New products on the forefront of tech revolution

From dashboards, to databases, to platforms, to SD cards, to wearable walkie-talkies, innovative digital products are coming to the IoT (Internet of Things) market faster than ever before. IHS Markit predicts the number of connected IoT devices will jump 12% on average annually, from nearly 27 billion this past year to 125 billion by 2030.

As this growth soars, developers will need the right tools to be able to create the solutions that will help move the needle forward and continue the technology transformation that has already lit the fire under the Industry 4.0 revolution.

Each year, Connected World honors new innovations and recognizes a handful of products that are helping to move the dial in any of a number of vertical segments that the IoT touches. Simply, that means the skies the limit. The IoT Innovations of 2018 are designed to acknowledge those technologies that are offering something just a little different, and that might just help their customers achieve something a little special.

So here’s how the awards program works each year. Industry vendors directly or their press affiliations submit nominations. The editorial advisory board of judges at Connected World evaluate individual entries seeking the newest, most creative, and technologically advanced products, services, and platforms. Ultimately, the final IoT Innovations winners have successfully proven that their tech solutions will change the IoT landscape.

This year, there were more entries than in recent years, but only six stood out as truly innovative in the market today. With that, here are the winners of the Connected World IoT Innovations for 2018.

Product: Canopy

Company: Banyan Hill Technologies


Based on monthly cost per endpoint and include implementation feed. Also, customers can add modules to upgrade their solution with advance features.

Having a central dashboard allows operators to manage the overall health of their devices, while reducing costs and enabling new experiences. Such is the case with Canopy from Banyan Hill Technologies, which is a central monitoring and management solution for large networks of connected devices.

Canopy’s edge agent, Leaf, is hardware and operating system agnostic, has a library of components, and uses complex event processing to send actionable data to a Web app for IoT campaigns, and stores the rest. IoT campaigns can be anything from a status change, to an email offer, to a service ticket, or a notification triggered by an event.

Canopy integrates with lighting and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems to help create new experiences. A few things help this product stand out including: it can run on any hardware like a kiosk or keypad; it uses complex event processing; and it has configurable KPIs (key performance indicators) to create IoT campaigns.

“Canopy from Banyan Hill Technologies is proving to be a very unique product that is serving the IoT very nicely. It has an impressive option that integrates with lighting and HVAC, all while taking advantage of complex event processing to enable just about any IoT campaign.” —Peggy Smedley

Product: CrateDB


Cost: Available for free as open-source software. The CrateDB Enterprise Edition includes premium features and is priced on a per-server basis.

In an era of things, products need to process large amounts of data very quickly. There are a lot of new innovations driving IoT, but critical is the DBMS (database management system) that allows for entry, storage, and retrieval of information.

Built for the IoT and machine data, CrateDB from is a distributed SQL database that enables developers to process sensor readings, network messages, logs, GPS coordinates, and more; perform SQL queries; and scale easily. It employs distributed processing, in-memory columnar indexing, and dynamic schemas to meet the unique requirements associated with the IoT.

The product is built on top of NoSQL storage, indexing, and networking technology. Its unique architecture allows developers to query the IoT and machine-generated data in realtime, giving the benefits of NoSQL databases, without forcing them to abandon SQL.

“Sensors are creating an unprecedented amount of complex data. We need more products that are capable of handling this, and CrateDB from is helping developers handle these difficult data requirements.” —Peggy Smedley

Product: Monnit IoTvantage

Company: Monnit

Cost: No cost to become a distribution or reseller partner; these also receive prime discounted pricing based on business volume. There is a one-time upfront fee for private label partners; these receive discounted pricing on all products and services based on business volume. Custom product development has varying costs.

Good partners and programs can help make the IoT more accessible to everyone. The challenge is most companies lack the expertise required to develop their own custom IoT solution. This is where Monnit IoTvantage from Monnit enters the equation.

The program provides partners a way for connecting customers to IoT solutions. Custom kitting, product development, and customized software features are available to help partners tailor the solution for their customer’s specific needs. For example, Monnit products have been integrated with a manufacturer’s walk-in coolers to make them smarter.

