The Internet of Things
Internet of Things: Berlin networks the World
Berlin’s in the top league of international IoT hubs. Its vibrant start-up scene, its broad and varied tech ecosystem, and its status as a national IoT hub all make the German capital predestined to become a trailblazer in the Internet of Things. The Land of Berlin is supporting the local developer scene with a series of model open data projects.
Internet of Things: definition and requirements
The Internet of Things links up machines, cars, factories and even whole cities with one another. Connectivity comes through embedded internet-connected microprocessors, sensors and actuators which make common everyday objects “intelligent” or “smart”. Over the last few years two main developments have paved the way for the Internet of Things – pioneering innovations in sensor technology, chip technology and embedded systems, and extension of the infrastructure of servers, the cloud and the internet.
Berlin’s IoT enterprise landscape
Last year alone the Berlin Projekt Zukunft (Project Future) initiative counted nearly 200 companies with an IoT-based business model in Berlin. According to the Study on IoT in Berlin by the Berlin Technology Foundation, their technology focus is on complete devices, apps, Internet of Things platforms, and analytics. The mobility and manufacturing industries are clear leaders in terms of application fields, followed by lifestyles, smart homes, health and energy.
One of the major success stories in this sector is the Bosch IoT Campus in the Berlin borough of Tempelhof where the Group has concentrated its research and development on the Internet of Things. The Bosch IoT Academy also offers external companies customised training on planning, development and realisation of IoT projects. One of the trailblazing innovations engineered by the Berlin start-up scene is KIWI.KI’s transponder for keyless door opening. Equally innovative is Software Forge PTX tech’s Vision System which enriches the three spatial dimensions with a time dimension and is used as an optical security sensor system for fail-safe human-machine collaboration on the factory floor.
The tech-ecosystem with the German IoT hub
It’s Berlin’s unique tech-ecosystem, unrivalled anywhere else in Germany, that’s the main draw factor attracting many start-ups to the city. Over 80 players in the German capital’s metro region are driving forward development of the Internet of Things. The science lighthouse of IoT is the Berlin Center for Digital Transformation, a collaborative venture of the four Berlin-based Fraunhofer Institutes. Many start-ups use the basic and cross-sectional technologies researched by the Center as the groundwork for their own developments. And they develop prototypes of their own ideas in the numerous incubators, company builders and accelerators Berlin has to offer including the SAP Data Space, Hub:raum, and Microsoft Ventures. Room for exchanges of ideas and networking is given in the many meetups and events organised around IoT. The year the major events Berlin will be hosting include the Wear It innovation Summit and the AIOTi Signature Event. And what’s more, since 2018 Berlin has been home to the national IoT-Hub of the Digital Hub Initiative (de:hub). The hub has its headquarters in the Kreuzberg co-working space Factory where founders come together with manufacturing companies, scientific institutions and investors to work on forward-looking projects. The Factory also stages regular networking events.
IoT projects with open data
The Internet of Things is based on huge data sets which means that the more freely accessible (open) data there is, the more sophisticated IoT technologies need to be. The Land of Berlin recognised this potential very early on, passing its Open Data Strategy back in 2011. Ever since then the Senate Department for Economics has made the data of Berlin’s public authorities freely available for (license-free) further use. The Berlin Open Data portal now offer free access to over 2000 downloadable data sets ranging from A for “Anteil” (Number of Renewable Energy Carriers in Primary Energy Consumption) to Z for “Zuwendung” (Grants in Berlin). Equally free-of-charge, the Berlin Open Data Manual also gives database users further information on the sources and formats of the data.
KIWI.KI: Keys? No one needs them now!
How often do you open your door each day? How often do you search for your keys? How often do you stand in front of the entrance to your house and can’t find your keys? How often do you have to rush home because you’re expecting a visitor and they haven’t got the keys to your flat? A Berlin company wants to put an end to all the hassle caused by keys. Their solution’s called KIWI and behind this fruity name there’s a sophisticated technology so easy to operate that really anybody can use it. KIWI makes worries over keys a thing of the past. The advantages for home-owners are obvious but the housing industry and service providers like…
PTX tech: Seeing and recognizing are key
4D MMS – that’s the name of the innovative “vision system“ of Berlin-based start-up PTX tech GmbH. They use in addition to the three divi-sions the time information. It is an optical sensor which is used as a fail-safe system that enables a safe collaboration between a person and a robot or a machine. At the end of 2016, PTX tech got the first prize of the Deep Tech Award.