The Internet of Things is both overhyped and underestimated. Your Fitbit, your Apple Watch and smart lightbulbs are useful and fun, but not lifechanging. However, they're just the beginning. Building intelligence into industrial equipment, smart cities and even medical devices is when the IoT starts changing how we live and work.
Billions of smart devices require vast infrastructure, and technology vendors to provide the pieces of that infrastructure. That's what we're here to recognize with the Leading Lights Most Innovative IoT/M2M Strategy (Vendor) award, which goes to the vendor that has unveiled the most innovative strategy during the past year.
The finalists are: Amazon Web Services, Huawei Technologies, Nokia, Nordic Semiconductor and Verimatrix.
The winners of all 24 Leading Lights awards and the three Women in Comms awards, as well as the identities of this year's Light Reading Hall of Fame inductees, will be announced at the fantabulous Leading Lights dinner, which will be held during the evening of Monday, May 14, at the Brazos Hall in Austin, Texas, following a day of pre-BCE workshops.
Then, the morning after the awards party, the doors open to this year's Big Communications Event (BCE) at the Austin Convention Center.
To find out which companies were shortlisted across all of this year's Leading Lights categories, please check out Leading Lights 2018: The Finalists and Congrats to 2018's WiC Leading Lights Finalists.
Let's have a look at the finalists in this category.
Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services Inc. provides the tools to allow its customers to easily connect and manage millions of devices securely, gathering data, running sophisticated analytics and taking actions in real-time on their diverse fleet of IoT devices from the edge to the cloud. Elements of that strategy include AWS Greengrass, FreeRTOS and IoT Analytics.
AWS Greengrass is software that lets customers and partners securely run local compute, messaging, data caching and sync capabilities for connected devices. Amazon FreeRTOS provides the core operating system and the FreeRTOS kernel to run edge devices as well as software libraries that make it easy to securely connect to cloud services like AWS IoT Core or to more powerful edge devices running AWS Greengrass.
Once data is collected, AWS IoT Analytics automates each of the difficult steps that are required to analyze IoT data. AWS IoT Analytics filters, transforms and enriches IoT data with device-specific metadata such as device type and location before storing it for querying and analysis. AWS IoT Analytics makes it easy to get started with machine learning by including pre-built models for common IoT use cases so you can quickly answer questions like which devices are about to fail or which customers are at risk of abandoning their wearable.
With global reach and a rich technology portfolio, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. can deliver full-stack IoT solutions including chipsets, operating systems, connections, platform, cloud computing and big data analytics. Huawei's Boudica IoT chipset features high integration and low power consumption, and is perfectly designed to support large-scale NB-IoT deployments. Huawei LiteOS is a lightweight, open source IoT operating system to promote development of smart devices.
For connectivity, Huawei provides wired gateways and wireless connections over NB-IoT, 5G, eLTE and more to serve different scenarios. Huawei also provides end-to-end security.
Huawei has built an open, cloud-based IoT platform -- Huawei OceanConnect IoT Platform -- which supports cloud deployment and all types of connections, ensuring greater reliability and efficiency. The platform comes with big data analytics tools to help customers to generate extra value from their data.
The Chinese vendor has more than 1,000 IoT partners in a range of industries, more than 20 Open Labs worldwide to support local projects, and belongs to more than 300 standards organizations, industry alliances and open source communities.
The company collaborates with both carriers and enterprise customers, including mobility services and solutions through Groupe PSA, the Weifang government on smart cities, China Telecom, Australia's SEW, DHL and more.