Thursday, September 24, 2015

Internet of Things (IoT) Investment Insights from Patents

Goldman Sachs defines the IoT (Internet of Things) as the third wave of internet revolution: by connecting to the internet billions of devices, the IoT opens up a host of new business opportunities and challenges. According to McKinsey, the IoT has the potential to create up to $6 trillion economic value annually by 2025. The IoT has various applications including, smart homes, connected cars, smart grids, smart healthcares, smart businesses and smart cities. Many players across diverse industries including semiconductor, consumer electronics, ICT, healthcare, retail, industrial & manufacturing and transportation are participated in the IoT business. Recently, many global leaders in the IoT business provide the IoT platforms to create diverse platform-based business models and form the IoT business ecosystem. According to the market research of Research and Markets, there are more than 2000 companies (including 260 companies that are offering IoT platforms) that are selling IoT enabled products, playing a vital part in the IoT technology infrastructure, or act as an enabler to the IoT development.

One of the best ways to understand the investment potential of IoT is to have insights regarding the market growth potential and the earning power of specific technologies, business sectors or companies. Patent information can provide many valuable insights that can be exploited for finding investment potential of IoT. Most of all, patents can provide insights regarding the state of the art and future direction of IoT innovation for the specific technologies (e.g., Smart UI/UX, Autonomous Vehicles, M2M Connectivity), products/services (e.g., Smart Homes, Healthcare/Medical Devices, Connected Cars, Big Data Analytics) and companies (e.g., Apple, Cisco, IBM, Qualcomm, Samsung). Patents also can provide insights regarding a new company to become play a leading role in the emerging IoT market. Furthermore, patents can provide insights regarding emerging disruptive IoT products/Services by providing IoT products with new performance/value proposition attributes that may not previously have been valued by existing end users (e.g., convergence with other technologies to create synergies). Therefore, one can find the specific IoT technologies, business sectors or companies for investment opportunities in venture capital funding, M&A, patent/technology acquisition/monetization, leveraged buyout and stock investment. Following illustrates some examples of IoT technologies, business sectors and companies for potential investment opportunities that are obtained from patent information.

Energy Harvesting Device
Samsung Electronics is active in the development of energy harvesting IoT sensor devices. 20150115868 (ENERGY HARVEST AND STORAGE SYSTEM AND MULTI-SENSOR MODULE: Samsung) illustrates the multi-sensor module that includes energy harvesting device that converts thermal energy into electrical energy using the thermoelectric materials. US20140152134 (ENERGY HARVESTING DEVICES; Samsung) illustrates the energy harvesting device that converts magnetic energy into electrical energy using the piezo-electric materials. US20150194911 (ENERGY HARVESTER; Samsung) illustrates the energy harvesting device that converts electrostatic energy into electrical energy using the ferroelectric materials.

Since Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)  have widely used because of their high durability, longevity, portability, low power consumption, absence of harmful substances such as mercury, and so forth, the LED light emitting sources are becoming ubiquitous everywhere. Thus, visible light communication (VLC) with LEDs as transmitters and receivers for wireless communication can provide the IoT connectivity in many IoT applications. General Electric in collaboration with Qualcomm is active in the development of LTE VLC technology and applications. For example, thhe position of the mobile device can be determined from finding the transmitted positional information in an indoor map of the structure. This map can be downloaded to the mobile device, or the mobile device can use a local area network to access a database containing the indoor map.  Exploiting the LED position systems the shoppers in a shopping mall can receive indoor navigation guide maps, product information, and promotional advertisements.

US20150223277 (USING VISIBLE LIGHT COMMUNICATION TO MANAGE WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN DEVICES; Qualcomm) illustrates the LED VLC for the smart home/building IoT applications. The LED VLC is a type of wireless communication in which the intensity of a VLC signal may be modulated to carry information. The LED VLC can be useful in that VLC can enable communication over relatively long distances within a room or building, yet also confine communication to a room or building (e.g., because the LED VLC signals do not pass through opaque walls). The LED VLC can also be useful in that VLC signals may be received using, for example, an image sensor of a device camera and/or an ambient light sensor of a device, which sensors may be included on cellular devices (e.g., smartphones), computers (e.g., tablet computers), and/or certain wearable devices (e.g., watches and/or electronic glasses).

