View from India: Heading towards a connected world

By 2020, it is estimated that the number of connected devices will grow to 50 billion - approximately 6.5 devices per person. It’s an impressive growth rate and India is a relatively new contender in this space. Yet several companies are already leveraging the commodity curve ahead of their time by tapping disruptive technologies like IoT (Internet of Things) embedded electronics and radio frequency (RF) which helps create the next generation of connected systems and devices. The connected devices carry the promise of offering seamless experiences through various networks that also increases efficiency and lowers costs.


IoT can be broadly classified into industrial IoT and consumer IoT. Smart (that includes cities, grids and wearables) is a key differentiator for IoT.

“Industrial IoT includes smart factories, grids, machine, cities and cars. A massive platform is essential for the wireless infrastructure of Industrial IoT. Consumer IoT includes smart wearables, phones, television and appliances,” said NV Raghunandan, applications engineer, National Instruments India. He was speaking at the 13th edition of NIDays, an annual conference on graphical system design held in Bangalore.

Besides IoT, consumers can look forward to forthcoming trends which include ultra low-energy devices, whose energy consumption is not exponential.  

“There will also be a demand for low latency systems for ensuring a reliable network that connects machines-to-machines. Products with shorter development cycles are things to watch out for,” added Raghunandan.

NIDays also highlighted the R&D work of National Instruments (NI), the provider of systems that enable engineers and scientists to solve engineering challenges. NI invests 16 per cent of its annual revenue towards research and development; approximately $200 million at a global level. Both globally and at the local Indian level, the accent is on R&D. The Indian R&D centre, which is located in Bangalore, is among NI's fastest growing R&D centres worldwide.

“The highest level of engineering and architecture principles outside the US is in India. Over the last 18 years in India, we have built a strong ecosystem of partners, proficient developers and successful customers and this ecosystem has enabled our customers to innovate,” said Jayaram Pillai, NI's managing director for IndRAA (India, Russia Arabia, Africa). 

NI has built a community of hardcore engineering software developers in India. Given the high competency levels, the number of patents filed from here is a significant contributor to the overall global R&D scenario. The patents represent innovation in areas like motion control algorithms, RF (Radio Frequency) and software development.

These patents and other innovative tools cater to the requirements of partners. In India there are around 40-60 partners (big and small) who represent verticals like automobile, medicine, aerospace, defence, energy and education.

In 2015, the company decided to take its tools and solutions beyond the partnership fraternity and focus on skill development. As nearly two thirds of India's population is below 35 years of age, many of whom are unemployed, the company has extended its expertise towards skilling them through a partnership with IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

The MoU aims to build skill-ready professionals through conferences, technical workshops and joint certificate programmes. Competency in RF and embedded systems help orient these certified trained professionals towards the industry, government and academia. The skilling initiatives which have already begun, also address the needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) engineering and scientific research organizations.

Apart from such initiatives, the company intends to help improve the productivity of engineers and researchers working in the areas of IoT, 5G and industrial automation by scaling up the features of LabVIEW, its flagship product. LabVIEW 2016 has enhancements in acquiring, processing and managing data from remote data acquisition systems.

IoT India Congress, which is tipped to be India’s largest event on the Internet of Things, was organised by IET India’s IoT Panel in September 2016. In its first edition, the event featured 65 speakers, six keynote addresses, six panel discussions, seven use cases, five workshops, IoT Thought Leadership and Start-up awards and exhibitions. The tracks included talks on retail, healthcare, smart cities and manufacturing. Challenges and success stories made the sessions interesting. The event was supported by the Government of India.  Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minster of Law and Justice delivered the inaugural address via virtual presence. Mr J S Deepak, Secretary, Ministry of Telecommunications and Smt Rita Teaotia, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry were Chief Guests.

IoT India Congress brought the who’s who in the IoT ecosystem under a single roof, providing them invaluable networking opportunities. The next event will be held from 8-9 September 2017 in Bangalore. For more details please visit

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