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10 most relevant IoT developments in 2023 by IoT Analytics

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IoT developments

In this digital era, one phenomenon has been reshaping the way we interact with our surroundings and technology – the rapid ascent of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. IoT has emerged as a transformative force, seamlessly integrating the physical and digital realms. The increasing prevalence of interconnected devices, from smart home appliances to industrial sensors, signifies a paradigm shift in how we perceive and engage with our environment.

In 2023, the IoT market demonstrated remarkable stability, witnessing a steady rise in the count of connected IoT devices, reaching 16.7 billion. Concurrently, the IoT enterprise spending soared to approximately $235 billion. The public relevance of the term “IoT” remained robust, sustaining a consistent level of interest that ranged from 10% to 20% below the peak observed in Q1 2022. However, amidst this sustained public interest, the use of the term “IoT” in corporate earnings calls experienced a decline of 16% from Q4 2022 to Q4 2023.

There have been several developments in the field of IoT throughout 2023. IoT Analytics reveals the 10 most relevant ones.

IoT developments in 2023

  1. EU Issued NIS2 Cybersecurity Directive to Shape IoT Landscape

The European Union (EU) activated its second Network and Information Security Directive (NIS2) in January 2023, addressing shortcomings from its predecessor and specifically targeting inconsistencies in essential organization categorization across member states. The directive imposes stringent requirements for cyber risk management and incident reporting across 15 sectors, aiming to bolster cybersecurity posture and safeguard citizens and essential services from cyber threats.

With a deadline set for October 17, 2024, EU member states are mandated to adopt laws in compliance with NIS2, placing companies on notice to enhance their cybersecurity measures. Failure to comply may result in penalties of up to €10 million or 2% of annual global revenue, along with potential sanctions and audits.

In addition to NIS2, the EU is poised to enforce the Cyber Resilience Act in early 2024, focusing on hardware and software products within the EU market. Manufacturers will have 36 months to comply with the act’s guidelines once enforcement begins, further contributing to the evolving regulatory landscape shaping the Internet of Things domain.

  1. Unprecedented Layoffs in IoT and AI Sectors Raised Market Uncertainty

January 2023 witnessed Microsoft’s announcement of a significant layoff plan, targeting 10,000 employees to be let go between January and March. Despite not having the highest number of layoffs in the tech industry, Microsoft’s direct hit on IoT and related fields raised eyebrows, especially given the apparent expansion of its IoT services in the cloud.

Google saw a higher number of layoffs than Microsoft, with a focus on various departments, including human resources and recruitment. Notably, Google decided to shut down its IoT Core service in August 2023, further impacting roles associated with that service.

The collective layoffs in companies at the forefront of the 2023 tech trend, AI, sparked market instability and raised uncertainties.

  1. 5G Tested Successfully in Space, Signaling a New Era of Connectivity

In a groundbreaking development, Spain-based Sateliot and Telefónica achieved success with their July 2023 end-to-end test for a roaming 5G cellular network in space. Adhering to 3GPP Release 17 NTN standards and utilizing NB-IoT technology, the test demonstrated seamless integration with Telefónica Tech’s Kite platform. Supervised by the European Space Agency, the test featured Sateliot’s “Store & Forward” mode, a two-step authentication method allowing information storage on satellites.

This advancement has far-reaching implications, particularly for IoT solution providers in sectors with intermittent connectivity challenges. Sateliot’s collaborations, including a partnership with GOSPACE LABS for 5G NTN NB-IoT connectivity in water management, showcase the diverse applications of this technology. Additionally, Sateliot’s strategic move to apply for FCC approval indicates the potential introduction of its space-based 5G NB-IoT technology to the US market.

The successful test opens up new horizons for IoT connectivity, offering innovative solutions for industries facing connectivity hurdles.

  1. Sustainability Mandates Drove IoT Initiatives in 2023

In 2023, a profound shift towards sustainability and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives accelerated IoT endeavors, particularly in Europe. Stringent regulations, including the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), compelled EU companies to submit annual sustainability reports, directly impacting large corporations’ IoT data reporting on pollution, emissions, and resource use.

Furthermore, the enforceability of the EU’s Revised Renewable Energy Directive added to the urgency, requiring member states to align with its provisions. This regulatory landscape prompted a notable emphasis on sustainability and energy management at events like the Smart Production Solutions (SPS) Fair 2023 in Nuremberg, Germany.

The era of casual sustainability outlooks has given way to a more serious and comprehensive approach, shaping the future trajectory of IoT initiatives.

