Internet of Things... I had pitched a few tech VCs on some of this a few years back 09/10 and only had my ideas copied, much of this in inevitable. As "things" come online there will be a lot of Hardware companies that crop up remaking standard "things" with radio communications ability added on.
The Hardware is a Loss Leader. Data is the real gold.
Look at Liquid Robotics "Wave Glider" for a business model. The actual product/robot they make is not for sale. What they are willing to sell is the Data collected by their army of ocean roving robots.
See SmartThings and NinjaBlocks for land lubber players. They are making a radio "hub" and allowing developers to build on their "hub platform". Exact stuff I was trying to get ahead of a few years back. It will be a fun run up to 2020.