Barcelona is known as the city of Antoni Gaudi and the city of the Genius. This fact was very much evident as I stepped into the Fira de Barcelona, Gran Via to attend the third edition of the IoT World Solutions Congress 2017.  The Congress is a global gathering with participation from 114 countries, a huge crowd of ~13,000 visitors, 250 speakers, and 240 exhibiting companies.

As I walked through the exhibition area to the auditorium, browsing through the solutions on display ranging from manufacturing, connected transport, healthcare, energy and utilities, and building and infrastructure, I realized Gartner was not wrong when they predict that by 2020, the IoT technology will be in 95% of electronics for new product designs.

Stepping into the auditorium to embark the three-day journey I wondered if I would be able to get all my unanswered queries about IoT resolved.

  1. Where would IoT be in the next five years? “This is a transitory phase, SMART environments would be an extension of oneself,” said Joe Paradiso, Lab Professor, MIT Media Lab in his keynote address. Joe introduced the audience to solutions which could detect human posture, moods and accordingly change the workplace environment.
  2. How secure would our devices be? Security is a consumer’s responsibility too. Mikko Hyponnen introduced us to the Hyponnen’s law: Whenever an appliance is described as being “smart,” it’s vulnerable. Why? We still have bad password practice; we never change the default password, segment the network or prevent the unauthorized change of the configurations. Privacy should be considered as new business opportunity said, John Ellis. Security should be built into the product, not added onto the product.
  3. Do we have any standards for IoT solutions? The IIRA (Industrial Internet of Things Reference architecture) and the IISF (Industrial Internet Security Framework) are some of the frameworks that have been developed by Industrial Internet Consortium. The IIRA (Industrial Internet of Things Reference architecture) provides architecture patterns for implementing IoT solutions whereas the IISF (Industrial Internet Security Framework) provides trustworthiness around IT and OT.
  4. Do we have an environment to test our solutions? Test Beds are our answer. These are platforms for testing new applications, processes, products, services and business models to ascertain their usefulness and viability before taking them to market.
  5. Is it only for modern systems? Legacy systems can be retrofitted for a digital makeover. HARTING presented connectors, device connection technology and network components that can achieve the same.

After the three days of intense learning and networking it was nothing, but it is evident that we are moving towards a connected world very fast. This is the just the beginning, the next revolution of innovation in IoT is yet to come… The Matrix Revolution in the making?