With such a wide array of applications, it’s not surprising that AIM has a large number of companies that are advancing technology referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). In this second in a series of articles looking at technology shares to watch on the FTSE AIM Market, we take a look at the Internet of Things and explore all AIM-listed IoT companies investors might consider as part of their portfolio.
What exactly is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things refers to the growing world of interconnected devices, thus reducing the reliance on direct human-to-computer interaction. A relatively simple concept, but the reality is that it allows for virtually endless opportunities for creating efficiencies, thereby reducing waste and saving money for consumers, companies and countries alike, all the while providing a level of richness of insight from the data collected that would be untenable up until now.
Smartphones, coffee makers, washing machines, fridges, traffic light systems, jet engines, healthcare monitoring systems, and activity tracking devices – these are just a few of the many different applications being revolutionised by this new technology. Almost anything with an on-off switch is already, or has the ability to become, part of this rapidly growing industry.
Which AIM companies are developing this technology?
Reflecting the large number of applications for this technology, the companies involved in this space can be found across a broad range of AIM sectors. For instance, whilst the majority can be found under Technology Hardware & Equipment or Electronic & Electrical Equipment, there are others listed under Household Goods, Support Services, Leisure Goods, Software & Computer Services – even Alternative Energy.
In total, we have found ten AIM companies that are operational in the Internet of Things:
APC Technology Group PLC (APC): APC provides the design, specification and distribution of electronic components and systems, lighting technologies and connectivity products. With over three decades of expertise in designing and specifying specialist electronic components, APC has expanded its product portfolio to include a wide range of sensors, products and software for Internet of Things enabled devices.
CAP-XX LTD (CPX): CPX develops, manufactures and markets thin, prismatic super-capacitors for use in such things as handheld computers, point of sale terminals, telemetry units and location tracking equipment, as well as consumer handheld devices, and clean energy applications, such as energy harvesting and micro-hybrid vehicles. These super-capacitors create the advanced power solutions that enable the latest technologies associated with the Internet of Things.
CyanConnode Holdings PLC (CYAN): CYAN design and develop narrowband radio frequency (RF) mesh networks. These networks allow governments, authorities and businesses to monitor and manage services such as smart electricity, gas and water metering, as well as intelligent street lighting systems.
Ilika PLC (IKA): IKA design and develop solid state battery technology to meet the specific demands of a wide range of applications in the Internet of Things. It now licenses the intellectual property of this battery technology to partners for IoT sensors for the Smart Home/Building, Medical, Automotive and Transportation sectors around the world.
IQGeo Group PLC (IQG): Up until recently trading under Ubisense Group PLC, IQG is engaged in providing enterprise location intelligence solutions for manufacturing, logistics, transit, communication and utility companies. The Company offers various products that are able to integrate real-time data feeds from various Smart IoT devices.
LightwaveRF PLC (LWRF): LWRF have created their own proprietary Internet of Things (“IoT”) platform, which together with its applications and connected devices, provides customers with fully integrated remote control and monitoring of light, heat, power and security for their homes. LightwaveRF was the first provider to offer this one-App solution and has since integrated its proprietary platform with other IoT platforms and branded smart devices, including Amazon Alexa and Google Nest.
PhotonStar LED Group PLC (PSL): PSL is a designer and manufacturer of intelligent lighting and intelligent building solutions. As part of the group, one of their divisions develops and produces a flagship technology called halcyon™, which is a retrofit building control and cloud based building management technology that leverages the Internet of Things to reduce operating costs for businesses.
Telit Communications PLC (TCM): TCM develop and provide a large portfolio of IoT and M2M (machine-to-machine) modules, platforms and connectivity solutions. With regards to its modules, these are integrated in a range of applications, including asset tracking, remote industrial monitoring, automated utility meter reading, insurance telematics, consumer electronics and mobile health devices.
Tern PLC (TERN): TERN invests in, or acquires, established software businesses, focusing on businesses in the cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile sectors. One of their largest holdings is in a company called Device Authority Limited who have introduced a new paradigm of IoT Security Automation that accelerates and simplifies the deployment of strong IoT security. Another IoT holding is InVMA Limited who works with clients to address and leverage the disruption IoT creates for businesses.
Vianet Group PLC (VNET): VNET is a provider of real time monitoring systems and data management services. By communicating data back through their own IoT platform and cloud-based servers, VNET are able to provide companies with insights as to the performance of their various systems. With their technology originally developed for flow monitoring devices, temperature sensors, and drinks retailing, the company can now gather data from any asset with a digital output, including gaming machines and EPOS systems.
Which AIM IoT companies provide the best investment opportunity?
With just a brief summary above on each company’s product and service focus, it is apparent that the decision on whether or not to buy any of these AIM IoT shares requires research into a large number of other markets and industries. It will also require familiarising yourself with a large number of other acronyms, such as IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) and IoMT (Internet of Medical Things).
Nevertheless, investing time in researching these companies further could prove highly rewarding – as depicted by the prediction that the number of connected devices worldwide could reach as high as 50 billion by 2020.
To help you in your research, make sure to check out our tips on how to find the best AIM shares to watch.