Verizon has announced plans to acquire Internet of Things (IoT) startup Sensity Systems. Sensity's specialty is providing smart LED lights for streets, airports and other public places, which Verizon hopes will help increase its presence in the ever expanding IoT market.
Sensity's goal is to capitalize on the world's gradual shift towards energy-efficient LED lighting. By 2025, the majority of cities in the world are expected to have made the shift to LED lighting and Sensity claims that the sheer amount of LED lights that will be implemented around these cities over the coming years will allow it to create a "high-speed, sensor-based, multiservice IoT platform." Sensity's systems allow governments and cities to convert conventional LED lights into connected LED's that can be controlled remotely. In addition to this, they can now be equipped with a range of sensors provided by Sensity, such as moisture detectors, radiation, temperature, parking availability and air quality sensors which are all backed by a high-bandwidth wireless network.
Verizon has confirmed that the company will become a part of ThingSpace which is a web-based IoT platform for developers that was launched last year by the carrier. The acquisition of Sensity comes as Verizon attempts to expand beyond its traditional communication business. The company announced back in June that it was to acquire Telogis and last month it announced plans to spend $2.4 billion in order to acquire Fleetmatics, another web-based service, though this time a GPS tracking system that enables fleet operators to track fuel usage, location, mileage and speed, among other things. Aside from IoT acquisitions, the company has also been investing heavily into its consumer-focused digital media business. In July the company confirmed its long-rumored plans to acquire Yahoo's core internet business for $4.83 billion, which came just one year after the company acquired AOL and its properties for $4.4 billion. The fact that the largest carrier in the US is prepared to invest so heavily in other markets, such as consumer media or IoT, strongly suggests that they will become a big part of Verizon's future and that the company wants to be at the forefront of the respective markets.