The Internet of Things (IoT) concept is becoming increasingly popular among consumers, and companies are beginning to recognize the impact it can have for customers. Mobile and internet provider Vodafone are the most recent big brand to utilize it by introducing its new IoT platform “V by Vodafone”.
Vodafone has estimated that there will be 370 millions devices in the countries it operates in by 2020. That’s an increase from the current figure of 50 million. The main strategy of the company is to connect those devices to its international IoT network.
The platform currently consists of 4 products:
- V- Auto is a dongle which plugs into the OBD port of the majority of cars. The device has emergency call functions as well as a GPS tracker which can help owners to find their car if it’s stolen. It also includes a feature which provides feedback on the quality of the owners driving.
- V- Camera is a mobile security camera which continuously records when connected to the network
- V-Pet which provides location and activity tracking for pet dogs and cats. The device sends owners notifications if their pet leaves a certain area and it can be used to monitor their sleeping patterns
- V-Bag is a location tracker which can be attached to owner’s bag, and will give its location if lost. The device also gives notifications if the bag goes outside the designated area
Vodafone Group Chief Executive, Vittorio Colao, said: “V by Vodafone” makes it simple to connect a wide range of IoT-enabled devices, helping customers keep everyone and everything that matters to them safe and secure. We look forward to applying our world-leading expertise in IoT to help consumers make the most of the next phase of the global digital revolution.”
The V by Vodafone products are already available in the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy. It’s thought that other European countries will have access to the products and IoT platform fairly soon. The products require a “V-Sim”, which can be connected to the network subject to fees.
The sim cards are currently available from Vodafone directly, and it’s thought they will be offered by third party retailers next year. Vodafone also plans to launch additional IoT products and services in 2018, as well as a new online marketplace, which it will open up to new developers in order to provide its customers with as much choice as possible.