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You would be forgiven for thinking that it’s the products i.e. the Apple Watch is obviously very sexy and the Fitbit has formed an essential introduction for many of us to the concept of so-called ‘wearables’. But aren’t the platforms unpinning and connecting these technologies really the crucial factor? Samsung Electronics is a good example of a company doing both i.e. the firm manufactures devices from smartphones to laptops, but it also works quite directly at the software end of the equation. The firm has this week announced its Tizen Software Development Kit (SDK) for its newly released Samsung Gear S2 wearable device. NOTE: In the spirit of the new open age, the firm has confirmed support for Android phones, including (but not limited to) Samsung models. So it’s a kind of chicken and egg situation, we need to build the devices, yes — but we also need to:
- create the IoT device-to-network connecting intelligence
- create the IoT device management controls
- create and provide the data analytics services for the IoT devices
- … and, one of any of the above without the other is comparatively useless
So it starts to become clearer, the platform and how it works with our devices is fundamental to the success of the products. In this regard it’s worth including IBM in this conversation. Occasionally mocked as the big old elephant of the IT industry, as you can read in the piece linked here by Janakiram MSV, IBM has had a whole lot of software going on pretty much since Lou Gerstner stepped in back in the early 1990s (if not before anyway). As discussed already on Forbes by Federico Guerrini, IBM has expanded its own IoT software platform this month (known as the IBM IoT Foundation, it’s a corporate naming thing, please don’t make fun) with a tighter integration with British technical engineering form ARM. IBM seeks to provide what it calls ‘out-of-the-box connectivity (it’s a PR naming thing, please don’t make fun) with ARM mbed-enabled devices to analytics services.