Till we meet and greet again

  • December 27, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Steve Rogerson looks forward to the IoT M2M Council’s online conference at January’s virtual Consumer Electronics Show.

As the dreaded 2020 comes to an end, my mind cannot help turning to what I missed, the places I should have gone but didn’t, the things I should have done but failed. Little did I know back in February when I arrived home after my trip to Embedded World in Nuremberg that the year would end without another overseas trip.

Overseas? Crikey, I have not even left Nottingham since then.

Normally, during this holiday period I would be doing some planning for up-and-coming trips, and the one that would be next would be very soon – the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This would have been an important show for the IoT M2M Council (IMC) as we would again be running the IoT Infrastructure pavilion.

Soon, hopefully, people will mingle again as at last year’s CES

Well, the show is going ahead but in a virtual format. How that will work in practice, we will have to wait and see but I am encouraged by the one-day online conference the IMC has planned as part of it for January 14.

One of the big discussions during the pandemic has been how to make workplaces and just as, if not more, importantly schools safe. Social distancing can be almost impossible to achieve in some workplaces and requires a serious degree of compliance from workers in others. Schools can be even more challenging. How do you get kids to keep apart from each other?

If the IoT can help will be explored by the opening panel of the conference, which will be moderated by Robin Duke Woolley, CEO of Beecham Research. Joining him will be Shannon Duvendack, partner at IoT Launch, Ghazaleh Jahromi, sales and partnership manager at Pod Group, and Dennis Kish, COO for Taoglas.

Together, they will be looking at how concepts such as artificial intelligence and machine learning can improve the well being of workers and students while maintaining efficiency. They will discuss technologies such as biometrics, voice enabled interfaces and remote sensors.

Nowhere have the benefits of IoT technology been more evident in the past year that in healthcare. As I said in a previous blog, there is nothing like a highly contagious global pandemic for focussing the mind on the benefits of remote patient monitoring.

Here, Anne Hoyer, founder of GSH Tech Agent, will moderate a panel discussing IoT edge technology for health and wellness applications. She will be joined by Scott Ellis, vice president of connectivity at Telit, Bryan Lubel, executive vice president at Kore, Scott Schwalbe, CEO of NimbeLink, and Jonathan Weiss, vice president for emerging technologies at Software AG.

The use of IoT technology investments in the health and wellness sector is expected to double by 2025. The panel will look at where that investment is going and how IoT infrastructure has changed to handle the new technologies that are seeing what was once worn now being implanted and ingested. This is more than just staying safe while dealing with Covid-19 patients, though that is obviously important, but exploring how these technologies are helping treat those with the likes of diabetes, asthma and heart disease.

The final panel will look at a subject close to my heart and that is how IoT technology is making our roads safer with features to help drivers and, maybe eventually, replace drivers altogether.

This panel will be moderated by Matt Hatton, founding partner of Transforma Insights, who will be helped by Syed Zaeem Hosain, CTO of Aeris, Stefania Sesia, head of automotive application marketing at U-Blox, Nathan Wade, regional account manager at Digi, and William Yan, president in the Americas for AVSystem.

What is happening in automotive today is unbelievably exciting. The path to what was once the science-fiction dream of self-driving cars is unfolding before our eyes. The emergence of low-latency 5G technology can transform these ideas into reality. But the journey must be taken with a degree of caution as we live in a world where some people are determined to exploit every security loophole they can find and the danger that could cause to road users is horrifying.

The panellists will look at how IoT technology is providing that balance between making driving safer while protecting us all from the nasty hackers. It won’t be easy, but that is true for anything worthwhile.

So, hopefully by 2022, the Consumer Electronics Show will once again attract incredibly large numbers of people to Las Vegas to be wowed while they interact physically with each other. Till then, our learning and education will remain virtual and it is good to see our industry rising to that challenge with conferences such as this.

Stay safe, we will meet again in person soon.

Detail of the conference can be found here.