Beyond Apple: The Many Ways to Invest in the Internet of Things

How might companies like Sierra Wireless, Taiwan Semiconductor, Arm Holdings, and Splunk benefit from Apple driving standards for the Internet of Things?

Jun 10, 2014 at 9:30AM

The Internet has been so revolutionary in part because it was established with such strong central protocols and computing languages. Go to a website and you'll see HTTP at the start of an address bar, and sites will be in markup languages like HTML and CSS. 

One of the areas that's held back the Internet of Things is it lacks many of the same standards. All the "things" we'd like to connect don't have a standard way to self describe themselves. Integration between different devices is painstakingly done through APIs. 

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is unveiling its own solution to this problem through a combination of new frameworks targeted at wearables, mobile products, and smart-home tech. Its recent Worldwide Developers Conference rolled out Home Kit, which is a framework for controlling connected home devices in a single app. 

In the video below, The Motley Fool's Alison Southwick talks to Fool tech analyst Eric Bleeker to break down how Apple is influencing the Internet of Things. While Apple's Home Kit won't solve all the problems that have prevented the smart home from becoming a reality, it helps push the discussion forward on how to make smart homes more simplifed and user-friendly. 

They also discuss some broader ways for investors to play the Internet of Things. Eric suggests looking all the way from devices collecting data to companies building the applications to analyze it. On the device side, Eric notes Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ:SWIR) is an early leader. The company previously was known for mobile hot spots but Sierra is shifting its business to building modules that allow machines to communicate with one another. Eric also looks at chip companies like Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE:TSM), or even a big-data business like Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK).

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Alison Southwick has no position in any stocks mentioned. Eric Bleeker, CFA has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Sierra Wireless, and Splunk. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Sierra Wireless. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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