Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Connected World Conference 2015

This week I've been attending the Connected World Conference 2015, hosted here in Birmingham,  Alabama.  Connected World's editor-in-chief, Peggy Smedley, hosts a weekly radio program that focuses on the Internet of Things (IoT) which their industry has called M2M for many years before the IoT tag came along.   Peggy's website has a great tutorial on the Machine To Machine networking technologies and the many ways in which they communicate, but I think nothing really brought the point home to me until I attended the Connected World Awards dinner last night.

If you are thinking about Cyber Security and the Internet of Things, here are quite a few interesting applications I learned about in the dinner last night.  The full range of Connected World Award winners are listed here, but these were a few that really caught my attention.

AT&T Drive Studio - The AT&T Drive Studio in Atlanta, Georgia - The AT&T Drive Studio™ is the first connected car innovation center in the U.S. to be opened by a wireless carrier. And AT&T is inviting the world's most innovative companies and developers to come create the future of connected cars.

ApartmentGuardian, powered by RacoWireless, won the Gold award in the PERS category.  Property managers can use the technology in many ways, from protecting their Lone Workers with a personal safety button (reminiscent of the "I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up!" button that you might buy for your grandmother) to a system for identifying guests to the property in a combined ID card and biometrics solution for visitors to the property, and innovative Security Panels.  The use of low-power radio technology as a backup to "wall power" for keeping your building security and alarm systems online and active during power failures.

Two companies won awards in the Lighting/Manufacturing category.  In both situations the recipients, Atlantic States and Clow Water Systems, were able to achieve amazing savings in both energy and true financial savings by putting in intelligent lighting systems.  Synapse Wireless allows the light fixtures in both organizations to be controlled remotely and through connecting all of the lights in a "Mesh" system - a cloud of lighting services that are in constant communications with one another.

SNAP LightSense from Synapse Wireless

Mesh Systems was the IoT-enabler for BUNN who received an award in the Remote Equipment Management category.   You have heard of the IoT refrigerator, but BUNN has created the IoT Coffee pot!

One of the most interesting M2M applications was SOLARKIOSK, which is using Gemalto's Cinterion modules to deliver remote connectivity and a web-interface for monitoring power production to a mobile unit about the size of a food truck that can be deployed in remote areas, including extremely rural Africa, to provide power and cellular connectivity to areas that lack reliable power.  The first such unit was featured in this story "First SolarKiosk opened in Ethiopia."  The creator, Lars Krückeberg, was featured in a TED talk about the technology as well.

The IoT enables some interesting Fleet Management capabilities as well.  CalAmp and the City of Dayton received an award for their system for monitoring and protecting their fleet of 210 snow removal vehicles.  The system, called GovOutlook, turns itself on when a key is inserted into a vehicle, and requires a City of Dayton employee id badge to be scanned to prevent lockdown and alarming.  The system also provides safety for the drivers, who are out on the roads, often in the middle of the night, plowing the 1800 lane miles of snow-covered roads in the city of Dayton.

The focus of our Connected World Conference this year has been on Cyber Security ... speakers including myself and John Grimes from UAB, JD Sherry from Trend Micro, Seth Danberry from Grid32, Jonathan Ratner from Sixgill, Brian Zaugg from Authentic8 and others joined to share our thoughts on Cyber Security to those who have come from the Internet of Things / Machine 2 Machine world.  I was glad I participated and learned much more about the IoT world!

Thanks, Peggy!

To learn more about the IoT, please do check out Connected World Magazine and check in with the Peggy Smedley Radio show.

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