US20150215744 (SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR INDOOR POSITIONING, NAVIGATION AND LOCATION SPECIFIC SERVICES; GE) illustrates the LED VLC for the smart home/building positioning applications. The indoor positioning system includes modulating the light output of LED lamps installed throughout the structure. The LED light can be modulated at a fast rate that is imperceptible to the human eye. This modulation can be detected by suitably configured cameras. The modulation can include positioning data of the LED lamp. A digital camera on a handheld device in conjunction with an application can discern the modulated data. The modulation requires the placement of a microchip controller at each LED lamp undergoing modulation. The microchip, in conjunction with software, controls the fast rate modulation.

Emotion-Aware IoT
An individual's mental state is important to general well-being and effective decision making. Mental states include a wide range of emotions and experiences from happiness to sadness, from contentedness to worry, from excitation to calm, and many others. When an individual is aware of his or her mental well-being, he or she is better equipped to realize his or her own abilities, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and contribute to his or her community. US20140200463 (MENTAL STATE WELL BEING MONITORING; Affectiva) illustrates a practical possibility of implementation of emotion-aware IoT applications by determining well-being status from an analysis of facial information and physiological information of an individual. US20130054090 (EMOTION-BASED VEHICLE SERVICE SYSTEM, EMOTION COGNITION PROCESSING APPARATUS, SAFE DRIVING SERVICE APPARATUS, AND EMOTION-BASED SAFE DRIVING SERVICE METHOD; ETRI) illustrates a practical possibility of implementation of emotion-aware connected car applications.

Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality can provide diverse IoT user interfaces and experiences. US20130346168 (Wearable augmented reality eyeglass communication device including mobile phone and mobile computing via virtual touch screen gesture control and neuron command; Dylan T X Zhou) illustrates a practical possibility of implementation of the touch screen UI that is implemented in the air exploiting a head mounted wearable augmented reality eyeglass communication device. The user may interact with the data and/or objects projected by the projector such as the virtual touch screen. A camera may capture images or video of user body parts in relation to the projected objects and recognize user commands provided via virtual control components. Alternatively, motions of user fingers or hands may be detected by the sensors and interpreted by the processor.

US20130083061 (FRONT- AND REAR- SEAT AUGMENTED REALITY VEHICLE GAME SYSTEM TO ENTERTAIN & EDUCATE PASSENGERS; GM) illustrates an augmented reality game for a vehicle. A real-time video image during operation of a vehicle from a camera mounted on the vehicle merges with virtual images to provide an augmented reality image. The augmented reality image is then transmitted to a display of a gaming device during the operation of the vehicle.

Smart Home Robots
iRobot is active in the development of smart home robots. US20150224640 (COMPANION ROBOT FOR PERSONAL INTERACTION; iRobot) illustrates a smart home robot for interacting with a resident in the resident's home. The robot may include a sensor capable of monitoring the resident when the robot is in the resident's home and the resident is within range of the sensor, a controller connected to monitor surveillance data from the sensor, a transmission control routine configured to enable a transmission of surveillance data from the sensor outside the resident's home if the resident grants permission for the transmission, and an override routine configured to enable a transmission of surveillance data from the sensor outside the resident's home (i) in an emergency condition detected by the robot or (ii) after an authorized remote caregiver sends to the robot an authorization previously permitted by the resident and an emergency condition indication. The robot may also carry on a dialogue with the resident, reinforce compliance with medication.

Smart Haptic Medical Devices
Smart haptic devices employing tactile feedback technology which recreates the sense of touch can be used for an operator of a surgical instrument or diagnostics of a patient remotely. US20140336669 (Haptic gloves and surgical robot systems; Samsung) illustrates a haptic glove configured to transmit haptic feedback to an operator of a surgical robot system. US9046926 (System and method of dynamically generating a frequency pattern to realize the sense of touch in a computing device; IBM) illustrates a system for providing the sense that a doctor can feel a wound without being co-located with a patient. The system comprises an image processing module capable of extracting a plurality of features from a visual representation of a physical object and a frequency generation module capable of generating a variable frequency pattern corresponding to the extracted features, and sending the variable frequency pattern to a computing device in which the computing device generates the tactile feedback in response to a stimulation applied by a user based on the variable frequency pattern.

