Are insurance devices the next billion dollar IoT market?

Most pundits value the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) more than the consumer side — at least for the next ten years — and one of the most valuable markets might be smart insurance devices.

Helium, a San Francisco startup, is attempting to capture that market before it becomes flooded with devices. It has launched two low-power smart sensors, able to send alerts to a hub device on changes to temperature, movement, and other environment changes.

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The company’s first device, Helium Blue – a temperature & door sensor – measures internal temperature and door state. This is extremely valuable for businesses that require automatic alerts when the temperature of a refrigerator goes higher or lower than required, for instance at a hospital or restaurant during the night.

Due to the low power requirements, the sensor is able to last three years on a single charge. That’s excellent for businesses that want to deploy thousands of the sensors, though we suspect some want a fully autonomous sensor that doesn’t require charging, which the University of Washington is attempting to create.

Helium also monitoring environmental conditions

Helium’s second sensor, called Helium Green is for environmental monitoring. It can monitor ambient conditions indoors and outdoors. It can track measurements like temperature, humidity, ambient light, Barometric pressure, and passive infrared motion. Even with the additional tracking systems, the smart sensor should last around three years on a single charge.

All devices are connected to the Helium network, which has been built to scale for thousands of devices, not a few dozen like commercial IoT networks. Helium claims that its system is both secure and does not require the business to scale its networking team with its deployment of smart sensors.

“There is a palpable evolution occurring in the Internet of Things industry, which will likely be led by enterprise-based solutions and applications like smart sensing,” said Bob O’Donnell, technology research analyst and founder, TECHnalysis Research. “In fact, smart edge-based sensors, like the new products from Helium, are critical elements in some of the top Enterprise IoT applications, according to our new research on the topic.”

Having the smart sensors installed is a new kind of insurance, as it provides information and automatic signals to avoid disaster. Instead of passively waiting for an accident to happen, the smart sensors allow businesses to avoid financial disasters.

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