World’s Largest Space for IoT Companies Coming to Southwestern Ontario
The Internet of Things. It may have a vague and unusual name, but it’s the way of the future. Essentially, the Internet of Things (IoT) connects everyday objects to a vast network using sensors surrounding us, and it does so wirelessly. The “everyday objects” include things from light switches to coffee makers to car door locks, and they can be controlled remotely by software on smartphones, laptops and other devices. I’ve just begun imagining being able to turn the light off without getting up, and I’m already excited — I can’t even begin to conceive what other incredible inventions will come out of this field in the next few years!
It’s clear that Southwestern Ontario has identified an area for major growth, because Catalyst137, a giant hub for IoT companies, is set to open in Kitchener in the summer of 2017. The people behind the plans for the IoT hub are Kurtis McBride, the CEO of Miovision, and Frank Voisin, from real estate investment firm Voisin Capital. McBride envisions that Catalyst137 will be “the Tannery for hardware”, so they have some pretty big shoes to fill (hello Google, Communitech, and others), but that shouldn’t be too difficult given their mission.
Similar to the Tannery, Catalyst137 will be moving into an old KW Region building instead of having a brand new one built for them. The hub will go into an old tire storage warehouse in Kitchener by the Iron Horse Trail — one with over 475,000 square ft. of space! The centre will provide a ton of useful services to companies it houses, such as consulting, funding, engineering, and access to equipment like 3D printers and laser cutters. Catalyst137 will rent out space to over 20 IoT-focused hardware companies, leasing office spaces ranging from 3,000 to 50,000 square feet — some even including their own loading bays.
Don’t you worry, Catalyst137 won’t be all about business — McBride and Voisin also plan to incorporate a bunch of cool employee perks like a gym, café, pub, and even squash courts. Is this place beginning to sound less intimidating and more like a place you’d want to be, or is that just me?
Now that you know the basics of the Internet of Things, it’s almost time to learn about some mind-blowing examples of IoT gadgets that are currently on the market. We’ll check in with you in a couple weeks for a short refresher and to tell you about a ton of cool and affordable IoT tech options. In the meantime, make sure to check out our tips on how to stay safe on the Internet of Things!
Caitlin Feehan, Blogger & Editor
Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.