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Verizon buys IoT startup Sensity to boost smart city portfolio

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Sensity’s platform embeds networking technology within both new and retrofit LED lighting systems.

Verizon on Monday announced plans to acquire Sensity Systems, a Cisco-backed startup that makes connected light installations for smart cities. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Based in Sunnyvale, California, Sensity designed a platform that embeds networking technology within both new and retrofit LED lighting systems.

Once outfitted with Sensity’s sensors, cameras and thermometers, these “smart” light fixtures can provide insights into what’s happening below, potentially helping monitor things like public safety, parking, pedestrian traffic and severe weather events. Sensity claims to have 42 smart city light installations across the globe.

Verizon said it plans to add Sensity to its ThingSpace business, which launched last year as the cornerstone of its IoT strategy. Similar to other IoT cloud platforms from IBM and Amazon Web Services, the ThingSpace platform gives developers end-to-end management of their IoT environments and related data.

“Sensity is a leading provider of IoT solutions for smart communities with a strong ecosystem of partners, and this transaction will accelerate the deployment of large-scale implementations that will drive the digital transformation of cities, universities and venues,” said Mike Lanman, SVP of enterprise products and IoT at Verizon, in a statement. “Verizon is uniquely positioned through its infrastructure investments at the network, platform and application levels to provide holistic solutions that empower communities to address their most pervasive challenges.”

The acquisition is a follow up to a couple of previous purchases under Verizon’s IoT umbrella. Last month, Verizon bought telematics tech provider Fleetmatics for $2.4 billion in cash. Before that, Verizon paid an undisclosed amount for Telogis, another maker of telematics technology.

Both deals were seen as part of Verizon’s plan to broaden its portfolio beyond basic communication services and into the area of enterprise mobility.

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