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!
I'm sure however that I will suffer from a minor pang of FOMO because both Barcelona and Berlin, where the other two events are due to take place, are both fantastic cities. Furthermore they both boast equally impressive schedules and speaker lineups, but more about those two events later. With regards to the Europas, the event will take place 13-15 June, but my IoT panel will be an afternoon affair on the 14th between 4.20pm and 4.40pm. My guest speakers are Andy Hobsbawm (Evrything), Thomas Nicholls (Sigfox), Kirstin Hancock (Blue Maestro), and Gilli Coston (Kore Wireless), and we will discuss how connecting everything will affect not just commerce and industry, but society at large. I'm particularly excited about moderating this panel, because I will get to meet some really interesting and intelligent people, and also get to talk about two of my favourite subjects; the future of technology and the IoT.
During my research, I discovered that, according to Cisco, there are estimated to be around 1.5 trillion devices globally which could benefit from becoming a part of the IoT. If true, that would mean only 1.5% of all devices are currently connected. This feeds directly into the theme of the panel; once everything becomes connected, what will the world look like? Only those attending will be able to join the discussion as it won't be live streamed, but I will do my best to write a follow on post that will cover what was discussed. Spoiler alert, topics will include cyber security, privacy, energy consumption, infrastructure, and storage capacity, and I do plan on playing devil's advocate by asking my panelists about what potential threats and opportunities the IoT poses now, and in future. In addition to discussing a few "bad world" scenarios, I will also give them ample opportunity to share how they think humanity will ultimately benefit when everything becomes connected.
In addition to hosting the IoT panel, I am also very much looking forward to hearing talks from people like Julia Hartz (Eventbrite), Dave McClure (500 Startups), Lesley Eccles (FanDuel), Kate Unsworth (Vitaya), and many more (check out the full speaker lineup). As well as tech start-up entrepreneurs, a significant number of angel investors, and representatives from some of Europe's leading venture capital firms will also be in attendance. I wasn't able to attend last year, but I did attend the previous one. At that event we were treated to a rather unusual and extremely unforgettable performance by bearded drag queen and Eurovision winner, Conchita Wurst. The entertainment value alone is worth the ticket price!
Moving on to other two June events. First up is IoT Tech Expo (Berlin), which will take place on the 13-14 June but, as previously mentioned, I won't be able to attend. However, looking at the agenda and speaker lineup, those who plan to attend are in for a treat. Speakers on the day will include Dr Luc Julia (Samsung), Manoella Wilbur (DHL), Ugur Rrenoglu (Vodafone), Jesper Toubol (Lego), Richard Harless (Shazam), Ronan Stephan (GE), Scott Lyons (Ford), and Pepper the Robot! The reason why I'm in a position to confidently recommend IoT Tech Expo (full disclosure: WEB3//IOT is an official media partner), is based on the assumption that it will be similar to a previous event, also organised by Encore, that took place in London earlier this year. Although the highlight was meeting Pepper the robot (the feeling wasn't mutual), I did enjoy the talks and found the expo area to be an excellent networking opportunity. You can check out my highlights of IoT Tech Expo (London), and if you'd like to come along next year, it will take place on 23-24 Jan 2017 at London Olympia. We have two Gold Passes up for grabs worth €1,090 to give away, but you need to hurry! In order to qualify, you must follow @iottechexp and tweet the hashtag #WEB3IoTTechExpo by 8.30pm GMT 9 June 2016! A winner will be selected at random, and will be notified via Twitter DM.
Next up is the 2nd Annual IoT Global Innovation Forum, which will take place on 14-16 June in Barcelona. This event will cover a broad range of verticals including smart homes, medical, smart grid, consumer electronics, energy management, urban infrastructure management, to name but a few. The event is intended for everyone from entrepreneurs and senior business executives, to technology pioneers, and growth strategists. Speakers will include Anthony Murray (Qualcomm), Marc Jadoul (Nokia), Denis Makoshenko (Intel), Dr Latif Ladid (IPv6 Forum), and Emil Berthelsen (Machina Research).
As previously mentioned, I have become a huge fan of Barcelona, and like many people in the tech industry, the reason for my initial visit was to attend Mobile world Congress, which took place earlier this year. During the week of my trip, I got the opportunity to witness firsthand a smart city success story. Although I can't compare what the city was like before the initiative commenced, I could clearly see how those that live, work and visit are now able to reap the benefits of a programme that commenced around five years ago.The aim of the initiative was to enhance services throughout the city by utilising a combination of different connected technologies, as a result almost 90% of Barcelona's homes benefit from the city's super fast fibre network. In addition, the upgraded broadband infrastructure now provides Wi-Fi above and below ground which, as we discovered on our visit during MWC, was hugely appreciated. In addition to the convenience of having ubiquitous connectivity, I was also able to reduce the amount of data my phone consumed via 4G, which costs an arm and a leg when roaming abroad.
Other benefits from embedding sensors throughout the city include reduced congestion, less pollution, more efficiently irrigated parks, smart lighting; resulting in tens of millions of Euros in annual savings. This is why it is becoming a hub for tech startups, and innovation, and such an attractive location to hold an IoT conference. It looks like there are still tickets available, so click here to register.
In addition to the aforementioned events, others I'd like to draw your attention to include London Technology Week which is a series of events that will take place throughout the capital between the 20th and 26 June, and the Future of Wireless International Conference (London 21-22 June). To view a full list of IoT events, please head over to the WEB3//IOT events calendar.
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