The term ‘internet of things’ (IoT) now seems to be used widely in all kinds of industries and scenarios – whether in manufacturing, cities, healthcare, housing, or even business processes and the enterprise. I recently saw the term ‘internet of social housing’ – where 300 multifunctional IoT devices are being used in social housing in Scotland to help reduce costs and improve the lives of tenants. It’s also being used to make connected lighting the hub of a smart home gateway.
The proliferation of IoT is more than just being about the technology or the connectivity. Devices increasingly either have some form of connectivity already, or have sensors from which data can be transmitted. If they only have sensors and no connectivity, it’s technologically relatively easy to add a form of communication that will help transmit that data.
The IoT story is about a complete value chain or ecosystem: sensors, connectivity, data and the analytics that help in making some decision. The regional manager for Bosch Software Innovations, Matthew Jennings, says, “In the majority of IoT applications, the data collected is typically utilized to support a single use case. However, if an organization is connecting its assets and harnessing resulting data, numerous opportunities exist to leverage this data in multiple ways without significant investment in technology. Simple and cost-effective IoT platforms are available, which allow organizations to creatively apply business logic to asset data and leverage it across the enterprise.
These are some of the topics that are on the agenda for the IoT Solutions World Congress (IOTSWC) in Barcelona, Spain, in October 2016. Claiming to be the leading industrial IoT event, the three-day program will focus on key verticals including manufacturing, transportation & logistics, healthcare, and energy & utilities as well as innovation & technology and business transformation. This includes:
- Transportation: autonomous and connected vehicles, smart mobility and use & management of drones and mass transit
- Healthcare: remote monitoring, mobile healthcare and interoperability of health devices
- Energy & utilities: energy efficiency, renewable energy and safety and distributed generation
- Innovation & technology: standards & methodologies, edge computing, intelligent platforms, systems & architectures
- Business transformation: IT/OT convergence, new revenue streams, and finance & funding
Organized by Fira de Barcelona (where the annual Mobile World Congress event is held each year), the IOTSWC in partnership with the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) will answer some of the challenges that companies face as they gauge the benefits of adopting industrial IoT technologies and begin to implement their IoT vision. Topics such as asset performance, predictive maintenance, industrial data ownership and Interoperability are key to companies heavily invested in bridging legacy systems and will be in the spotlight during the three-day meeting.
The content of the congress has been developed by a program committee comprised of industry leaders and technology experts from the world’s top companies and institutions. Among its members are:
- Douglas Bellin, senior manager at Cisco
- Mark Crawford, open standards strategist at SAP
- Christine Englund, director of marketing at GE
- Steve Hanna, senior principal at Infineon
- Eric Harper, lead software architect at ABB
- Helena Lisachuk, director-high tech competence center, Deloitte
- Edy Liongosari, global managing director technology labs at Accenture
- Tony Milne, business development manager at Advantech
- Geoff Mulligan, executive director at IPSO Alliance
- Tim Scannell, director of strategic content at CIO Executive Council
- Arthur Silva, VP marketing strategy – industrial segments & IoT at Schneider Electric
- Will Sobel, chief strategy officer at Vimana
- Said Tabet, senior technology strategist at EMC
- Theresa Woodiel, global campaign manager at National Instruments
- Ron Zahavi, chief strategist for IoT standards at Microsoft
- Bill Hoffman, president at OMG
- Richard Soley, executive director, IIC
Last year, the congress featured 120 top experts, 88 exhibiting companies and 4,500 visitors from 53 countries. For more information, visit the web site. It was certainly a key platform for debating and showcasing some of the key challenges and successes of IoT applications in many different environments. We attended many of the sessions covering applications ranging from healthcare in India, to solutions for rice paddy fields in Thailand.
The event also featured a dedicated ‘testbed’ area – experimentation platforms deployed and tested in an environment that resembles real-world conditions. They were used to demonstrate new technologies and show how they could be usefully deployed, fuel R&D ideas and opportunities, and generate an appreciable and measurable impact on new and existing markets.
As highlighted here, there is no limit to the potential for IoT applications in many diverse verticals. The key to successful deployment, as many examples demonstrate, is in the way in which data is shared and analyzed, and how the information is subsequently put to use.