The 10 Coolest IoT Devices Of 2020 (So Far)

Connected breathalyzer? Check. Solar-powered crop and weather sensor? Check. What about a battery-powered farm storage tank level monitor? Yes, that‘s among this year’s coolest IoT devices too.

From IoT Gateways To Smart Devices For The Home

The coronavirus pandemic may be taking a toll on the IoT market, but that isn‘t stopping manufacturers from releasing a variety of new IoT devices this year.

While demand for connected devices has seen a slowdown in verticals like retail and manufacturing, tech executives see IoT as an important technology to help organizations adapt to the variety of new requirements put in place to combat the virus, from social distancing to wearing masks. And because of the impending need to deploy such solutions, they‘re suddenly seeing an acceleration of some projects.

[Related: 5 Important IoT And AR Applications For The COVID-19 Era]

“The time that I spend right now is in implementations for COVID-initiated things like monitoring and detection, things like business automation, social and workplace engagement interaction projects that probably would have taken 18 months to do formal [proofs of concept], test and deploy—we‘ve deployed in a matter of two or three weeks. That’s new for us,” Rodney Clark, vice president of IoT and mixed reality sales at Microsoft, told CRN last month.

What follows are some of this year‘s coolest IoT devices so far, ranging from crop sensors and connected breathalyzers to industrial IoT gateways and smart devices for the home.

Advantech WISE-2410

The WISE-2410 is a new smart vibration sensor from Advantech that uses an Arm Cortex-M4 processor and three-axis accelerometer to automatically calculate the vibration characteristics of machines for predictive maintenance and conditional monitoring applications. The device, which supports LoRaWAN connectivity, can also read surface temperatures and compare sensor data against ISO 10816-3 standards to ensure the machines are running correctly. The device is powered by two AA lithium batteries, which can last as long as two years in normal operating conditions. It‘s built to handle a wide range of temperatures, from minus-68 degrees to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, and withstand dust and water. The device, which is built for easy plug-and-play installation, costs $329.

Arable Mark 2

The Mark 2 is a solar-powered crop and weather sensor from agriculture tech startup Arable that aims to help farms and food producers make better decisions around irrigation, spray applications and disease and pest management, among other things. Once deployed in a crop field, the $1,595 sensor collects data on a variety of crop-related things like precipitation, temperature, leaf wetness and crop water demand. The data is then sent via an LTE-M, NB-IoT or 2G connection to the cloud, where the data is run through machine-learning models, which are supported by Arable‘s global network of 30 calibration-validation sites across 12 climatic zones to ensure insight is accurate and reliable.

AWS Snowcone

Amazon Web Services is getting into the rugged edge computing space with Snowcone, a small, 4.5-pound portable device that collects, processes and transfers data to the AWS cloud from IoT sensors and other endpoints in disconnected environments outside traditional data centers. The device is designed for remote or extreme conditions that lack consistent network connectivity or environments that require portability, including hospitals, first-responder vehicles, military operations, factory floors and oil rigs. It can be used as an IoT hub, data aggregation point, application monitor or lightweight analytics engine. Customers can order AWS Snowcone, which is generally available now, from the AWS Management Console, and AWS will ship the devices directly to their edge locations.

CoreKinect TankTrack

The CoreKinect TankTrack is a battery-powered farm storage tank level monitor and asset tracker that aims to help farms keep track of their fuel or fertilizer. Built with a multimode NB-IoT and LTE-M system-in-package from Nordic Semiconductor, the new device from IoT sensor manufacturer CoreKinect is customizable and can be attached to storage tanks using four permanent magnets. The device can send tank level and GPS location readings to the cloud, which can be accessed from any smartphone, tablet or computer. CoreKinect said TankTrack, which lasts for 10 years and can be set up in under one minute, can provide an immediate return on investment if it prevents a single unnecessary delivery of fuel or fertilizer.

Lenovo ThinkCentre M75n IoT

The ThinkCentre M75n IoT is among the latest ultrasmall-form-factor “Nano” laptops from Lenovo, designed to withstand industrial environments of up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Powered by AMD Athlon processors, the M75n IoT can protect, collect and analyze data on the fly from a variety of sources, including sensors, displays and cameras, while ensuring maximum uptime, thanks to its durable design and intelligent cooling engine. The device supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LPWAN and 4G/LTE WWAN as well as a variety of operating system options, including older versions, made possible by built-in driver support. The device starts at $329.

Mixtile Edge

Mixtile Edge is an edge computer designed to keep all of a smart home‘s processing local and away from the cloud for privacy-conscious users. The edge computing device from Mixtile is a sleek product designed to fit in with a modern home aesthetic and carry out processing tasks for smart home gadgets that would typically be done in the cloud, preventing the need to share data with a third party. The Mixtile Edge connects all gateways and devices to form a large IoT network, and it features up to 1 TB of SSD storage, a powerful CPU and a high-speed neural processing unit as well as support for Zigbee and other wireless protocols. While Mixtile sells its own collection of smart home gadgets, the Mixtile Edge is compatible with devices from several other companies, including D-Link, GE, August and TKB Home. The Mixtile Edge is expected to start shipping this year.


Ocigo is a connected breathalyzer that uses miniaturized infrared spectroscopy technology to measure blood alcohol concentration levels in seconds. The device, which is based on technology used by law enforcement agencies, displays the breathalyzer results in a small on-device OLED display as well as smartphone companion app, which can then predict when the user can legally drive again based on local rules and regulations, thanks to its geolocation capabilities. While the device is being sold to consumers, it’s also being advertised for fleet management use cases. The device is currently only available in Europe for 249 euros.

Phyn Smart Water Assistant

From Belkin‘s Phyn brand, the Phyn Smart Water Assistant aims to bring greater intelligence to water usage at a time when many areas are facing water constraints. The self-installable device attaches to the hot and cold water lines under the sink, and from there can monitor the water pressure to detect leaks and monitor water consumption. The Smart Water Assistant is capable of detecting a range of leaks as well as other types of unusual usage (or even just that the water has been left on). Users can then receive real-time alerts to their mobile app when issues are detected. The Phyn Smart Water Assistant is priced at $299 and does not require a subscription.

Vayyar Home

Vayyar Home brings a twist to smart home monitoring with 4-D radar imaging sensors that can monitor the well-being of individuals within a home environment or senior living facility. This means there is no need for wearable technology, buttons or cameras to detect falls or home intrusions. The device’s sensors can monitor location, posture and vital signs, which allows caretakers to keep track of when individuals get in and out of bed, roam at night and visit the bathroom. The device, in conjunction with Vayyar’s software, can also analyze the data to identify trends, such as whether there are early signs of health conditions. While the device is expected to start shipping this year, no pricing details are currently available.

Vodafone Curve

Curve is a new multipurpose tracker from Vodafone that goes beyond traditional Bluetooth-based trackers by adding three other connectivity types: GPS, Wi-Fi and cellular, the latter of which is enabled with a built-in SIM card. With its companion smartphone app, users can follow the location of the tracker in real time and create personalized alerts for when the tracker enters or leaves certain areas. The tracker is lightweight and comes with a battery that can last for up to seven days, allowing users to track a variety of items, from keys and laptops to bags and cars. Curve is available in the U.K. for an up-front cost of 20 pounds, and it requires a monthly 3-pound subscription for at least a year.