Smart cities, wearables, fishery businesses… The Internet of Things (IoT) is being used across different sectors for the most innovative uses.
Southeast Asia is keeping pace with the global trend and industries such as supply chain or agriculture are taking full advantage of it.
Although Singapore is still at the forefront of IoT implementation, other countries across the region are following suit and governments are introducing the technology as part of a full integration into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).
Across ASEAN, IoT spending is expected to reach US$7.53 billion in 2020, a 35% growth in value from an estimated US$1.68 billion in 2015.
“The take-up rate in ASEAN countries is expected to be among the highest in the region due to lower initial IoT spending,” said Mark Koh, Frost & Sullivan research manager for IT in APAC. “However, the largest markets would still be the mature IT markets, including Japan, China, India and the Republic of Korea.”
Some countries such as Thailand or Malaysia have adopted national IoT strategic roadmaps in their mission “to create a national ecosystem to enable the proliferation of use and industralisation of IoT as a new source of economic growth.”
Here we have compiled a list of 11 innovative ASEAN companies which are using IoT across different sectors.
Founded in 2013, eFishery is the first ‘fishtech’ startup in Indonesia which provides an IoT solution and data platform for fish and shrimp farming businesses.
The eFishery Fish and Shrimp Smart Autofeeder devices allow for smart, automatic feeding, making it easier for farmers to monitor and schedule feeding times using a smartphone app (the ‘eFishery app’).
eFishery’s technology senses the fish’s appetite by monitoring their vibrations as they correlate with levels of hunger.
The data can also predict how much fish the farmers will harvest and sell, allowing them to connect with buyers before arriving to market.
eFishery’s devices can increase yields by up to 35% and double net profit, helping hundreds of millions of farmers globally at the bottom of the pyramid, while at the same time tackling the global challenge of food security.
Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, this Malaysian startup was founded in 2011 with the mission of unleashing the full potential of IoT for business optimisation across Southeast Asia.
In N’osairis they use their own NeX Platform to incorporate the IoT ecosystem components – sensors, connectivity and BI – into a single logical framework, allowing enterprises to leverage the platform to quickly deploy their IoT strategies.
“We empower our end clients to focus on their core business while we take care of the technicality, complexity and capital needed to deploy the right IoT strategy for their businesses,” said Stalin Vijaya Kamaraj, CEO of N’osairis.
The services they offer include managed machine to machine (M2M) connectivity, IoT business consulting, gas tank monitoring, connected vehicle solutions, traffic flow control, Wi-Fi analytics and managed IoT solutions.
N’osairis has now regional offices in the Philippines and Indonesia and has 25 telecommunication affiliates across Southeast Asia. In 2011 it was awarded a grant from Cradle, Malaysia’s early-stage startup influencer.
PINS Indonesia was established in 1995 under the name PT Pramindo Ikat Nusantara as a business focused on telecommunications in Sumatra. In 2002 all of its shares were acquired by PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) and has since then remained an arm of the big corporation.
Now dubbed “the IoT company”, PINS Indonesia integrates devices, networks, systems and processes by using IoT supported by human resources’ capabilities and the best systems on offer.
The company’s remit includes home and office automation, smart city initiatives, traffic control, smart building solutions and smart grids.
In 2016 PINS Indonesia revealed that it plans to start an online marketplace dedicated to products and solutions from the IoT.
Singapore Power and Silver Spring Networks
Silver Spring Networks (since January 2018 an Itron subsidiary) announced in 2016 its agreement with Singapore Power to expand the company’s uses and applications of its existing wireless mesh network platform across the city-state.
Singapore Power, which provides electricity to 1.4 million homes and businesses on the island, plans to leverage its advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) deployment to connect an additional 200,000 electric residential customers.
Silver Spring’s multi-application IPv6 platform will be extended to help Singapore Power improve its operational efficiencies, serve more advanced metering customers and for Singapore Power to develop a digital data and IoT platform. The joint efforts are designed to support Singapore’s ‘Smart Nation’ goals by leveraging the IoT to improve efficiency, security, economic development and quality of life for its citizens.
Silver Spring has also announced that it will collaborate with Singapore Power on a variety of product and market development activities with the intent to unlock the creativity of IoT innovation of Singapore’s commercial and academic institutions.
