Here’s what I love about IoT conferences: There is so much excitement about what is possible. Each one is like a mini CES and because they are smaller you have a better chance of seeing what is going on and interacting with the creators of products and solutions.
I’ll be at IoT Influencers Summit next Tuesday at the 49ers stadium so today I took the time to go through the agenda. Here is info on three important sessions I’ll be attending. I also threw in a couple of notes on a bonus session for you that I, unfortunately, will miss because of a commitment to speak via video conference to EE and CS students at Zhejiang University later that evening. If you have time to attend the IoT Influencers Summit and haven’t registered, go here to do it and use code JB30 for 30% off.
Important Session #1: Main Stage, 8:15am-Creating Value with the Internet of Things
The first session in the morning starts bright and early and the early bird gets the worm in this case when Bruce Sinclair presents on how to create value with IoT. If you are not in IoT to make money, then move over and let the rest of the world learn from your mistakes. As technology lovers sometimes we love technology a little too much and love looking in the mirror to do market research. We can’t do both of those things all of the time and still create value in IoT. Sinclair holds a monthly meetup focused on value from IoT and this value-driven IoT addict is a regular attendee. Sinclair also has a podcast with in-depth interviews of key influencers in the IoT space. His session promises to be worth getting to Santa Clara early.
Important Session #2: Main Stage, 3pm-Solving Interoperability
I’m really looking forward to hearing from Michael Wolf in person. I’ve listened to him on The Smart Home Show for what seems like forever in the lifetime of the smart home. If you’re a smart home fan and haven’t tuned in, do so and enjoy. Wolf will lead a discussion on interoperability, a HUGE issue in the IoT space. So many people are trying to solve this problem in different ways.
inHome, the IoT hardware startup I worked at last year, tried to solve the problem by creating a piece of hardware in as many verticals as possible and also do it on a unique platform that wasn’t interoperable with any other platform initially (although it was on the roadmap, this approach was easier given the unsettled platform wars and other issues where control was preferred initially over interoperability). Its sad when the only proof of a former startup is through a web archive but I wouldn’t trade the lessons learned. Creating hardware for everything isn’t the answer, even if its darn cool to control up to 250 devices of 7 different device types through one app.
I’ve chatted many times over the past 18 months with both Muzzley and Yonomi, both app of app control solutions for IoT devices (if inHome were still alive I’d be getting my hardware into their apps and if you’re a hardware maker you should too). App for apps is a different approach to solving the problem through software. They are both focused on control for the customer, essentially becoming a universal remote control for the connected home. Sounds good, but when you get into the nitty gritty, which I hope to see happen at this session, it gets complex-too complex for the average consumer.
Interoperability is a problem we have to solve in the IoT space before the products can go main stream. We cannot have people feeling like they are working for their IoT devices, their IoT devices need to work for them (gotta throw that WorkTechWork mantra in here…it is super important).
Important Session #3: Main Stage, 3:50pm-The Rise of Intelligent Buildings
With 9 years of real estate technology project management and implementations under my belt, IoT for the building is more than interesting. There is something special about IoT enabled building automation, management and energy solutions that set them far apart from smart home solutions. Both buildings and homes benefit from IoT solutions for energy efficiency and security. But while the home offers relatively little money for the homeowner beyond these two things, smart building solutions also offer savings in the form of operational efficiencies. You’ve seen what I’ve said about Intel’s smart building solutions Here, about smart apartments Here, and about Telesense Here. I hope to have good things to say in the future after this session.
PS I’m in the middle of doing a deep dive into smart buildings and building a team for VLAB around the topic. Want to get involved? Give me a buzz.
Bonus for You: Main Stage, 5:30pm-Postcards From The Edge
Don’t be like me and miss this session. Robert Scoble is always interesting and has a knack for getting people to talk about technology in ways that make it seem like the world really is going to go around better and faster. Attending a full day of IoT sessions and then doing nothing different is a waste of time. Check this session out to answer the question, “Where do we go from here?”