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By 2020, there will be 21 billion connected gadgets worldwide. The Internet of Things impacts every industry out there, offering countless opportunities for workload automation, cost reduction and revenue growth. If you are an IoT vendor or consider becoming one, you need to keep your finger on the pulse and participate in dedicated IoT events. Here’s our list of the most important IoT conferences and summits of 2016 & 2017.
Internet of Things: top 7 events of 2016 and 2017
- International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) January 6-9, 2016, Las Vegas, USA. The famous annual exhibition takes place in Las Vegas and showcases latest technologies and products. Although these products are not always market-ready and may be well ahead of their time, the exhibition sheds some light on consumer electronics trends and creates buzz around future releases. The 2016 event gathered over 3.6 thousand companies from around the globe and was all about IoT. According to CNet, most of the gadgets presented during the show were “old things with major updates” (including wearables with prolonged battery life and the oversized Ehang 184 drone which can carry a person in it). Having said that, the Internet of Things solutions are getting mature, acquire new capabilities and become niche. The Daqri Smart Helmet, for example, does not simply use Virtual/Augmented Reality like Oculus Rift or Google Glass; instead, the device is intended to improve working conditions for production and construction employees. New self-driving, semi-autonomous and next generation electric cars (including the $30 thousand Chevrolet Bolt with a 200 mile per charge rate) gained attention, too – as well as Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator which was released to the market a couple of months later.
The 2017 Consumer Electronics Show will take place in Las Vegas on January 6-8.
Why attend? Although none of these gadgets will change the consumer electronics landscape overnight, the CES event will help you keep up with the latest IoT trends, study the competition and draw inspiration for your future projects.
- Bosch ConnectedWorld March 9-10 and September 27-28, 2016, Berlin, Germany/Chicago, USA. During the 2016 events William Ruh (General Electric), Joyce Mullen (Dell), Nathan Anderson (Bain & Company) and other industry leaders revealed their IoT case studies and best practices to show how connected technologies were transforming their businesses. During the Chicago IoT conference Bosch also announced partnership with General Electric. The two companies plan to develop device communication standards for their Internet of Things platforms and enable complimentary software services. Business executives urged companies to start investing in new tech ASAP. According to Joyce Mullen, 30% of the current Fortune 500 companies will be outpaced by their tech-savvy competitors by 2018 (and the trend stretches far beyond the IT tycoon domain).
The next Bosch event will be held on March 15-16 in Berlin.
Why attend? Bosch is one of the biggest IoT vendors out there and will continue spending $ 550 million on new tech annually. Unlike many of their rivals, the company understands the industrial Internet of Things market and defines business cases out of new technologies. Volkmar Denner, CEO at Bosch, claims IoT has the potential to add the value of $ 500 billion to the German industrial sector within 10 years. Taking part in ConnectedWorld conferences is a perfect opportunity to gain a better insight into IIoT trends and make strategic partnerships.
- M2M World Congress April 26-27, 2016 London, UK. M2M World Congress is the world’s leading Internet of Things conference on machine to machine communication, platforms, hardware and software. The event usually attracts CEOs and tech entrepreneurs from all M2M verticals including transportation, asset management, retail, home automation and healthcare. The 2016 congress was attended by the representatives of Huawei, Orange, Sprint, Nokia and other telecommunication companies. During the conference Huawei and Vodafone announced the opening of their Open IoT Lab which will provide testing, verification and certification services to software vendors and smart gadget manufacturers. The M2M industry leaders also presented the results of their independent surveys and made IoT forecasts for the near future.
The date and place of the 2017 M2M World Congress have yet to be announced.
Why attend? Small companies seldom possess the required budgets and research facilities to study the Internet of Things market and estimate a product’s chances for success. M2M World is the place where you can learn how much the Internet of Things market will be worth within 4 years, define potential use cases for your product and understand your target audience better.
- Internet of Things Forum May 10-12, 2016, Santa Clara, USA. The Santa Clara forum was one of the biggest IoT and M2M events of 2016 and attracted 375 industry experts and over 150 exhibitors. The event also saw a whopping 74% increase in attendance (over 10 thousand participants). According to Gavin Whitechurch, the founder of Internet of Things World, companies no longer just consider IoT – instead, they create real-world solutions. Infrastructure solutions, the development of the home automation market, security challenges and the Industrial Internet of Things were among the crucial issues discussed during the conference. The forum’s startup section featured over 70 tech entrepreneurs from around the world who had the opportunity to present their products to experts and compete for their share of the prize fund.
