10 Cool Companies That Are Already Monetizing the Internet of Things

Note: This article first appeared in IoT Evolution.

At its core, the Internet of Things (IoT) is about making connections. It connects smart sensors, devices, and applications that together make a multitude of new services possible—services that offer people greater personalization and more control than ever. The big question is: How can your business create revenue from these new services? As these ten companies show, there’s no shortage of opportunities when it comes to monetizing connections created through the IoT.

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1. Philips Hue Connected Bulb
You can control Phillips Hue connected bulbs from your smartphone or tablet. Change brightness and color to suit your moods. Turn lights on and off remotely—even make it appear you’re home when you’re not.

Monetization Model: One-Time Pay + Free App

2. Audi Connect                                           

With the IoT, Audi is turning its cars into rolling wireless hotspots. Audi Connect features 4G/LTE Wi-Fi connectivity and navigation powered by Google Earth and Voice Search. Directions, real-time traffic, and weather are just a voice command away.

Monetization Model: 6 Mo. Subscription-$99, 30 Mo.-$499

3. Nexia Home Intelligence
With Nexia Home Intelligence, your home keeps pace with your daily life. Operate connected lights, appliances, thermostats, and door locks from anywhere through its all-in-one app.

Monetization Model: Starter Kit + $9.99/Mo Subscription

4. Jawbone UP
Wireless sensors in the wearable Jawbone UP lifestyle tracker help you get better sleep, stay active, and eat smarter. A free app includes built-in analytics that provide ongoing insights, tips, and reminders to help you reach your goals.

Monetization Model: One Time Pay + Free App

5. Nest Learning Thermostat
The Nest Learning Thermostat automatically adjusts home temperatures based on your lifestyle and habits. It can even anticipate changing seasons. It also connects to an ever-growing range of smart home devices and appliances.

Monetization Model: One Time Pay + Free App

6. Senior Monitoring System
The senior monitoring system from BeClose (now known as Wellness from Alarm.com) helps families keep an eye on elderly loved ones. Its wearable sensors send alerts when they detect changes in sleep patterns, eating habits, or incidents (such as falls).

Monetization Model: One-Time Purchase + $69-$99/Mo. Subscription

7. Zatar

A cloud-based platform for the IoT, Zatar helps ensure that hundreds of connected devices and applications from many different providers can work together. It does so through a standards-based approach and open APIs.

Monetization Model: Up to 5 Devices Free, $2/Device/Month After

8. Jasper Connected Car Cloud
Through its Connected Car software, Jasper is helping automakers bring cars to market that integrate with a fast-growing ecosystem of connected devices, applications, and services. Examples include remote diagnostics, enhanced streaming entertainment, and location-aware services.

Monetization Model: White Label Services

9. Streetline Parking

The sensor-based Streetline parking solution works in conjunction with mobile apps to help drivers find empty spaces in real time, make reservations, and pay by phone. It also provides analytics that help cities improve parking efficiency.

Monetization Model: Upfront Installation Cost + Monthly Fee

10. WeMo Switch
With the Wi-Fi powered WeMo Switch, you can control anything you plug into it from a tablet or smartphone. Turn home appliances and electronic devices off and on remotely. Or just set them and forget them using the WeMo app’s built-in timers.

Monetization Model: One Time Pay + Free App

What these examples make clear is that in the emerging world of the Internet of Things, everything is connected. With billions of IoT devices on the way, the monetization possibilities aren’t limited to just ten companies. They’re endless.

About the Author

Brendan O'Brien

Brendan O’Brien has been in the subscription services business for over 20 years, and is recognized as a pioneer and thought-leader. It’s fair to say that he introduced the world to cloud billing, and innovated database-driven, enterprise-grade web applications for companies ranging from Medical Manager, to Wright Express, and LaserLink. All this before the concept of “cloud” was even on the horizon. Brendan is trained as a professional stage actor and classical tenor.

The Forrester Wave: Subscription Billing Platforms, Q4 2015

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