Bosch has launched a cloud network for the Internet of Things (IoT) in a bid to square up to major technology companies in the connected devices arena. The move is indicative of traditional companies providing digital services to diversify their product offerings. Bosch’s IoT cloud will be run from the company’s data centre in Germany, which puts it in a position to provide services to the European market in the face of US companies looking to extend the reach of cloud services on the continent.
The company has launched its IoT cloud at an opportune moment, as the removal of the Safe Harbour agreement has made it difficult for US companies to target cloud services at European companies without having local data centres. Hoverer, Bosch will still need to compete with large cloud providers such as Microsoft and Amazon Web Services, both of which have European data centres and offer solid cloud platforms for development, service delivery,machine learning and IoT tools.
Bosch’s IoT cloud has grown out of the firm’s IoT Suite, which has provided tools that now connect some five million devices. The service is targeted at logistics and industrial applications, such as enabling sensors to collect data on parking spaces for Lorries and track deliveries. Bosch’s IoT cloud can also be used to let engineers track the location of tools through the use of a Bluetooth module that feeds data to a smartphone or tablet and then pushes the information to the IoT cloud. Another application is to improve asparagus yields by monitoring the temperature of the soil and allowing farmers greater control over the crop.
Bosch is not alone in providing solid business use cases for the IoT. Fujitsu offers wearable sensors connected to big data platforms for companies wanting to make practical use of information harvested from the IoT.