Make sure to register for the 2017 Internet of Things Forum taking place in Santa Clara on May 16-18.
Why attend? In case you’re a startup, you should definitely participate in the Internet of Things Forum startup hackathon. Even if you don’t win big, you might receive enough cash to arrange a decent crowdfunding campaign (and that’s not to mention media hype).
- Intelligent Cities Summit November 8-9, 2016 Toronto, Canada. The world’s biggest cities like London, New York and Tokyo grow by 1 million inhabitants every week. By 2050, 70% of the global population will live in megapolises. As a result, municipal authorities seek new ways to locate newcomers, manage waste and reduce energy and water consumption. Here’s where smart cities come in handy. Smart commercial buildings, homes, transportation companies and utility sector already use 1.6 billion connected devices – and more is to come. By 2020, the global Smart Cities market could reach $ 1.5 trillion. The 2016 Intelligent Cities Summit gathered Canadian municipalities as well as special guests from Barcelona, New York and London who shared their experience of implementing smart city solutions. The event was sponsored by IBI, Oracle and Microsoft.
In case you’ve missed the Toronto forum, you can participate in the Smart Cities Summit which will be held in Boston on December 6-7.
Why attend? If you consider entering the Smart City market or look for potential partners and customers, you’ve got an incredible opportunity to learn how high tech cities reduce traffic congestion, minimize the environmental impact of urbanization and improve asset management using IoT solutions – and sign career-changing contracts, of course. The speaker lineup includes Lani Ingram (Verizon), Nichole Mace (Zipcar), Assaf Biderman (MIT) and Dr. Robert Griffin (US Department of Homeland Security).
- IoT Security Foundation December 6, 2016 London, UK. According to 2015 Business Insider survey, 39% of companies do not invest in connected solutions due to IoT-related security and privacy concerns. Although there have been no major IoT security breaches so far (with the exception of hacked refrigerators, baby monitors and insulin pumps), the situation will change for the worse once more businesses jump on the IoT bandwagon. The Internet of Things Security Foundation was established in 2015. The organization’s major purpose is to develop universal IoT security standards (which differ from those implemented by desktop and mobile software developers) and share the knowledge with the community. The 2016 conference speaker lineup features Joe Milbourn (The Technology Partnership), Aapo Markkanen (Machina Research), Martin Borrett (IBM Security Europe), Ross Anderson (University of Cambridge) and other security experts.
Why attend? By 2018, smart sensors will be generating 400 zettabytes of data annually. Most connected devices use slow processors and do not support encrypted communications. Through 2017, 75% of mobile apps (which enable users to operate IoT solutions) will fail basic security tests due to misconfigurations. If you release an unsecure gadget to the market, you’ll compromise your customers and ruin your professional reputation. By attending the IoT Security conference, you can learn how the industry leaders secure their smart solutions and share your own experience with fellow entrepreneurs.
- Internet of Things World Forum 2017 (date and location to be added). In case you’re an established IoT vendor, you might receive an invitation to take part in the 4th IoT World Forum. The event – pretty much like its 2015 forerunner – is expected to change the Internet of Things landscape and set new trends in IoT development. During the 2015 Dubai forum General Electric, Cisco, Siemens AG and Visa highlighted IoT opportunities across multiple industries, presented 25 business cases, defined road maps to IoT deployment and identified service providers’ and software vendors’ roles in facilitating the Internet of Things adoption. Also, Cisco held its Innovation Grand Challenge competition for 6 startups who had the opportunity to pitch their ideas to potential investors and win $ 250 thousand in cash. The forum was attended by over 2 thousand industry and government leaders.
Why attend? The annual Internet of Things World Forum is the place where IoT trends, best practices and standards are defined – and that’s why its organizers restrict the attendance to “by invitation only”. Provided your IoT project attracts the attention of IT leaders, you may qualify for the World Forum A-list.
Taking part in IoT conferences is a great opportunity to attract potential investors and showcase your product. The stakes are high, and you can’t show up with just an idea and PowerPoint presentation. Provided you address a reliable vendor who will help you create Proof of Concept, high performance software and decent prototypes, a tech event may give the necessary boost to your IoT career.