Smart Health Monitoring Devices
Health monitoring sensor devices including internet connected wearable devices can provide a real time monitoring of person’s health status such as heart rate and blood pressure and enable remote healthcare services. US20150120317 (ADAPTIVE INTERFACE FOR CONTINUOUS MONITORING DEVICES; DexCom) illustrates a glucose sensing device that is capable of measuring the concentration of glucose. US20150213231 (METHOD, SERVER, AND USER DEVICE FOR PROVIDING USER'S PERSONAL MEDICINE INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SERVICE BETWEEN THE SERVER AND THE USER DEVICE; Samsung) illustrates a system to manage a person’s medication. US20100256460 (Wearable Monitoring System; GE) illustrates a wearable monitoring system to collect and manage physiological information which is indicative of a condition of a respiration function. This device can be used at home by a doctor remotely to monitor apnea (e.g. sleep apnea that breathing is interrupted). US20140275824 (Multiple Sensors for Monitoring Health and Wellness of an Animal; i4C Innovations) illustrates a wearable device for monitoring the health of an animal. The wearable device may include several sensors, RFID tag, GPS receiver and wireless connectivity to send the sensed data.

Self-Driving Cars
US 20150158499 (VEHICLE MONITORING SYSTEM: Magna Electronics) illustrates an automated vehicle monitoring system that includes a central processor operable to receive vehicle inputs from multiple vehicles. The vehicle inputs are indicative of driving conditions of the vehicles. The central processor is operable to receive, for each vehicle of the multiple vehicles, an environment input indicative of the environment at that vehicle. Responsive to the vehicle inputs and the environment inputs, the central processor determines if one or more of the multiple vehicles is at or approaching a hazardous condition. Responsive to a determination that one or more of the multiple vehicles is a threatened vehicle at a potentially hazardous condition, the central monitoring system at least one of (i) actuates an alert of the threatened vehicle to alert a driver of the threatened vehicle of the determined hazardous condition and (ii) controls a vehicle system of the threatened vehicle to mitigate the determined hazardous condition.

US20150149265(CONTROLLED PARKING OF AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES; GM) illustrates an autonomous perpendicular parking system. US8457844 (Parallel parking assistant system and method thereof; Delphi Technologies) illustrates an autonomous parallel parking system.

Connected Car Security
US20150020152 (SECURITY SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR PROTECTING A VEHICLE ELECTRONIC SYSTEM; ARILOU INFORMATION SECURITY TECHNOLOGIES) illustrates a security system for protecting a vehicle electronic system by selectively intervening in the communications path in order to prevent the arrival of malicious messages at Electronic Control Units (ECUs). The security system includes a filter which prevents illegal messages sent by any system or device communicating over a vehicle communications bus from reaching their destination. The filter may, at its discretion according to preconfigured rules, send messages as is, block messages, change the content of the messages, request authentication or limit the rate such messages can be delivered, by buffering the messages and sending them only in preconfigured intervals.

US 20150150124 (Cloud-assisted threat defense for connected vehicles; Cisco) illustrates a system for cloud-assisted threat defense for connected vehicles. A vehicle includes an on-board computer system for operating and/or controlling various systems on the vehicle. The on-board computer system operates in connection with or includes an on-board threat defense module or a cloud-based security component for detecting and protecting against malware attacks and other security threats to the vehicle.

Connected Car Safety/Collision Avoidance
Hyundai is active in the development of connected care safety system. US 20150146605 (V2V SAFETY SYSTEM USING CONSENSUS; Zetta Research and Development) illustrates a system for safety and anti-collision exploiting the vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication system. US20150149059 (AUTOMATIC SPEED CONTROLLABLE VEHICLE AND METHOD FOR CONTROLLING SPEED THEREOF; Hyundai Mobis) illustrates an automatic speed controllable vehicle exploiting vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication system. US 20150054659 (COOPERATIVE VEHICLE COLLISION WARNING SYSTEM; Fujitsu) illustrates a vehicular communication systems enable vehicles to wirelessly communicate with each other to exchange traffic information and generate safety warnings depending on the traffic information exploiting V2X (V2V and V2I) communication system.