Market-ready kits are also a key component of the program, as they allow distributors and resellers to stock or drop-ship “off-the-shelf.” Each kit is available with either cellular or Ethernet connectivity and wireless sensors, specifically designed for the application. Currently there are 10 specific kits: commercial refrigeration, remote real estate, heating and air conditioning, pharmacies and labs, IT server rooms, corporate properties, agriculture, mobile refrigeration, industrial manufacturing, and small business.

“Monnit IoTvantage from Monnit makes it possible for anyone to create and sell their own IoT solution immediately without requiring hardware engineers or software developers. This offers companies the opportunity to develop custom IoT solutions quickly.” —Peggy Smedley

Product: Onyx

Company:  Orion Labs

Cost: $199.99 per pair, with basic service for up to five users for free. Orion Pro is $6 a month. Enterprise pricing varies.

Now workers in retail, public safety, construction, hospitality, and more can access a company’s full product inventory with only their voice. Onyx is a smart, wearable walkie-talkie, equipped with Orion’s push-to-talk services.

Workers can use custom voice commands and queries to make decisions quickly, as the product can indicate what’s in stock and can automatically ship the product from another location, as needed. Onyx can also instantly translate English to Spanish, for instance, in addition to other languages. Enterprise managers can also track team locations.

The wearable walkie-talkie can connect to backend systems. For instance, retail enterprises can use Onyx to improve inventory management by connecting Orion to their backend systems. The benefit is it frees people from their handheld devices and computers, ensuring communication from anywhere.

“Onyx from Orion Labs is a perfect example of what it means to be an IoT Innovations winner. The company recognized a unique need in vertical markets, and delivered a wearable product to help solve that pain point.” —Peggy Smedley

Product: Renesas Synergy AE-CLOUD1

Company:  Renesas Electronics

Cost: Varies

For companies that need a solution for rapid evaluation, prototyping, and development of cloud-connected applications, new innovation can help. Renesas Synergy AE-CLOUD1 from Renesas Electronics leverages the Synergy Platform, offering a way to quickly build a prototype.

It offers support for Renesas IoT Sandbox, a free prototyping environment including cloud-based developer accounts and editable mobile apps for iOS and Android. The AE-Cloud1 kit comes pre-programmed with the firmware needed to connect to the Renesas IoT Sandbox. AE-Cloud1 can also be used with the Synergy Enterprise Cloud Toolbox.

The innovation enables both rapid development of IoT applications and intelligent monitoring. Creating a prototype requires technical skills, and a tool such as Renesas Synergy AE-CLOUD1 can help create IoT applications.

“One of the biggest challenges today is that engineers need technical skills to develop IoT applications. Renesas Synergy AE-CLOUD1 enables for quick development of products.” —Peggy Smedley

Product: SanDisk Industrial SD and microSD Cards

Company:  Western Digital

Cost: Sold to OEMs and partners in host devices

Trusted storage becomes increasingly important to help OEMs (original-equipment manufacturers) address the explosion of data that is being generated at the edge by connected commercial and industrial applications. This is where SanDisk Industrial SD and microSD cards from Western Digital can help.

The cards were built to support the increasing volume of data that is accessed, captured, and preserved by devices at the edge. These industrial grade cards enable manufacturers to push application boundaries, from supporting “smart” surveillance systems with fast in-camera analytics, to improving high-definition video capture in surveying commercial drones and automotive dash cameras.

Some unique features include: enhanced Health Status Monitor enables manufactures to watch card usage remotely and receive alerts; Read Refresh automatically optimizes the cards for OEM data retention demands; enhanced power protection; customization; and host-lock, which helps ensure security if the card is removed. The cards can also perform under extreme temperatures.

“SanDisk Industrial SD and microSD cards from Western Digital can help meet the needs of commercial surveillance and industrial IoT applications. The product has a unique set of features that can enable manufacturers to monitor card usage remotely.” —Peggy Smedley