The Week In Review: IoT

NXP adds IoT chips; farm IoT firm gets funding; 24B IoT cell connections in 2025.

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Products
NXP Semiconductors this week brought out several Internet of Things devices and other products for using near-field communications in advanced product authentication, integrity assurance, and enhanced user engagement in consumer manufactured goods, health care, retail, and other industries. The company has introduced the NTAG 413 DNA and NTAG 213 Tag Tamper devices to combat fake products, counterfeit transactions, and improper product handling. The NHS3100 and NHS3152 devices, part of NXP’s NTAG SmartSensor line, can offer NFC sensing and logging applications for temperature monitoring in cold supply-chain logistics. NXP also debuted the NTAG PC plus Arduino pinout kit for development of connected tags tied to the company’s Kinetis, i.MX, UDOO Neo, and QorIQ chips.

Samsung Electronics introduced Samsung Connect Home, a residential Wi-Fi router that can work as a hub for the company’s SmartThings home automation platform, and a related service called Samsung Connect. The Connect application will initially be available on the new Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone, shipping this spring, and its availability will widen to other Samsung mobile devices and Android-based smartphones later this year.

Finance
Arable Labs received $4.25 million in private funding for agricultural IoT products and services. Middleland Capital and S2G Ventures led the Series A round, with new investors Chase Field, Spark Labs, and Cantos VC participating. The Princeton, N.J.-based startup will use the money for expanding its data science and analytics offerings in the agriculture and food supply chain, and to start volume production of its Arable Mark IoT device (formerly known as PulsePod) during 2017. The Arable Mark sensor platform will be shipping this spring, and distributors will be carrying the product later in the year. Arable also offers the cloud-based Arable Insights software platform for crop consultants, farmers, food processors, and large-scale producers.

Filament, a supplier of wireless industrial networks based in Reno, Nevada, raised $15 million in new venture funding; the round was led by Verizon Ventures and Bullpen Capital. Joining in the round were Intel Capital, Flex Lab IX, and Samsung NEXT, among other investors.

Kansas City-based Pepper (formerly PEQ) is getting a capital injection of $8.5 million from OpenAir Equity Partners and Comporium Communications, among other investors. Pepper is developing a mobile operating system for managing IoT devices and services in homes.

Market Research
Strategy Analytics forecasts Internet of Things cellular connections worldwide will increase four-plus times to more than 24 billion in 2025, with the automotive, utility, and security vertical markets accounting for nearly half of those connections. The market research firm has a new report, IoT Cellular Connections by Industry Vertical, Bandwidth and Region.

Research and Development
Microsoft is opening an IoT lab in Munich, Germany. The company will work with customers on developing IoT applications, fabricating hardware prototypes, and other IoT-related activities. Microsoft previously set up IoT labs at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington, and in Shenzhen, China. Cisco Systems and IBM also have IoT R&D centers in Germany.