Post By Simon Montford on Sept 27, 2018
When I attended Digit’s FinTech event held in Edinburgh last week – another impeccably run conference – one of the main, consistent themes was the rise of challenger banks. What became obvious from the talks I listened to and the conversations I had with delegates was that a classic David and Goliath scenario is starting to play out. Not only are plucky fintech startups like Atom, Monzo and Revolut enticing affluent young customers away from traditional banks, but they are also managing to convert them into fiercely loyal advocates. This is an extraordinary feat when you consider how much is spent by incumbents on advertising and marketing.
Post By Simon Montford on June 14, 2018
Before I begin, it is vital that I make one thing very clear. By writing this piece, it is not my intention to judge or undermine event organisers. They must be congratulated for all their hard work, and it’s important to remember that conferences are a platform for innovation. They facilitate connections, inspire new thinking, and enable innovators to promote themselves and obtain much-needed visibility as a result of being given a forum to speak and exhibit. It's always a great pleasure to cover our favourite conferences, and include them in our 2018 Conference Directory. We consider it as our duty to support them, so keep up the good work!
Post By Simon Montford on April 12, 2018
automatica is the leading exhibition for Smart Automation and Robotics. The trade fair will take place in Munich from 19 – 22 June 2018, and products on display will range from components, robots and systems to entire production facilities. Mobile World Capital Barcelona will be present and will bring a number of outstanding international startups as part of their delegation to support the continuous global transformation of robotics and smart automation.
Posted By Simon Montford on October 28, 2016
Last week I attended the 3rd annual Commercial UAV Show. I can't believe it's been a year since I covered the previous event, and wrote "There's no business like drone business". It took place on the 19th and 20th of October at ExCeL in London. The first thing I noticed was that the number of exhibitors and attendees appeared to be down compared to the previous year. I felt, however, that the quality of companies and delegates had increased. Last year l got the impression that many who attended were there out of curiosity. While milling around the expo floor, I came across an industry analysts with a remit to gather data and obtain market intelligence, an entrepreneur scoping out commercial opportunities, and an intern who had been dispatched on a fact-finding mission by her boss.
Guest post by Raph Crouan on July 13, 2016
We announced the ten startups that will join the first cohort of our Startupbootcamp IoT | Connected Devices program. A diverse range of startups working on an Internet of Things (IoT) device - from security, to intelligent horse monitoring technology and smart manufacturing - were selected to take part in the accelerator program.
Posted By Simon Montford on June 15, 2016
The Europas is an annual conference and awards ceremony for technology startups. The event was organised and hosted by technology journalist Mike Butcher MBE, and took place yesterday (June 14) in London, at The Grand Hall at Old Billingsgate. As tech conferences go, it was a reasonably relaxed affair, with no VIP lists or sectioned off areas in order, to facilitate networking and knowledge transfer between attendees.
Posted By Simon Montford on June 7, 2016
There are some fantastic events coming up later this month! Some of the highlights include IoT Tech Expo (Berlin), IoT Global Innovation Forum (Barcelona), and the Europas Conference and Awards (London). Unfortunately I can only attend one of them as they are taking place concurrently in three different major European cities. In the end I plumped for the Europas, because the founder and organiser, Mike Butcher, invited me well in advance. He also happens to be someone I've known for many years, and he kindly invited me to host a 20 minute panel titled "IOT: What Happens when Everything is Connected?", which was an offer I simply couldn't refuse!
Posted By Simon Montford on May 5, 2016
In an ideal world all buildings constructed today would be "smart buildings"; intelligent spaces that use cutting edge design and construction methods, eco-friendly materials, and automated technologies to reduce environmental impact, and improve the comfort, safety and well-being of occupants.
Guest post By Rob Dobson on April 1, 2016
Things related to the coming day are forgotten pretty routinely in the morning rush, especially in relation to children. I’ve made a couple of things to help with this in the past (a calendar-printer and projected calendar) – but both of these assume that parents or children bother to look at them in the morning. Recently that hasn’t been happening and we’ve missed a few music lessons and the like which occur at irregular times during the week.
