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10 companies making the Internet of Things a reality

Cisco's recent Internet of Things World Forum in Barcelona made one thing clear: the IoT is quickly becoming a reality.

By Zeus Kerravala on Mon, 11/04/13 - 11:59am.

The first ever Internet of Things World Forum was held in Barcelona over the last week of October. If there was any doubt, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a very real trend and it's just a matter of time before IoT has a significant impact on the way we live our lives. These were the top 10 companies on display at the World Forum, many of which are helping IoT move from vision to reality.

10. Freescale  Freescale Semiconductor is an IoT enabler that makes embedded processing solutions for automotive, consumer and industrial markets. Freescale has a variety of technologies, such as microprocessors, microcontrollers, sensors and integrated circuits, that can be considered the foundational components of IoT. Freescale technologies are currently being used in connected cars, medical equipment, consumer appliances and energy management solutions.

9. Grundfos – This IoT-related company is a leader in advanced pump solutions and touts itself as a "trendsetter" in water technology. When I first saw this, I thought it was a bit boring, but heck, we all need water and the more efficiently it can be processed and made available, the better off the world is. Grundfos has holistic water management and pump solutions that can communicate the status of water processing and automatically adapt when required. The company also provides a significant amount of data that can be further analyzed for ongoing improvements.

8. Rockwell Automation – In the 80s, a band called Rockwell did a song with the enigmatic Michael Jackson called “Somebody’s watching me.” This company is aptly named, as Rockwell Automation provides solutions that are used to watch plant floors and make them more efficient. Rockwell brings the IoT to the factories and other industrial environments through network-connected equipment that can automate processes, predict failures and improve the overall efficiency of industrial environments.

7. Zebra Technologies – This is another company that has been involved with IoT initiatives now for many years. Zebra offers both products and services that give a company's assets, people or transactions a "virtual voice" that can be heard by an analytics platform to unlock hidden potential. The company has a wide portfolio of IoT-related products as well, including RFID printing and encoding, sensor technologies and location information.

6. Bosch – In addition to being the appliance vendor of choice for my pretty little wife, Christine Kerravala (we now have an all-Bosch kitchen), Bosch has a huge software division that designs and develops software specifically for IoT applications. Bosch has focused initiatives in the areas of mobility, energy management and manufacturing, where the underlying Bosch software is used as a platform for a wide variety of IoT-related projects.

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