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WeChat’s Open Hardware Platform Drives IoT Innovation

China’s well-known mobile messaging app WeChat is showing increased interest in the Internet of Thing (IoT) with its open hardware platform.

China’s well-known mobile messaging app WeChat is showing increased interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) with its open hardware platform.

WeChat began working on the platform in July 2014, allowing hardware manufacturers to create accounts and promote their own ideas for advanced connectivity among “smart” devices and development, South China Morning Post reported yesterday (Aug. 27). The platform can later be used to launch their products.

According to WeChat, the platform boasts more than 2,400 registered accounts, focusing on fields including: air-conditioning systems, toys, routing, smart homes, television, top-up systems, health care and wearables.

Free use of the public platform has been granted to manufacturers of intelligent hardware, as well as the hundreds of millions of WeChat users, as the app aims to move toward the establishment of a true IoT ecosystem, a company spokesperson told South China Morning Post.

As of March, the Tencent-owned mobile app reached a milestone by securing 500 million monthly active users (MAUs) at the end of 2014’s fourth quarter. That figure is a spike from the 355 million MAUs recorded at the same time the year prior, and an increase from the 468 million recorded in Q3 2014.

WeChat’s growing user base combined with the potential for revenue increases that come with IoT investments may see the company’s hardware platform paying off.

IoT has the potential to become big business with big payoffs — or at least that is what the latest results from research published by Tata Consulting Services is pointing to.

This year’s TCS Global trend study, “Internet of Things: The Complete Reimaginative Force,” found that by 2018, IoT spend is expected to increase by 20 percent to $103 million, based on interviews with 795 executives from multinational companies across the globe with average revenues of $22 billion.

The study identifies the massive potential for revenue boosts from IoT investments but also highlights the challenges for companies transitioning to the new model.

“The age of IoT is well underway. The question is, whether businesses are ready to realize the full potential of this technology. Our latest global trend study found that leaders in using IoT technologies are using it to completely re-imagine their businesses by changing every aspect of them from business models and products to business processes and workplaces,” Tata Consultancy Services’ CEO and Managing Director Natarajan Chandrasekaran said in a company release. “Now is the time for every leader in every industry to reimagine the possibilities for their businesses in a world of smart, connected ‘things.’”

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