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"City N" №05 (1114), 17 JANUARY 2016

The organizer of all-Russian startup competitions Vitaly Galenchiksaid N about a new niche for IT business — Internet of things.

One of the educational discussions of the Skolkovo All-Russian Startup Tour held in Rostov in early February, the organizers devoted to smart gadgets and their capture of more and more space in human life. Young entrepreneurs were told about the possibilities of monetizing this process. Vitaly Galenchik explained to correspondent N that there are already successful foreign projects that have received their billions, but things are still more complicated in Russia.

N: — You participated in the discussion of the Rostov stage of the Skolkovo startup tour about the internet of things. What might be interesting about this topic for novice entrepreneurs?

VG: — Internet of Things — it is a concept brought together by a common vision and the expectation that the majority of technical devices will be able to connect to the network in the next five years.

According to IDC, there will be about 30 such devices worldwide by 2020 billion — from cars to vacuum cleaners. The monetary capacity of this market could reach more than $8 trillion. Today, smart home technologies, augmented and virtual reality, platforms and applications for mobile, embedded electronics are gaining popularity. If we talk about wearable electronics, then we are witnessing a paradigm shift: a person is gradually moving from using an external computer to the constant interaction of smart devices with his body.

N: — Did you see something interesting at the Rostov conference "Skolkovo"?

VG: — If we talk about unusual ideas, then, for example, for several years now I have been observing the development of the WIRA wireless charger project, which is being developed by a young scientist from Krasnodar, Dmitry Lopatin. If under the word «interest» to understand projects that are potentially suitable for investment, then serious breakthrough solutions in this area have not appeared for a long time, and the Rostov conference is no exception.

N: — Why?

VG: — In Russia, it is customary to roughly divide startups into IT and non-IT. Each type has its own difficulties in organizing business processes. But IoT startups are essentially a mix of both and are facing challenges from both software and hardware companies. That is, the difficulties relate to both writing the program logic of future products, and difficulties in the production of the electronic devices themselves. Not to mention pumping the market and sales.

N: — Is there any other way to develop in this area for an existing business, maybe not the creation of a unique item, but software for it?

VG: — Essentially, the Internet of Things — it is a compilation and refinement of existing technologies. So young companies can focus on the engineering of various components. For example, you can focus on reducing the size of the modules used or designing software platforms. In the same way, you can visualize new products and design them. It all depends on the creative abilities of the team.

Foreign startup Radius, specializing in the analysis of data generated by IoT devices, has already been bought for $ 19.8 million

N: — How developed is this market in Russia?

VG: — He is only forborn both here and abroad. The rules of the game on it have not yet been determined, and the segments are not divided between the players. Today it is difficult to predict which of the startups will come across a truly promising topic. No one imagined that the company that made electronic bracelets and acoustics for smartphones would be worth $ 3.3 billion in a few years. I'm talking about Jawbone (a fitness bracelet that allows you to track physical activity, sleep phases, wake up a person at the most appropriate time etc. — N). Last August, Samsung acquired SmartThings, a developer of smart home solutions, for $200 million. One of his investors, by the way, is Yuri Milner, co-owner of Group.

N: — How the Internet of Things will make life easier for an ordinary person — understandable, but what business issues can it help with?

VG: — For business, a more complex IoT format is being developed — These are technologies used in factories and logistics centers. At Amazon, for example, logistical robots do most of the work.

N: — With the synchronization of a large number of devices, security issues are sure to arise.

VG: — This is one of the most pressing problems. There are already examples of hacker attacks aimed at modern gadgets and next-generation household devices. Potential Threats of the Internet of Things — this is not only the destruction of devices, but also the possible use of kettles and irons as zombie computers participating in DDoS attacks against organizations and enterprises that will also switch to a new format of intellectual production. Another problem may be the need to constantly synchronize and securely store data on devices connected to the network. We already have a product at Acronis that allows you to control the distribution of data, as well as transfer and store it in encrypted form.