We make it possible that Products from different brands and from different ecosystem work with each
As I talk to Axel Godoy, the CEO of German startup mozaiq, I can hear the hustle and bustle of IFA Berlin in the background (writes Conor Reynolds).
It is not hard to visualise the booths, queues, people chatting or propping up coffee tables with badges hanging around their necks.
It is harder to visualise a space where Internet of Things (IoT) devices from different brands can communicate not just with each other, but across different service lines.
That’s something the 20-strong company – established by ABB, Bosch and CISCO in 2015 – is working on.
It aims to help not just consumers link up products from different manufacturers, but those manufacturers to recognise new use cases by seeing the connections available to it on the mozaiq marketplace; mozaiq, meanwhile, provides the back-end software to facilitate exchanges of data between different devices and services, with gateway software to be installed on a home router or similar product.
The mozaiq marketplace currently has 36 companies in its network, providing 120 connected IoT devices and services. The CEO and his team are doing the conference circuit to showcase the possibilities and hopefully boost that number.
For mozaiq’s CEO Axel Godoy it starts with a question and also a resolve: “Why products don’t work with each other, only in ecosystem, but not across ecosystems? We are here at mozaiq to solve the problem of interoperability.”
Making each device work across brands and networks would solve this problem but “we think that interoperability is only a technical term, we want to go beyond that. We make it possible that products from different brands and from different ecosystem work with each other, but also that new service business models are being provided based on IoT,” he adds.
The mozaiq marketplace allows different companies and parties to connect their IoT ecosystems, sharing data and services. Rather than an enterprise building the infrastructure to connect its IoT devices in one sector with another, the company can sign up to mozaiq on a pay-as-you-grow model.
This allows you to run test cases on your own device ecosystem, but now you are in the mozaiq market so you can see what other uses your IoT devices can be used for. The UI has a simple drag and drop tool which will show you other services and devices that can be connected to your network.
For device manufacturers, the aim is to help find new use cases and revenue streams for IoT products. The most recent addition to the marketplace is Holland-based Egardia, a home security specialist offering an array of smart security solutions from sensors to cameras that can be placed in your home or business.
An example of mozaiq-powered integration would be between a smart lighting system and Egardia’s security, allowing you to visually simulate your presence by turning on the lights in the morning and evenings, trigger a call to the police through Egardia in the event of a break-in and trigger an alarm “light show”.
Data and Privacy
Mozaiq’s aim is not just to connect your devices, but also services with your IoT ecosystem. With regards to homes Axel Godoy notes it’s about: “Smart homes that provide the security relevant data to the home security service provider.”
“Its about sharing data,” Axel says, adding in the same breath “as long as the consumer accepts.” This a European company after all and GDPR is not far from any company’s thoughts. For Axel Godoy this is an issue, but not a pressing concern: “What is most important for us from the beginning was that we designed the platform in such a way that we complied to the highest IT security standards.
“We are positioning the platform very much as a European platform, because we know that a lot of consumers have concerns about what happens to their data. When we developed our platform GDPR was already known, so we integrated aspects of GDPR into what we were doing.”
“What we ensure is that once the data is encrypted and secure, it reaches the other party [encrypted],” Axel adds.
“Many Companies Don’t have Answers to Those Questions Yet…”
Axel Godoy says that the first question that needs to be answered when mozaiq starts working with a new company is whether they will “just manufacture some products or will I also provide services or new businesses models.”
“The second question is what product and services do my customers actually need.”
The last part Axel says is how am are they going to earn money: “We noticed that many companies don’t have answers to those questions yet which are really fundamental,” he notes. “It is clear that there are some companies or several companies that are not completely ready yet for collaboration in terms of IoT.”
The mozaiq marketplace is not the only entity trying to improve interoperability in the connected home, as manufacturers aim to boost uptake of IoT devices in the consumer sector. Thread, for example, an IP-based wireless networking protocol, is backed by Arm, Intel, Qualcomm, Siemens and and was also set up accelerate adoption of the Internet of Things, specifically in the connected home. mozaiq’s USP is open doors for manufacturers too. As Axel Godoy heads back into the bustle of IFA, he will be hoping that they see the opportunity it presents.