IoT 2014: the things to remember

By Marie 26-08-2014


The IoT World 2014 edition has taken place in Palo Alto California last June 17th and 18th. Louis Montagne was there and revisits for us this high-profile conference.

Louis, what can you tell us about this event in a few words?

IoT World is a two-day conference in Palo Alto led by Gavin Whitechurch. It shows how Internet of Things is vibrant and dynamic despite being a quite new industry. It’s a true revolution, just as was the Industrial Revolution in its time! There are now so many objects: for industries of course, but most of all objects for you and me that are massively adopted by the general public. Everything becomes connected and this shift passes through objects and IoT.

Speaking of connection, what is the link between af83 and Internet of Things?

IoT is an important part of the digital transformation, and we’re adding it to our expertise scope to always be of better help to our clients. From vision and strategy to connected objects and applications crafting, including use, user protection and data acquisition strategies and even business model design: at af83 we master the whole value chain!

The program seems pretty dense this year… Can you tell us about the sessions that made a big impact on you?

Of course; I’ll try to keep it short… but it’s going to be difficult!

Let’s start with Qaizar Hassonjee, the head of Digital Innovation at Adidas

One of his key programs is the miCoach Elite ecosystem. His approach is that objects have to measure people, not what they’re doing, and that everything wearable is going to do this. But it’s more than that: each object and feature has to be personalized – he even says “individualized”: because each athlete, each user is unique.

This is why UX is key at the strategic level. It’s going to guide and lead the whole design with questions such as: how to drive the data gathered, or manage all the objects knowing that everybody is not going to use them all. Their solution is creating an ecosystem; promoting openness, offering an open API program around their main features: coach training, community and work out data…

Well, digital transformation is on the way at Adidas, no doubt. You were speaking of ecosystem; it seems to be a key aspect of IoT…

It is. Philip Poulidis, VP&GM Mobile & IOT at Marvell presented the strength of ecosystems in IoT market in his session. The strength – or rather the necessity! To be successful, you have to be able to create a real ecosystem around your product, and to open it enough to become de facto a platform (even if you don’t present it like that).

The companies that have today this power are not that many. In my opinion, it’s an opportunity for big companies established on older models: they can position themselves and use their experience to create such communities and little by little add services to their products, connect them, analyze data, have more impact, and iterate.

Interesting point of view… Do you have actual examples of big companies?

Salesforce to begin; Reid Carlberg (Main Developer Evangelist at Salesforce) presented what they achieved under the “developer community animation” perspective, but there are true business stakes in play. He suggests this progression: Creativity, Innovation and Industrialization.

There are more and more objects and devices people take hold of, it makes a huge playground for creativity… He started with a simple question: what can you do with an electric train, an Arduino and Salesforce? Well, wimply expose APIS to collect data on the train and control it. So they launched the Dreamforce connected lab.

Afterwards comes innovation: finding a good use case and building a top-of-the-notch user experience, then building the community and structuring collaboration to allow developer experience and remix. Finally you have to find de right data and present them the good way to allow non-technical integration and industrialization. It gave birth to the Salesforce Wear dev pack that allows Saleforces to go towards IoTRM – extending CRM to the data provided by the connected objects.

IoT definitely gets to many more industries that what could be imagined at first sight… I assume it’s a booming market?

Indeed! David Obodovski, “The silent intelligence: the Internet of Thingsauthor, presented the IoT market being in an exponential growth, and as such a challenge for investors. He then talked about what he calls the “chain reaction”, a three-stroke economic model: starting first with a simple model, selling the hardware and offering the software (there’s a market for more expensive connected objects), going towards a model of data selling, then finally becoming an IoT broker.

This final model lies mainly on the ecosystem quality and trust (between the partners and from the users). The privacy issues are by the way going to be more important with the IoT market development: we’ll have to foresee this and defend the user.

Thanks Louis for this peak at IoT World 2014. It reflects the potentiality and dynamism of this young industry.



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