Q1: How would you describe the current state of IoT?
I think it is still an early and fragmented market. There is a real need for a better way for billions of potential IoT devices to communicate. As more devices become smarter and connected, they will have their own intelligence, and everyone will realize that these things need to exchange information much more effectively. Fragmentation will also decrease as standards improve. Too many initiatives (with good intentions) are in process and no one knows how it will turn out. Standards (like Bluetooth) are critical to mass adoption over the long term.
Q2: Nodle is building a global, virtual Bluetooth network that uses existing infrastructure. Given everything going on with NB-IoT, LTE-M and Wi-Fi, how does Nodle fit in?
Nodle is critical as today more than 50% of all IoT devices are shipped with Bluetooth capability. However, the network for connecting via Bluetooth is missing. This is what Nodle is all about. There are many other connectivity technologies, but they will not cover all the use cases. Roaming is missing with many of these technologies, they are still very expensive, and provisioning is complex and cumbersome. There is a missing layer to allow the simple, efficient sharing of information that consumes very little battery and does not require incremental hardware expense. Cellular is good for some things, but not for simple, low cost items. LPWAN technologies try to provide better costs and battery life, but they also struggle with location capability. Bluetooth modules will reach the cost of RFID soon, and it will open up more use cases than ever. Nodle and Bluetooth are truly structured to capture billions of transactions via a global network. Bluetooth runs on the same frequency everywhere! No one else can do this today.
Q3: What is the most common question that you are asked from companies trying to connect their products and services?
Companies want to know how reliable Bluetooth is, and how often that they can connect their products. Bluetooth 5.0 comes with some incredible advances that many people just do not know about yet. Cost comes right after that, because every dollar makes a difference at scale. Finally, how easy and how fast is it to deploy?
Q4: What is the dumbest thing you have seen in the market lately?
One thing that I struggle to understand is an “easy button” powered by cellular that is dedicated to a single purpose when pressed. There are cases where it works, but I find it a very narrow solution for all the investment of time and money required to bring it to life. The certification process alone is significant.
Q5: What do the next 12 months look like in IoT and for Nodle?
Nodle is very focused on growing our network to tens of millions of active nodes while deploying projects with large customers. The HTC announcement at MWC was great validation, and you will see some additional large partners announced very soon. For the broader IoT market, we will find that the only way to collect data from billions of devices is to use Bluetooth technology. We will even see many more disposable applications for IoT as asset tracking is one of the most exciting use cases.
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