Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 17, 2016
IoT Tech Expo took place in London, 10-11 February 2016. The event covered many different industry sectors including Manufacturing, Transport, Health, Logistics, Government, Energy and Automotive. Exhibitors from across Europe showcased cutting edge technologies, and over 200 speakers shared industry knowledge and insights. As an official media partner, I attended on behalf of WEB3//IOT. Here are my highlights of the two day event.
As there were several different tracks, it would have been impossible to attend all the talks that took place simultaneously throughout both days of the show. Topics covered included Smart Cities, Data & Security, Connected Living, Connected Industry and Emerging IoT technology. You can check out the full speaker line up here.
According to the organisers, delegates from the likes of Google, Blackberry, Thames Water, National Grid, Nokia, IBM and Cisco attended.
I spent the first day of the expo meandering around and chatting informally with people on the various exhibition stands that covered the entire third floor of the Olympia Conference Centre. The second day was spent hopping between talks and panel sessions.
The downside of sitting passively listing to speakers is that the flow of information is only one-way. Although I do appreciate a good presentation, especially if it relates to a topic that I'm passionate about, I generally prefer to network with other attendees and spend time with exhibitors on their stands. Although I wasn't physically able to attend every stand, what follows are some of my personal highlights.
My first highlight, and possibly my most enjoyable moment of the entire event, was crossing paths with a robot called Pepper. Shortly after meeting the little droid, she totally dissed me! See a video of Pepper the robot greet me, offer to take a souvenir photo of us together, then turn her back on me! Equally as enjoyable was the subsequent banter, that was exchanged via social media following our brief encounter. The person managing Pepper's Twitter account must be commended for her entertaining repartee. You can read the cute banter that took place between myself and "Pepper" during the conference - it was highly entertaining.
The second was a 3D food printer by a company called Dovetailed. The device, called the NuFood kitchen robot, spits out edible structures formed from liquid droplets that combine together to form different shaped flavours.
My third highlight was ThingWorx, a company which provides an apps platform that makes it easy for developers to build, deploy and evolve applications for the IoT. They had a feature-packed stand that had a prototype "digital twin" on display, in the form of a mountain bike packed full of sensors. They also had a fascinating case study that showed how Augmented Reality could be combined with their IoT platform to streamline repair and maintenance operations, as well as a live demo of a web-connected power generator developed by InVMA, a PTC ThingWorx Authorised Solution Provider.
During my visit to the stand I ran into John Chambers, who represented ThingWorx as a guest speaker at an IoT Conference I organised and hosted in Edinburgh, called IOT//EDI, which took place back in May 2015. You can see John taking part together with our other panellists, discussed the future of wearable technology. All the talks and panel sessions were filmed and are available to view online.
My final highlight was a startup called Hanhaa, which was located on Intel's stand. Even though the chip OEM had loads of interesting things on display that included a smart RFID clothing tag, and a bunch of funky-looking Basis Peak fitness trackers, "Parcel Live" by Hanhaa was the only thing that really grabbed my attention, because I think it will be game-changing within the logistics industry. It not only allows recipients to track the position of packages in real-time, but it also enables them to be monitored, in detail throughout the duration of their entire journey. This is because, in addition to containing a GPS tracker, each smart parcel also contains an accelerometer, a temperature sensor, a light sensor, and a humidity sensor.
Other stands I visited during my two days attending IoT Tech Expo, in no particular order, were:
SmartThings: makes it easy for anyone to turn a home into a smart home.
Ubuntu: a community developed operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers.
MediaTek Labs: maker of chips for wearable and other connected devices. The company sponsored a hardware hackathon that took place during the event.
Relayr: an IoT cloud platform for IoT devices. The company demoed their SDKs and a sensor kits that can be used by developers, primarily within the industrial IoT domain.
Aldebaran: Paris-based company that created Pepper, the first humanoid robot designed to live with humans. Read more about Pepper the robot in one of my previous posts.
Electric Imp: a company that provides a service platform that makes it simple to connect devices to the Internet.
FMXA: an agency that offers deep marketing integration expertise if you need a joined-up campaign from concept and strategy to execution.
Gemsense: a power-efficient solution that enables developers, product designers and businesses to quickly and effectively create a broad range of wearable technologies.
DroneX: a start-up that designs, builds and operates Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and related technologies for commercial and scientific customers.
AMA: a company that is one of only ten organisations world-wide certified as an official Google “Glass Partner”. It has developed a smart glasses teleassistance solution for the medical sector, called Xpert Eye, that has been adapted for industrial and enterprise clients.
SAM Labs: an IoT toolkit that empowers creatives, students and designers to innovate and build interactive prototypes, products and apps in seconds without any previous coding experience needed.
Primo: a game that improves the way technology and science is introduced to children through tangible play. Their first product launched with a successful Kickstarter campaign on the 22nd of November 2013.
Teddy the Guardian: a soft toy that's also a child monitor. A sensor in the paw can measure heart rate, oxygen saturation, and body temperature.
Craft ai: an artificial intelligence engine created for developers. The platform enablers A.I. to be embedded within mobile, web and IoT apps in minutes.
For a full list of exhibitors, head over to the official IoT Tech Expo website.
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