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Bosch expects the internet of things to generate a broad range of new services (Photo: Bosch)

Robert Bosch, which has been driving the internet-of-things trend, is establishing a separate unit to make devices and objects talk to each other.

The company, Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions, will build compact electronic products and provide software designed to achieve connectivity across a broad range of applications. The company will focus in first instance on sensor-based applications for intelligently networked homes, but activities will also extend to traffic, transportation and logistics.

Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner said in a press release that an expected 6 billion "things" will be connected by 2015. This will lead to an entirely new range of services that will provide major new business opportunities. "These services will rely on the smart networking of devices within wider systems," Denner said.

Bosch's internet-of-things company will be headquartered in Germany and have sites in Coimbatore, India, as well as Suzhou, China. The unit will specialize in the development of networked sensors and actuators, which convert electrical signals from sensors or control units into physical actions.

Bosch is one of the world's biggest automotive suppliers, but the company also has a large consumer goods division. In addition, it makes industrial, energy and building products.

At the upcoming International CES in Las Vegas, Bosch plans to present  several internet-of-things-enabled products and solutions for the home. For example, the company will demonstrate how a radio-enabled network coupled with multiple sensors will allow users to see which doors are open in the home and how in-house temperatures and humidity have varied during the day.

Separately, Bosch board member Dirk Hoheisel will participate in a panel discussion on the path toward autonomous driving, which is one of the automotive focus areas at this year's CES. The session will take place on January 7 at 3.00 PM local time.