Each year at CES, we see dozens of new product innovations that bring additional convenience, entertainment, efficiency – or completely new experiences to our daily lives. By bringing the power of the cloud to connected devices, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) have played an ever-expanding role in driving the connected product business opportunity. Today, smart thermostats, speakers, TVs, appliances, cars, and more are no longer serving an “early adopter” market – they are entering the mainstream – as people look for technology to help enrich how they plan and experience their daily lives.
Our Azure IoT and AI strategy enables customers to build these new products and solutions using the power of the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge, at scale. The Azure IoT platform helps customers build consistent AI-based applications and experiences from the cloud to the edge, that are adaptive and responsive to physical environments – from smart cities and spaces to connected products in homes and on the manufacturing floor. Our Azure AI services combine the latest advances in technologies like machine learning and deep learning, with our comprehensive data, Azure cloud and productivity platform, and a trusted, enterprise grade approach.
We are continuing to see great momentum for Azure IoT and Azure AI for connected devices and experiences, and new partners and customers choosing Azure IoT and Azure AI to accelerate their business. Here are just a few examples at CES:
Connected home products
- Universal Electronics Inc. (UEI), a company specializing in universal control and sensing technologies for the smart home, and Microsoft are collaborating to launch a new digital assistant platform developed with Microsoft’s cloud, AI, and IoT services. Together, we have created a white-label Smart Home hub platform, Nevo Butler, with an integrated digital assistant (nevo.ai), as well as a range of turnkey kits addressing home safety and security, energy management, and entertainment control, in residential or hospitality domains, so companies who want to offer connected experiences to their customers can do so in a seamless and managed way. The QuickSet Cloud platform running on Azure IoT is powering millions of connected devices in the home through customers including Comcast, Sony, LGI, Samsung and others. The nevo.ai digital assistant development leverages the Azure Bot solution accelerator for virtual assistant, where complex and evolving features can be delivered through simple natural language interface, making these experiences accessible to a wide range of audiences.
- Hampton Products International, makers of ARRAY By Hampton family of connected devices, has selected the Microsoft Azure IoT cloud platform to power its next generation smart devices and future IoT product development. Hampton is a trusted leader in the home security space, having produced more than 1.5 billion door locks, padlocks, door hardware, and security lights. With the ARRAY By Hampton Connected Lock and Video Coach Lights, Hampton Products is bringing IoT to home security for thousands of devices.
Connected car experiences
- ZF, a company specializing in driveline, chassis and vehicle safety technology, is showcasing an intelligent platform that allows customers to integrate a variety of capabilities for a seamless end-user experience. This includes functions ranging from fleet management and ride-sharing to innovative delivery services – all built on the Azure IoT platform.
- LG Electronics (LGE), a global technology and manufacturing company, is partnering with Microsoft to boost the growth of its connected and smart vehicle component business, using its Advanced Driver Assistance Systems to leverage Azure IoT platform coupled with data ingestion and transfer along with Azure Data Box and will incorporate the solution accelerator for virtual assistant.
- Visteon, a Fortune 500 cockpit technology company, announced its DriveCore Studio autonomous driving platform at CES in 2018. This year, it announced that it is moving DriveCore to the cloud with Azure AD, giving OEMs a trusted and secure location to collaborate.
- The BMW Group announced its own Intelligent Personal Assistant for its cars, coming March 2019 with support for 23 languages. BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant will be supported by Microsoft’s cloud, AI, and machine learning capabilities. Over time, it will learn from your habits and get smarter. Try out BMW’s personal assistant and learn more about their connected car vision at CES 2019.
Innovation for immersive, secured digital experiences
- Itron has been in the energy and water markets for decades. To help customers create a more resourceful world, Itron Idea Labs was created to help scale innovation. Itron Idea Labs is exploring technologies that can be combined with Itron’s fully standards-compliant IPv6 multi-application network to connect IoT devices through a powerful distributed computing platform. At CES 2019, Itron Idea Labs is demoing several new ideas to innovate the way we think about how communities operate. A featured demo will allow visitors to step into the shoes of tomorrow’s urban planner in an experience using Microsoft’s HoloLens and Azure Digital Twin technologies. This experience will enable a visitor to interact with a virtualized architectural model of the Lincoln Heights neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles to simulate the impact of infrastructure improvements before they are installed.
- Avnet, a Microsoft partner and leading global technology solutions provider, is announcing the new Azure Sphere MT3620 Starter Kit to further enhance the developer experience for creating secured, connected microcontroller-unit (MCU) devices. There are billions of MCU devices shipped every year in IoT connected devices. Azure Sphere, in public preview since September, was designed to address security of these devices holistically at every layer, from the silicon to the cloud. Avnet is a lead partner for Azure Sphere and is the first to distribute the solution.
These partners and more illustrate how IoT is reaching its full potential with new solutions that make it easier to create intelligent applications from the cloud to the edge. To learn more about our IoT platform, visit https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/overview/iot/. We are excited to see what our customers and partners create next.