Vodafone has opened up its Internet of Things network to consumers, in a move that will allow them to connect items from their cars to their briefcases and their pets to the internet.
The mobile operator says its V by Vodafone network is the largest of its kind in the world and provides a way for consumers to manage both Internet of Things-capable devices and to connect non-Internet of Things devices through Vodafone products including a connected car dongle, a 4G security camera, a pet location and activity tracker and a bag location tracker.
IoT devices can be connected to the network by a V-Sim device that it ships as standard with its own IoT enabled electronics products, and which will be available by third-party retailers from next year. Customers can also monitor their IoT enabled products via a V by Vodafone smartphone app, scanning a QR code on their product packaging to register them and adding the monthly fee to their existing Vodafone mobile account.
From today selected Vodafone stores in the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain will sell IoT devices including V-Auto by Vodafone, V-Camera, V-Pet,and V-Bag. V-Auto is a plug and drive dongle that can be added to most European vehicles made since 2002, bringing capabilities including Auto SOS that uses eCall technology to contact the car owner in the event of an accident or alert emergency services if there is no answer. Find my car and safety score functions are also enabled.
V-Camera is a high-definition mobile security camera that enables customers to monitor remotely any location where there is 3G or 4G coverage. V-Pet enables owners to track their pets using GPS and the mobile network and get an alert if they move beyond a set area. They can also track their pet’s movements and sleeping patterns. Customers using V-Bag can be alerted if their bag, briefcase or schoolbag leaves a designated area.
Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao said: “The Internet of Things is already beginning to transform how businesses operate. Over the next decade, the expansion of IoT into consumer markets will bring about an equally dramatic shift in how people manage their daily lives, at home and in their leisure time. V by Vodafone makes it simple to connect a wide range of IoT-enabled devices, helping customers keep everyone and everything that matters to them safe and secure. We look forward to applying our world-leading expertise in IoT to hep consumers make the most of the next phase of the global digital revolution.”