Enterprise IoT Insights

SoftBank makes new deal to expand its IoT business

The Japanese telco will collaborate with Israeli firm Vayyar to focus on several IoT use cases

Japanese telecommunications operator SoftBank has partnered with Israeli firm Vayyar Imaging to collaborate in the internet of things (IoT) field. The companies also agreed that SoftBank will be the priority channel partner for Vayyar’s products in the Japanese market.

Under the terms of the agreement, SoftBank and Vayyar will collaborate in the IoT field to support several use cases, including pioneering applications for Vayyar products, combining Vayyar’s proof of concept (PoC) products with SoftBank’s IoT platforms and solutions, and linking Vayyar products with artificial intelligence (AI).

Major applications for Vayyar’s products include the detection of displacement and degradation in structures, analyzing people flow, identifying human postures and seeing through solid objects. By combining Vayyar’s products with SoftBank’s IoT platform, AI and big data capabilities, both companies believe they can provide IoT solutions that are not possible with conventional technologies.

SoftBank has been very active in the IoT field with a number of partnerships and developments. In July 2017, SoftBank and U.S-based internet of things (IoT) firm Aeris have agreed to form a joint venture in Japan to provide IoT and telematics services globally using the Aeris IoT solutions platform. Through this partnership, Aeris said it will be in a position to expand its business in Japan and other markets including India, Europe and the United States. The joint venture convers multiple market segments and offers a variety of services ranging from an IoT connectivity platform to IoT application middleware to complete IoT solutions for market segments including telematics in the automotive industry.

Also in 2017, the Japanese operator had entered into a definitive agreement of investment in Encored, a provider of energy IoT platforms. Encored was established in January 2016 as a Japanese subsidiary of Encored USA. The company is providing a platform service, “Enertalk”, which offers the analysis of real-time energy data with their IoT devices to about 100,000 households worldwide.

Encored Japan will provide the platform service based on their big data analysis and predictive technologies of the life pattern as well as energy usage data at home. Encored Japan will work together with their business partners to develop various services such as energy management assistance, diagnosis for energy efficiency of home appliances, and monitored security system for elderly person through their platform. SoftBank said that it will also invest in Encored USA.

Last month, SoftBank and Israel-based firm Inuitive have agreed to consider collaborating on artificial intelligence and the IoT.

Inuitive focuses on the design and development of System on a Chip (SoC) products that utilize AI, including 3D depth sensors and image processors. SoftBank and Inuitive will consider collaboration in AI and IoT fields, including the pioneering of 3D depth sensor applications, validating the performance of Inuitive’s newly developed sensor chips and tying up on solutions that combine Inuitive’s AI chips and SoftBank’s IoT platforms.

Major applications for Inuitive’s 3D depth sensors include traffic and people flow data analytics and the detection of displacement and aging in building structures.