  1. 2023 Saw the Largest IoT-Related Acquisition with Renesas Buying Sequans

In a significant move, Japan-based semiconductor manufacturer Renesas Electronics announced the acquisition of France-based cellular IoT chipmaker Sequans Communications for $249 million in August 2023. This strategic deal, set to conclude in early 2024, aims to enhance Renesas’ presence in the IoT sector by integrating Sequans’ cellular IoT products into its microcontrollers and other offerings, ultimately expanding its reach in the WAN market.

This acquisition follows Renesas’ earlier purchase of Austrian-based Panthronics AG in June 2023 for approximately $95 million, solidifying Renesas’ commitment to bolstering its IoT capabilities through strategic acquisitions.

  1. IoT Cloud Wars Shaped Notable Software Developments in 2023

In 2023, the leading cloud providers—Google, AWS, and Microsoft—experienced a significant slowdown in cloud revenue growth as organizations sought to optimize spending. Responding to this trend, Google closed its IoT Core service in August 2023, redirecting customers to partners like Litmus Automation and KORE Wireless. In contrast, AWS and Microsoft Azure expanded their IoT cloud services.

Microsoft introduced Azure IoT Operations, leveraging Azure Arc to create a cloud-to-edge data plane with local processing for streamlined data transfer to hyperscale cloud services. AWS announced IoT extensions, including AWS IoT FleetWise vision system data and AWS IoT SiteWise Edge on Siemens Industrial Edge B2B marketplace, along with a new open-source, no-code IoT dashboard application for enhanced data visualization and interaction.

  1. Pragmatic Secured a Record $389.3 Million Funding for IoT Advancements

In 2023, UK-based Pragmatic Semiconductor achieved a milestone by raising $389.3 million in its Series D funding round, marking the largest venture funding round for a European chipmaker, with $206 million secured on December 6, 2023. Renowned for manufacturing ultra-thin integrated circuits thinner than a human hair, Pragmatic Semiconductor utilizes thin-film semiconductors and polymers instead of silicon. The company’s focus is on integrating intelligence into low-cost items for IoT applications, spanning smart packaging, recycling, traceability, and product authentication.

Other key IoT-related funding are show below.

IoT fundings 2023

  1. Samsara Emerged as Top Performer with 180% Stock Growth

US-based IoT solutions company Samsara, Inc. (IOT) experienced a striking 180% surge in its stock value throughout 2023, climbing from $11.92 on January 3 to $33.38 on December 29. Renowned for its fleet management and telematics solutions, Samsara’s impressive ascent was fueled by three consecutive better-than-expected quarterly earnings reports in March, June, and November.

Founded in 2015, the company, led by Sanjit Biswas and John Bicket, originally specialized in telematics but has diversified its offerings in recent years, providing a comprehensive connected operations platform.

  1. The Most Notable IoT 2023 Project was That of India’s 250 Million Smart Meters

In one of the most notable IoT initiatives of 2023, India aimed to deploy 250 million smart meters, constituting 1.5% of the global IoT device count. Despite approval in 2021, progress was hindered by domestic production limitations and the scale of covering the entire subcontinent. To overcome challenges, the Indian government adopted a Total Expenditure (TOTEX) approach, enabling a $40 billion grant on project completion and a pay-per-meter structure.

International support, such as the US International Development Finance Corporation’s $49.5 million investment in Genus Power Infrastructures, aimed to boost smart meter production. By the end of 2023, only 8 million smart meters were installed, making the 2025 goal seem improbable. However, with increased investment and 99 million contracts awarded, there is optimism that the ambitious target may still be achieved in the near future, reflecting the project’s significance on a global scale.

  1. Intersection of Generative AI and IoT in 2023 Looked Complicated

Despite the complex nature of combining generative AI, largely text- or image-based, with IoT data, 2023 witnessed several noteworthy developments. While no breakthroughs have achieved widespread implementation, initial steps in convergence have surfaced:

  • Operational Data Querying: Norway’s Cognite introduced Cognite AI in June 2023, employing generative AI for tailored industrial operational data retrieval and contextualization.
  • Guided Repair and Operations: Google Cloud demonstrated a gen AI solution alerting train maintenance operator to potential issues, offering proactive causes and solutions based on manuals and past reports. Microsoft’s Copilot in Dynamics 365 Guides, announced in November 2023, combines gen AI and mixed reality to assist frontline workers in real-time tasks.
  • Vision System Training: Bosch piloted gen AI models in December 2023, using synthetic images to develop AI solutions for optical inspection in manufacturing.
  • Natural Language Control: Microsoft’s Autonomous Systems and Robotics Group utilized ChatGPT’s language capabilities to control various robotic platforms, while Sereact’s PickGPT, released in July 2023, combines language models with computer vision for remote sensing and control.

While these initiatives are promising, a widespread breakthrough in combining generative AI and IoT is yet to materialize, leaving the intersection of these technologies a complex and evolving landscape.

Source: IoT Analytics

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