Sprint at CES 2020: All in on the Internet of Things

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Sprint’s IoT announcements at CES 2020 center on smart city tech for businesses big and small.

Sprint made a number of announcements at CES 2020, including several that show how the telecom company continues to make big investments in Internet of Things (IoT) and smart city tech.

Sprint’s IoT announcements shy away from consumer and end-user hardware and services in favor of business IoT and large-scale connected city initiatives, further indicating that Sprint plans to be part of whatever the future of business IoT may be.

“IoT [is becoming] central to how enterprises run,” Ivo Rook, IoT and product development SVP at Sprint said. 

SEE: CES 2020: The big trends for business (ZDNet)

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For small businesses, Sprint announced it is redesigning and relaunching its IoT Factory, an IoT platform for small businesses. “The Sprint IoT Factory provides a one-stop shop to guide decision makers through every step to reach the best solution to meet their needs, while presenting costs in a clear manner,” Rook said.

Sprint’s IoT factory is designed to be as simple as SMBs want to make it, with offerings such as “IoT in a Box” packages that are designed for particular industries as well  as custom-designed IoT solutions.

The new IoT Factory will reportedly be easier to navigate for customers of all tech expertise levels, which Sprint hopes will make its SMB IoT platform reach more users.

Along with revamping its IoT Factory, Sprint also announced it was partnering with smart payment platform Wirecard to make IoT-powered payments and commerce a part of its Curiosity IoT project. Focusing for now on retail, the collaboration will work to “define and deliver the retail experience of the future, across all channels, with a unified commerce approach,” Sprint said.

Sprint expands smart city IoT projects

In 2019, Sprint launched a number of smart city projects across the US. Cities including Peachtree Corners, GA, Greenville, SC, and Phoenix, all became home to Curiosity IoT “laboratories” that roll out cutting-edge IoT infrastructure for testing in simulated and real-world environments.

In 2020 Sprint plans to expand on these initiatives not only through its Wirecard partnership, but in a number of other ways as well.

The Peachtree Corners Curiosity Lab will add security robots in town hall, hotel chains will integrate push-button alert systems, a test office building will add an AI-powered refreshment center and connected sensors to monitor refrigeration, and micropositioning sensors will be rolled out for testing city-wide autonomous machines.

Greenville will get an autonomous vehicle shuttle that operates on public roadways, smart traffic lights to eliminate congestion and improve emergency vehicle response times, and smart sensors at a college campus for monitoring lights, security, water, food, etc., and more. 

In Phoenix, where Sprint is partnered with Arizona State University, the first IoT college curriculum program will begin soon, along with testing for smart utility pole infrastructure, and a redesign of campus emergency call boxes to make them operate using smart IoT technology.

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