connected health and wellness devices.
Several Verizon announcements confirmed the carrier’s commitment to M2M. New endeavors and partnerships range from air-quality-monitoring systems to a home-security solution that harnesses NFC technology to lock and unlock doors.
Also in the realm of the connected home, Entropic Communications, www.entropic.com, announced collaboration with Qualcomm Atheros, www.qca.qualcomm.com, to offer MoCA (multimedia over coax)-to-Wi-Fi solutions for home networking.
M2M players such as Axeda, www.axeda.com, made some noise by announcing a multi-year Axeda/AT&T alignment, and a partnership with ecoATM, www.ecoatm.com, to wirelessly enable electronics-recycling kiosks.
Of course, the smart grid is never far from anyone’s mind—even in Las Vegas. Thingworx, www.thingworx.com, used CES as a platform to announce it will provide a predictive asset-monitoring solution for smart-grid solution provider Sensei Solutions, www.masteringthesmartgrid.com.
Whereas in years past, M2M held but a small piece of CES real estate at the massive Las Vegas Convention Center each January, it is obvious connected devices and solutions are more than just a passing trend. As Jim Barry, the Consumer Electronics Assn.’s “Digital Answer Man,” puts it: “Everything is going to be connected before long.”