Purpose: This sector provides context to the growing edge computing sector, specifically for the distribution of computing resources.
Scope of Analysis: This sector considers the IoT, but only as far as edge computing for the IoT, not the IoT itself. Hardware that makes edge computing possible, such as servers, are not included. Rather, this report focuses on the edge computing platform and the communication between these edge computing devices and the platform established to manage it. This infrastructure may or may not utilize a blockchain.
Tags and Their Meaning:
- Non-blockchain Platform: Patents dealing with the infrastructure of a “near edge” network and providing a marketplace for users to buy and sell computing resources/assets. Includes patents pertaining to the tracking/measuring of compute resources of an edge device in order to charge for that usage. Further, these patents may include methods of billing/invoicing customers via the platform.
- Blockchain Paltform: Includes patents similar to the non-blockchain platform category, but that utilize blockchain.
- Communications: General communications between edge devices and edge servers, not specifically regarding latency, bandwidth, or georouting methods.
- Smart Street Lights (potential use case): Applications of edge platforms and devices to traffic are tagged to provide insight into future patentability and strategy decisions. Traffic lights are included as well.
What Isn’t Tagged:
- IoT itself: This custom sector focuses on the application of patents to IoT, but not IoT itself.
- Edge devices themselves: This sector does not focus on Edge devices themselves, but rather the connection between them and micro servers. As such, these devices are not included.
- Hardware: This sector does not include hardware implements.
Big Picture: Some of the most successful startups of the last 10-15 years, such as Uber and AirBnB, have relied on a platform that connects people with extra of something to people that need more of that same thing. The growth and understanding of blockchain technology, the ability to make more and more compact servers, and the increased need to process information closer to the edge create ample opportunity to create a platform that brings people faster computing power. The documents tagged here represent the current alignment of companies pursuing components of this budding industry.