Posted By Simon Montford on March 8, 2016
The IoT Tech Expo will bring together key industries from across Central and Eastern Europe for two days of top level content and discussion. The event will take place in Berlin’s Congress Center on 13-14th June 2016. This year’s Expo will highlight the most innovative advancements in technologies which are affecting the IoT. There will be dedicated tracks covering the entire Internet of Things ecosystem including Smart Cities, Connected Living, Developing for the Internet of Things, Connected Industry and Data & Security.
Posted By Simon Montford on March 6, 2016
Mobile World Congress took place in Barcelona from the 22nd-25th February 2016. It is the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, and I was there to cover the show. Here's a selection of photos and videos taken during my week in Spain. As it was my first time attending the conference, I found it overwhelming! Due to the bus and metro strike, getting around the city was a major challenge, but getting to and from the conference centre was a breeze compared to the real challenge of finding my way around the vast series of halls that played host to thousands of the world's leading mobile technology companies, with the exception of Apple.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 25, 2016
Scottish tech startup Nautilus Beam Ltd (based in Edinburgh, United Kingdom) came second last night in the prestigious TechCrunch Pitch-Off that took place during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Co-founders Dr Tim Willis and Simon Montford pitched their smartwatch text app Tusi to a crowded room of tech startup entrepreneurs, and a panel of investors. In addition to winning tickets to TechCrunchDisrupt New York in May, the founders also won a 4G-enabled Panasonic Nubo camera. Immediately after their successful pitch, the company released a public beta of Tusi for Google Wear devices, which is available to download for free from Google Play.
Posted By Simon Montford on Oct 29 2015
One of my passion projects is organising and hosting IoT events such as meetups, hardware hackathons, and conferences in Edinburgh and London. As an entrepreneur I also start businesses. My most recent venture is a text input and word prediction technology called Tusi, that has been designed specifically for very small touchscreens; ideal for smartwatches, interactive domestic appliances, and in-car touchscreen interfaces.
Posted By Simon Montford on Oct 23 2015
Earlier this week I attended the Commercial UAV Show, which was a two day event that took place on 20-21st October 2015 at ExCeL, London. I decided against getting a conference pass (you can check out the agenda here), because what I really enjoy about events is the opportunity to network. By meeting the exhibitors, and chatting with attendees I was able to gain a huge amount of industry knowledge within a very short time.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 16, 2015
Within only three hours, Eero received $100,000 (£65,000) in pre-orders, and two days later they amassed over $1 million (£650,000)! Goes to show that if you can solve pain points that consumers immediately identify with, extracting money from their wallets can be as easy as pie! Of course I don't mean that in a bad way, because those that hand over their cash are more than happy to do so if the technology acquired makes their lives better.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 11, 2015
The SEER is a VR headset that provides much better visibility than Google Glass, Meta 1, and even Air Force fighter pilot helmets - it's capable of providing a horizontal field of vision that exceeds 100 degrees. Furthermore, the SEER's far less expensive than "propriety" headsets such as the Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR.
Posted By Simon Montford on Jan 26, 2015
Canary, the complete home security system, is about to go on sale in the States at a RRP of $250. The Canary received a great deal of attention when the company exceeded its funding goal of $100,000 on Indiegogo, back in July 2013. The Canary attracted an impressive two million dollars' worth of pre-orders, and also closed an additional $10 million round of funding led by Khosla Ventures.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 18, 2014
Today Virgin Media announced ‘KipstR’, a wearable wristband prototype that pauses TV as you sleep. It was created by a couple of young "Makers" called Ryan Oliver (15) and Jonathan Kingsley (14) after they were commissioned to help create it by Virgin Media, as part of an initiative between the media company and Manchester Creative Studio, called "Switched on Futures".
Posted By Simon Montford on Oct 21, 2014
The number of hardware startups reaching and exceeding their campaign goals on crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo is increasing dramatically. This is an indication that hardware is so hot right now, and this flourish of activity has not gone unnoticed by the investment community, and corporates.
Posted By Simon Montford on Sept 18, 2014
GrabCAD is a bit like ‘Github for engineers.Teams working on CAD systems can sync local CAD files to cloud projects, track versions and lock files to prevent conflicts. They can also use it to exchanged CAD models. One of the greatest benefits is that there is no need to reinvent the wheel in the event that someone else is willing to provide an existing design. The GrabCAD boasts the world's largest collection of free CAD files.
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