Personalized Geo-fencing
Apple is the leader in the development of the personalized geo-fencing system. US20150072674 (Location-Based Device Automation; Apple) illustrates a system for location-based device automation for some smart home applications.  Smart home IoT devices (e.g., lights and appliances) associated with a particular geographic location (e.g., room, office, building) can be automated based on a geographic location of mobile devices. Automation of a device can include activating or deactivating the device, or adjusting the settings of the device. For example, home lighting can be configured to activate or deactivate depending on a day and time. Automation modes (e.g., a home mode, an away mode, or a vacation mode) can be used to adjust automation settings for the devices. A particular automation mode can be selected to automate (e.g., adjust the settings) the devices using the configured automation settings for the particular automation mode. An automation setting can indicate a particular setting for the particular device (e.g., a thermostat setting, a volume level, or a light dimming setting). Automation modes can be personalized using the user profiles associated with the mobile device at the specific geographic location to provide the personalized entertainment.

Big Data Analytics
IBM is active in the development of big data analytics for IoT applications. US20140297826 (SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR BIG DATA AGGREGATION IN SENSOR NETWORK; ETRI) illustrates a system for big data aggregation in a sensor network. US20150134704 (Real Time Analysis of Big Data; IBM) illustrates a system for processing large scale unstructured data in real time. The interconnected IoT sensing devices continuously generate massive information at a very high speed. Thus a technology for effectively processing a huge amount of information in the form of a data stream in real time is very important.

US20150179079 (MOBILE DEVICES AS NEURAL SENSORS FOR IMPROVED HEALTH OUTCOMES AND EFFICACY OF CARE; New Technologies & Associates) illustrates a system and for real time monitoring a patient's cognitive and motor response to a stimulus. The big data analysis of massive data obtained by the IoT healthcare/medical devices can provide many value-added healthcare services. The real time monitoring system includes a mobile or tablet device, a user interface disposed on the mobile device, sensors monitoring user interaction with the mobile device and capturing kinesthetic and cognitive data. The real time monitoring system also includes a processor comparing the kinesthetic and cognitive data and comparing the data to a baseline, and identifying relative improvement and impairment of cognition and motor skills from the comparison exploiting big data analytics that can be accessed locally over a WAN/LAN or in the cloud or across multiple clouds.

Smart Home & Connected Car Convergence
IoT business will have synergies by the convergence of many different technologies or business attributes. Converged IoT business can create entirely new industries providing dramatically different values to the customers. US20140167983 (INTEGRATION OF VEHICLE WITH HOME-CENTRIC SYSTEM; Zubie) illustrates an integration of the smart home and connected car system. Smart home system includes home smart appliance networks, home smart energy systems, smart lighting system and others. The smart home system can include sensors or components that are physically located at different places throughout the home and are in communication with a central "command center" that consolidates information from each of the sensor/components whether a particular entry door, window, or garage door is opened, or whether a motion sensor has sensed any motion, or whether a particular light or set of lights is off/on or a current temperature of the house.

US20140309790 (ADJUSTING HOME AUTOMATION COMFORT BASED ON VEHICLE ASSOCIATED USER PROFILE DATA: Flextronics AP) illustrates a system to create an environment within the vehicle similar to that of an individual's home. An individual who is more comfortable while traveling instills confidence and pleasure in using a given vehicle, increasing an individual's preference for a given manufacturer and/or vehicle type. One way to instill comfort in a vehicle is to create the integrating features in a vehicle that are associated with comfort found in an individual's home by proving user’s profile data at home. The connected car system receives user’s profile data from smart home system and determines context to change a configuration of a vehicle. The configurations can include comfort and interface settings that can be adjusted based on the user profile information. Further, the user profiles can track health data related to the user and make adjustments to the configuration to assist the health of the user.

©2015 TechIPm, LLC All Rights Reserved

No comments: