The Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer the stuff of science fiction but an essential part of the reality of our everyday lives.
It is going to transform the way we interact with different things and creating this change is impossible without developers.
Therefore, the IoT space is a developer driven industry. Applications developers are already creating solutions for smart homes and cities, connected cars and streets, etc.
Vula Telematix is creating a blanket coverage of the country with its IoT network to empower local applications developers to create intelligent solutions to be connected to its network.
Vula Telematix IoT network, which is powered by US-based IoT specialist Ingenu, is already covering four main South African cities, including Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Tshwane, and soon to be available in Nelson Mandela Bay.
But the company led by Agnat Max Makgoale sees a healthy developer ecosystem as the base for a successful IoT platform.
There is a huge opportunity for IoT app developers.
Research firm IDC predicts that about $1.8 trillion globally by 2020 will be spent on the IoT solutions.
Connections made through IoT-enabled devices facilitate the rapid and efficient transfer of data needed to support a wide range of activities and operations. In this way, the application of IoT solutions can lead to significant operational improvements, such as increased efficiency, better performance, and enhanced safety.
Vula Telematix has created an ecosystem for app developers to create solutions. For more click here.
The company is making its developers’ platform available to innovators.
“I think it’s a great time to be in technology in South Africa. I am hoping to be one of the catalysts that drive South African organisations to start developing their own IoT solutions. And becoming a net exporter of IoT solutions rather than be a net importer,” Makgoale told Techfinancials this week.
“We will import a lot because the world is ahead of us and I hope that can change quite soon.”
This is already changing as Vula Telematix has collaborated with a local partner that is developing and already seeking to export its IoT solution overseas.
Vula Telematix has partnered with a local developer that has built a connected car solution and they are looking to export into Saudi Arabia.
“They are testing that IoT solution on our network,” Makgoale said, adding that several developers are keen to create solutions instead of waiting for those being imported from China, US, and Europe.
To fast track the development of IoT solutions in the country, Vula Telematix is also engaging local universities and innovation hubs.
The company has already engaged with the likes of University of Witwatersrand’s Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering, in encouraging their students to use its IoT development platform.
The IoT provider has also engaged with the Nelson Mandela Bay University and is starting conversation with the Innovation Hub.
“We provide development platform to universities and say figure it out and play with, and most importantly think about your own individual problems and try to build IoT solutions to those individual problems,” said Makgoale.
Vula Telematix is a majority owned subsidiary of Vula Investments Holdings.
Vula Investments is credited with great successes such as WBS which provided the connectivity for the first national lottery in South Africa, Uthingo.
WBS was bought by Multisource in November 2015 and this year was rebranded as “Rain“. As early as 2004, Vula Investments built the first wireless data network in South Africa – iBurst.
By advancing IoT solutions, Vula Telematix is positioning itself as a catalyst for creating a development platform for developers of IoT applications.
The best way to determine successful players in the IoT industry is to look for those with highest numbers of developers.
It’s early days in South Africa, SqwidNet also a has platform for IoT solutions providers and is working with them. The firm does build IoT solutions’ prototypes for some of it customers, but just to help them get off the ground to solve real problems