The Internet of Things. Remember that? The term's been around for over a decade and a half and now Atari has decided to embrace the idea for its latest reinvention.
The company's latest venture will see it develop a range of connected home smart devices in partnership with Sigfox, whose claim to fame is the ultra-narrow band network in Belgium's Princess Elisabeth Research Station on Antarctica.
Little of known about precisely what Atari has its sleeve, although it has promised a range of devices for the ‘home', ‘pets', ‘kids', ‘sports' and ‘safety' categories. Some are described as ‘simple' and others ‘highly sophisticated'. The mass market and charity sectors are the main targets.
Sigfox is transforming the way people are connecting to their objects in a simple and intuitive way,” current Atari CEO Fred Chesnais said. By partnering together and using SIGFOX's dedicated IoT connectivity, we are going to create amazing products with our brand. We look forward to our collaboration with Sigfox and releasing new products to the mass market on a global scale.”
Atari's history of reinvention is prolific, to say the least. As one of the founding fathers of the games industry, Atari almost single handedly propelled the arcade movement and even had early success with its own hardware. It was also a major player in the home computing market and even dabbled in handhelds, although of course that was a battle it lost to Game Boy.
However, after some failures and the first big games industry crash of the 1980s, and the high-profile implosion that was the Atari Jaguar, the company exited the hardware market. The name and rights changed hands several times in the following years, its appeal based largely on what remains a decent catalogue of cherished retro games IP.
Its most recent projects include the struggling Rollercoaster Tycoon World and real-money gambling projects.