In support of its collaboration with Singapore Power – and to help capitalise on IoT opportunities in the region – Silver Spring, which is a US company, intends to establish its Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore.
A-Square Digital Core
A-Square Digital Core is a Filipino provider of IoT and IT solutions for business, government, education and healthcare clients.
Using IoT they help customers get ahead and improve their own practices and customer engagement by providing solutions to drive revenue and innovation using Android or iOS native applications like mobile collection or ticketing systems, and customer facing or middleware for IoT devices like Arduino or Raspberry Pi.
They also customise applications paired with mobile printers connected via USB or wireless.
Headquartered in Singapore, this startup designs and manufactures smart IoT wearables including fitness bands and smart watches.
Among their products is the One-North Run shirt, a garment equipped with sensors that captures the live heart ratings through an electrocardiography (ECG) facility, as well as record fitness data such as heart rate, calories burned and step counts. Information is displayed on an app supported by iOS and Android.
The One-North Run shirt was developed in conjunction with textile company Tex Line and with the help of Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).
The shirt’s app can work as a personal coach to customise training programmes to suit one’s needs based on fitness level, and according to the developers of the wearable, it can also be used for other purposes including monitoring of patients in hospitals or to keep track or workers’ performance and health.
It is expected that IoT will transform agricultural production from a qualitative field into a precise manufacturing sector based on the data collected, aggregated and statistical analysis. Instead of depending on weather and unforeseen conditions, farmers will be able to adjust crops to achieve the desired outcome.
That’s what MimosaTEK, a Vietnamese startup with the yellow flower (or cocktail) name, is trying to achieve in the Mekong country.
Named Vietnam’s best startup, MimosaTEK uses IoT to provide precision agriculture to help farmers in Vietnam operate sustainably by optimising yield while cutting costs and reducing risks.
Using world-class technology, MimosaTEK provides farm management solutions for both smallholder farmers and large agricultural companies in different parts of Vietnam and for different crops.
MimosaTEK’s solutions are applied to short-day plants such as vegetables and perennial plants such as black pepper, maca, and citrus trees. It also collaborates with bigger companies working in irrigation infrastructure supplies and greenhouse construction to provide complete solutions for their customers.
Caring for the elderly can be a challenging and stressful situation for working families and those who can’t afford looking after loved ones 24 hours a day.
The team behind Thailand’s BAESLab knows that very well and decided to create an IoT platform for elderly care that’s able to monitor loved ones who need assistance.
Among the products that they have created using IoT are Watchfully and Oura.
Watchfully is a wristband or necklace that creates a location-tracking signal which can alert family members and emergency response units whenever an elderly wearing the device falls or requires immediate medical assistance.
Oura is a ring-sized wellness computer that helps its users sleep and generally perform better.
In 2017, Singaporean startup KAMARQ, a venture furniture company aiming to “expand your world” with original products that follow a brand-new “Furniture x IT” concept, merged with ComZeit, a company that specialises in developing solutions for IoT products and equipment management and control.
Among the products offered by KAMARQ is Sound Table, a speaker-infused table that can be controlled from a smartphone and play music and ambient sounds that reflect the weather outside.
By combining multiple functions in a single product, they want to replace two things with one, and put into practice the “Buy Less” philosophy.
According to the startup, they are the first and only IoT venture that produces a new product that combines furniture and IT.
This Singapore-based aquatech startup uses IoT and Artificial Intelligence (AI) “to create a world water revolution”.
In 2017 they launched Umigarden, a product which provides feeding optimisation in aquaculture by fish school analysis.Their aim is to improve the safety and sustainability of aquatic resources and the working environment in aquaculture by developing and providing a computer model that accumulates cultured know-how around the world.
In August the company started a new service to provide reliable data for aquaculture insurance. The service utilises IoT and satellite remote sensing to evaluate and mitigate risks associated with ocean environment and farm operations.
This Vietnamese company leverages IoT technology and the circular economy to produce the most sustainable and affordable protein from crickets (yes, the grasshopper-like insect) – a regular diet for more than 2 billion people worldwide.
They build shipping containers integrated with their in-house cricket towers together with an environment monitor and control system that are connected to a cloud platform to allow for the easy and productive rearing of crickets.
They feed the crickets mainly on agriculture by-products, in combination with other biological plants, under certain researched schemes. By doing this they manage to achieve high quality protein in the finished products.