CEO interview: Bosch's IoT startup is all about the system

December 10, 2014 // By Peter Clarke
Thorsten Mueller, CEO of Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions GmbH (Reutlingen, Germany), has been guiding the latest startup subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH since 2013 when he started the initiative with just two staff.

The formation of the company, known as BCDS, was announced in December 2013 (see Bosch sets up IoT subsidiary) and has now grown to 100 employees split between Reutlingen and Coimbatore, India. There are plans to expand early in 2015 at locations in Chicago and Shanghai, Mueller told eeNews Europe, although there are no specific head-count targets.

But the staff are focused on the company's mission of rolling out ready-to-use Internet of Things (IoT) systems for customers to take to market in four areas; smart home, transport and logistics, connected industry and personal smart activity.

Mueller, a PhD in physics, joined Robert Bosch, in 2005 at which time he was put to work in corporate research on inertial MEMS. In 2008 he joined the automotive business unit of Bosch working on strategic planning and clustered MEMS sensors and was also worked on the due diligence behind the acquisition of MEMS microphone company Akustica Inc. in 2009 (see Bosch acquires MEMS microphone pioneer Akustica).

Mueller said that although BCDS is intended to be a follow-on initiative to the successful Bosch Sensortec GmbH – which has taken the parent company into consumer markets and adding to original success in automotive – it will be different. Whereas Bosch Sensortec is essentially a component and hardware company, BCDS is a system-level company with a much greater emphasis on software.

This is partly because BCDS can, and should, stand on the shoulders of the initiatives that have gone before and partly because levels and styles of integration have changed and the creation of value in the Internet of Things will often be in the data that is collected.

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