“Stop looking at your ‘things’ as … things”: IoT BBWF round-up

internet-of-things-picThere’s no doubt that a lot of people will be talking about the Internet of Things at this month’s Broadband World Forum, and it’s been no different here at the Official Broadband World Forum Blog over the last few months, with a host of contributors turning their attention to the oncoming tech revolution many think is going to eclipse even mobile in terms of its disruptive power and influence.

Indeed, a guest post from Amdocs pointed to expectations that “the connected car revolution… will hit $17 billion by 2018” adding that “the number of M2M device connections worldwide is set to grow from less than 0.5 billion at the end of 2013 to 3.4 billion by 2024.”.

Many of our guest bloggers similarly touched upon the expected future omnipresence of IoT – and its implications. “For digital media within the home,” said Intel, “a home gateway solution… must handle a growing number of connected devices including IoT and smart appliances.” As for what was motivating consumer interest in wearables and other connected devices, BlogsRelease CEO Eti Nachum took to these pages to argue that the key driver was all about mobility: “mobility is what should be on the forefront of priorities for broadband developers,” Eti stressed.

Meanwhile Jim Hunter of Greenwave Systems encouraged our readers to almost completely reconfigure their heads in readiness for IoT:

To leverage the opportunity before us, let’s start by changing our perspective. Stop looking at your “things” as … things. Instead, start seeing them as people or, more specifically, employees. If you make this simple association, the way that you think about interacting with things — yours and others — changes drastically.

Backing up all the hype and fervour, however, was Ovum, and their Road to 2025 research project that was covered both here and here. Report co-author Steven Hartley encapsulates the potential commercial benefits of IoT thus:

The ability to cost-effectively connect more things through IoT, which itself is enabled by low cost sensors, processing, connectivity and Cloud computing… enables companies to control, analyse and optimize more elements of their business processes.

The long and short of it all, in the words of Hartley’s fellow Ovum analyst Nick Thomas (also interviewed), is that “IoT is the number one topic of interest to our clients across the board.”

So much for the future. But as for the present, we also spoke to Broadband World Forum panellists Martin Reeves (CEO of Coventry City Council) and Roy Grant (Head of ICT at City of York Council) about how Coventry and York were laying the foundations for future, smarter cities in the present.

Ultimately, of course, the main insights will be had at the event itself, where, among other IoT dedicated sessions, Tim Whitley (Managing Director, Research and Innovation, BT) will be looking at monetzing IoT, Alon Bar (Portfolio & Solutions Management Marketing, Amdocs) will be examining IoT revenue opportunity, while Telefónica I+D, Telekom Srbija and the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau will be participating in an interactive debate asking ‘How Can Telcos Offer Value Beyond Just Routing Data?’

This year’s Broadband World Forum promises to be as great a place as ever to prepare for the future…

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