The Industrial IoT company of the future will be more automated than not (hopefully), and real-time location services will require infrastructure for that future to happen. Recognizing that, indoor location service company Inpixon has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire German company IntraNav, IIoT-focused real-time location services, and sensor data management company.
The implications of this deal seem pretty clear. Inpixon is setting itself up to be the one-stop provider of indoor IIoT real-time location services (RTLS) for Industry 4.0 facilities, Smart Factories, Smart Warehouses, and Digital Supply Chain systems. It certainly didn’t hurt that IntraNav already has customer relationships with major players like Siemens Energy, TB International, Festo, and PERI.
IntraNav’s flagship product is its RTLS IoT platform, INTRANAV.IO, which reportedly is designed to consume, process, and present data from nearly any other device or system.
I’m not just guessing here, either. Nadir Ali, CEO at Inpixon, said that he sees the deal as positioning the company as a central figure in IIoT as an industry player. “This acquisition will put us at the heart of the fourth industrial revolution, commonly called Industry 4.0. IntraNav will bring new, comprehensive products and technologies and a broad IP portfolio to strengthen our established RTLS product line… We believe Inpixon will be able to create significant opportunities for the growth of our business in this huge market.”
Of course, we don’t know that this deal will transform the industry, but I think it’s an interesting move and a telling one. It reminds me of how social media companies buy up adjacent technologies to add capabilities to their own platforms in a bid to stay ahead of the curve, or even better, set the course of the next phase of development.
I see this as a possible sign that the next curve in IIoT growth will be all about hyper-precise, low-latency, near-real-time indoor location services, using 5G almost certainly. These RTLS systems in IIoT facilities will empower and enable automated systems of inventory management, manufacturing, physical security, activity tracking, and countless other uses.
And I, for one, can’t wait to hear about the first integrated customer use case.