Verizon eyes city revolution with LED purchase

Verizon, the largest communications provider in the US, has bought the LED start-up company Sensity Systems, in an attempt to broaden their Internet of Things (IoT) offering.

The communications company is planning to use Sensity as a springboard, allowing them to speed up the development of IoT projects, that will lead to their, planned, digital transformation of cities, universities and venues.

Verizon ultimately intends to deliver IoT systems on a massive scale, revolutionising the way cities and communities operate.

'Rapid urbanization is putting a huge strain on city services globally, coupled with inefficiencies caused by an aging infrastructure that currently supports critical functions, such as fire and emergency services, public transportation, lighting, sewer and sanitation systems,' commented Hugh Martin, chairman and CEO of Sensity. 'Sensity realized early on that IoT could be the key to breaking out of this dilemma.'

The deal will see Sensity’s LED lighting conversion products added to Verizon’s ThingSpace Internet of Things (IoT) platform. The company’s ThingSpace platform allows communities to increase economic development, drive citizen engagement and enable sustainability.

Sensity has a history of putting sensors in LED street lamps in order to perform functions such as monitoring traffic and detecting security threats. 

'Rapid urbanization is putting a huge strain on city services globally, coupled with inefficiencies caused by an aging infrastructure.'

Hugh Martin - Sensity CEO

The company has also been attempting to take advantage of the US’s transition to LED street lights, using the opportunity to create a network of country-wide smart sensors.

Verizon has been bulking up its IoT portfolio by going on a months long start-up buying spree, which has included purchases of truck tracking service Fleetmatics and Telogis, which offers a similar fleet tracking service.

The communications giant has been looking around for new areas to invest in with an increasing sense of panic, as revenues from traditional wired telephones and wireless technology starts to shrink.

With these problems in mind Verizon has also acquired AOL and Yahoo, in an attempt to build a consumer advertising business, but it is with IoT that the great majority of their hopes for the future lie.


  • Innovations in Li-fi and IoT will be demonstrated at the LuxLive 2016 exhibition in London on Wednesday 23 November and Thursday 24 November 2016. A special IoT Arena will explore developments in connected lighting and its role in the Internet of Things. Entry is free - register at