A few days ago Google announced the launch of the Open Web of Things, an open innovation and research program around the IoT. As part of the new initiative Google published a call for research proposals on IoT with focus on three main areas:
- user interface and application development
- privacy & security
- systems & protocols research
Google offers the elected participants grants, as well as access to hardware, software and systems from Google. Proposal submission is due next month and kick-off expected coming Spring.
Google has had a rough year 2014. Just this week JPMorgan lowered estimates for Google’s revenues, and shortly after Google stock hit a 52-week low. One of the main reasons for that is that Google’s traditional source of revenue, the web search ads, seems to shrink with the transition from desktop to mobile and related disruptors (such as Amazon and Facebook).
As traditional sources of revenue shrink, Google is investing in developing new sources of revenue, aligned with the emerging trends. Google has been promoting a clear strategy around the Internet of Things. Google’s strategy has several tiers, aimed at tackling IoT from several directions, both horizontally (standards, protocols) and vertically (by use cases).
Part of Google’s IoT strategy is done through internal development such as Google Glass devices and Google Now app.
Another significant part of Google’s IoT strategy is done through M&A, most notably the acquisition of smart thermostat manufacturer Nest, which subsequently acquired Dropcam and the “Smart Home” startup Revolv (and subsequently shut down Revolv’s product line in a somewhat controversial move).
It has been a hectic year for Google, with many changes and uncertainties, and transition into new areas. Google is betting on The Internet of Things as one of the future directions for the company, and has been investing seriously in that direction. It would be interesting to see what plan holds for 2015.
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