It’s fair to say the world’s economy is being altered as a result of startups that are discovering new and exciting ways to innovate with the IoT (Internet of Things) and digital transformation. We are seeing it every day in the form of new and exciting new products, processes, and business. In fact, who really knows what could happen when you work hard and put your mind to creating something truly special?

One of the most exciting aspects of working in technology is seeing startups succeed and make a mark in their key industries. On The Peggy Smedley Show this week I discussed some of the most amazing and focused IoT startups that truly have a story and that are lighting the industry on fire.

I thought for this column I would recap some of those companies again in case you don’t know who they are and to give you links to their amazing websites to visit or give you a chance to check out what they are doing on YouTube.

There are hundreds of new startups each year. In fact, at CES, both the Sands Expo and Eureka Park will be filled with companies from all over the world highlighting some of the best and brightest new creative minds.

But for this column, here are a few that stood out or perhaps that caught my eye that I thought are worth sharing with all of you.

The first one if a nifty little device that can help enterprises protect their computer-held data. Mobile workforces are the norm rather than the exception nowadays, so having connected devices, near-ubiquitous connectivity, and enterprise solutions designed to help mobile workers be productive have made it possible for employees to work whenever, wherever.

Unfortunately, along with all the benefits this affords businesses and employees, there are also some drawbacks—especially in the realm of data security. Whether your company is operating on a BYOD (bring your own device) policy or whether you are providing employees access to hardware on the job, they are relying on each other to practice good cybersecurity hygiene in order to keep enterprise data safe and secure.

You can’t help but like DigiFlak. It is really doing a great job in adding security and making life a little bit more secure. DigiFlak offers a security device—it looks like a USB drive—for small and medium-sized businesses that basically keeps employees’ digital keys, passwords, and certificates stored securely on a separate hardware environment.

It’s a neat device that can go a long way toward protecting businesses against threats to their computer-held data. These devices are also fast, versatile, and a low-budget way to improve data and network security and enable better security management for the enterprise.

Next on the docket is another cybersecurity startup called Claroty. Claroty launched as the second startup from Team8 Foundry. It’s a lot of fun watching this company make its mark.

Claroty built a cybersecurity platform designed for the industrial arena, and it offers visibility into industrial networks, as well as cyberthreat protection, detection, and response. You can see more about it on its YouTube

There is another impressive IIoT (Industrial IoT) company worth keeping an eye on this coming year and that’s FogHorn. FogHorn offers realtime edge intelligence for the IIoT. This startup secured its series a funding a couple of years ago in 2016, and with what’s happening in edge computing right now, this company is in a pretty impressive position to grow.

FogHorn offers its lightning platform, which embeds IIoT edge intelligence locally. The result is very low latency for onsite data processing, realtime analytics, machine learning, and AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities, and more.

For good measure, here’s one more example of startup innovation in the IIoT: MachineMetrics.

This one is an Industrial IoT platform that monitors factory floor production efficiency, helps eliminate bottlenecks, and empowers workers through realtime machine connectivity, visual dashboards, and predictive alerts.

This company is pretty new. MachineMetrics just announced $11.3 million in series a funding this month. One thing worth noting about this system is its DIY (do-it-yourself) design.  Customers can install MachineMetrics themselves, so it lowers the barriers to entry.

You can’t help but appreciate the innovative solutions that help manufacturers and other industrials businesses collect, visualize, and analyze key data from their machines. This is the way of the future, and it’s an exciting future indeed.

Next on my radar is a company called Valerann. The Israeli-based startup has developed “the smart road system”—a wireless, sensory IoT system that provides realtime data about the road and the environment surrounding it.

Data can be used to detect risks, prevent accidents, optimize intersections, automate traffic control centers, and—of course—support connected and autonomous vehicles. This startup is looking to fill a void in the market. It’s basically saying road operators do not currently have what they need, so Valerann is focused on offering a solution that’s not expensive, complex, or fragmented.

The smart road system is made up of a wireless sensory network that collects vital information from every point on the road. The data then becomes available in the cloud via a cloud control center, which allows operators to view and respond to situations in realtime.

Theoretically, the result will be better traffic flow and fewer accidents. Very impressive concept for sure.

Drayson Technologies is a London-based startup that’s commercializing technology that harvests energy from radio-frequency signals with the goal of powering low-consumption IoT devices.

The company’s Freevolt solution could pretty much change how we power our devices. Now that’s fun. One day, this kind of tech could even remove the need for batteries and charging cables. Can you imagine a future like that?

Just imagine, what we can imagine. With all these amazing creative new startups, small companies can help change the conversation in any vertical.

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