Arrayent is a new Internet of Things company being billed as the “Cisco of small things.” It is basically middleware for companies wanting to connect their products to the Internet. In particular it’s targeting smartphones, which is a trend we’re closely tracking too. Arrayent made its first public appearance earlier this month at CES.

Arrayent offers a “turnkey communication system” called the Internet-Connect System, which enables product companies to connect their products to smartphones and computers via the Internet. It counts toy company Mattel and audio/video components supplier Monster Cable among its early customers.

“There was a lot more interest in connecting products to the Internet this CES over 2009,” according to Arrayent Vice President of Sales and Marketing Bob Dahlberg. He told ReadWriteWeb that there were two segments in particular that were interested in Arrayent’s system.

The first was “greener home / home automation suppliers in the z-wave / zigbee camp,” who are looking for ways to connect their customers’ home LANs to remote diagnosis and repair suppliers.

The second use case Arrayent saw at CES was companies in the home health monitoring space, who were looking for a way to “connect their products to web based applications such as Google Health, Microsoft HealthVault or [their] health provider’s system.”

A big part of Arrayent’s marketing pitch is that it is a lower cost alternative to connecting products to the Internet. According to the company, it is “1/3 to 1/10 the cost of alternative (piece part) solutions.”

Arrayent hangs its marketing hat on the emerging trend of Internet-connected consumer appliances. As other examples of this trend, Arrayent notes Amazon’s Kindle, Apple’s iTouch, Nordic Track’s iFit and Schlage’s home automation product LiNK (mentioned in this August 2009 post).

The company has identified the following applications as potential markets for it to pursue:

  • Energy and water monitoring and control from a smartphone or web browser.
  • Home control (door locks, home security, window shades, smoke alarms, pipe freeze alarm, flood alarms, power strips, thermostats, appliances.)
  • Toys and entertainment devices such as e-book readers, personalized radio, and connected physical toys.
  • Home health and presence monitoring that connect patients to doctors and family members.
  • Automobile location services, remote control access, and engine monitoring.

Arrayent is an interesting company, because it has correctly identified a gap in the massive consumer products market. According to the company, most consumer product companies “lack Internet-connect expertise.” I agree with that assessment and think that Arrayent is positioning itself well to provide that expertise.

Given the potential of Internet of Things to revolutionize consumer products – because a great many more products will become Internet-connected in the coming years – we’re picking Arrayent as one to watch.