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

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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  • Report this Comment On June 11, 2014, at 9:58 AM, GaryDMN wrote:

    If you look at the company on Tim Cooks slide, Marvell is the one that sticks out, because they have been concentration on making silicon for the Internet of Things. They should be a big winner.

  • Report this Comment On June 11, 2014, at 10:27 AM, anthonyms wrote:

    You say Apple has sought to establish a platform (certainly for home & mobile entertainment IOT) which is true, however I see ARM as having stronger credentials and activity in establishing the standards for IOT - it has sought to establish founding membership of IOT communities and has made a key acquisition of Sensinode in order to secure control of the operating standards associated with this nascent space.

    http://www.arm.com/about/newsroom/arm-acquires-sensinode-oy-...

  • Report this Comment On June 11, 2014, at 11:21 AM, TMFRhino wrote:

    anthonyms,

    Howdy... I think ARM is certainly a good play and you're very correct that Apple's ambitions are limited in scope to things like the home and wearables. I actually tried visiting Sensinode on a recent trip to Finland to discuss some of their work in the space (Video of trip here: http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/05/31/what-is-the..., but we were unable to iron out the specifics before the trip.

    For me, i have no doubt ARM will be a huge beneficiary of IoT, just a matter of what added revenue they'll bring in relative to their very healthy value today.

    Thanks for commenting!

    -Eric

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