Digital Leaders Come Together to Debate the Internet of Things

January 30, 2013

EVRYTHNG hosts seminar, in association with ARM and Cass Business School

25 January 2013 – London.

EVRYTHNG, the Web of Things™ software company that makes products smart by connecting them to the Web, held a seminar yesterday, in partnership with ARM and Cass Business School, involving some of the digital industry’s leading voices, to discuss the reality of the Internet of Things.

Chaired by Brent Hoberman, representatives from companies such as Burberry, Cisco, Google, Clear Channel, Domestic and General, BERG, De Lage Landen and Shell, came together to discuss the technical challenges and business objectives, of the ‘Internet of Everything’ – and how brands should respond, as well as the impact on society.

This is a pivotal moment in the development of the Web which is bringing in objects – we now have an Internet of physical things as well as people and information. Clear trends emerged from the discussion, including:

For now, we can extend existing business models rather than invent new ones.

  • Pilgrim Beart, Director and Co-Founder of AlertMe commented that “the business model for the Web has been advertising, but machines don’t value advertising, so how are machines going to pay each other for data?”. Andy Hobsbawm, Founder and CMO of EVRYTHNG made the point that if brands are making their physical products smart with new personalized digital services, they can extend the existing Web models of marketing and commerce rather than reinventing entirely new business models.

Real innovation will come from the bottom up, but we still need top down players to make mass markets.

  • Matt Jones a principal of BERG talkd about the ‘LAN of Things’ (Local Area Network) rather than the Internet of Things, as consumer adoption will come from small, home innovations like improving your kitchen.
  • But Mattias Ljungman a partner at VC Atomico pointed out that consumers are never likely to pay for Internet of Everything services so it’s up to the brands and manufacturers to make it happen, and take a page from Steve Jobs’ playbook by showing the consumer what they need from the Internet of Things, even of they don’t know it yet.

Don’t think ‘big data’ in ‘the cloud’, it’s about vast amounts of ‘little data’, and there won’t just be one cloud but millions, all transient and forming spontaneously.

  • Niall Murphy, Founder and CEO of EVRYTHNG made the point that, “It’s less about ‘big data’ but more about networking together lots of ‘little data’”. The networking of ad-hoc, atomized data coming together will create dynamic new consumer services based on access rather than ownership. Such as hiring out the parking space outside your house when you’re not using it, for instance. This will drive Internet of Things innovation and a behavioral shift from the bottom up.
  • But Dr Caroline Wiertz from Cass Business School pointed out that the availability of data would need to be handled carefully as consumers’ attitudes towards privacy and data protection are changing, with even younger consumers wanting more control over how their data is being used by companies.

Is the cost of being ‘IoT ready’ a significant barrier to entry right now for businesses and manufacturers?

  • The affordability of chipsets to build connected products is now in the realm of Kickstarter, and the creation of connected physical things is happening on a smaller scale by people based around areas of specific passion – but it will need conceptual and technological people to come together.
  • Both ARM and Cisco talked about the need to help create connected infrastructure so grassroots innovation can thrive and grow. Although it was felt that that big incumbent players may have to go against their instincts to build a closed ecosystem if they want to play a valuable part in the future.

Smartphones and tablets are the hidden Internet of Things platform ready to close the gap between the physical and the digital worlds today.

  • What platform is going to be emerge as the common denominator and gain critical mass? What’s going to be the platform that people are going to develop for? EVRYTHNG’s view, which was endorsed up by Clear Channel and others, is that smartphones are already a ubiquitous platform in the home and represent a critical bridging technology and interface to make products smart, while we wait for brand new connected products to find their way en masse from factories to our living rooms and high streets.

Niall Murphy, Co-Founder CEO of EVRYTHNG commented: “The concept of how the Internet of Things could work in the future are all well and good, but for it to be truly relevant, it needs to work in today’s environment. Before the iPhone, all the important elements existed; it took Apple to bring them all together and provide the platform. That’s where we come in – we’re making the Web of Things happen today, and enabling it via the smartphone, a device with one of the best user experiences, something that’s already so familiar to us and something that already holds so much information about us. It’s all about making this happen now, rather than in the future.”

EVRYTHNG will be looking to hold further roundtables throughout the year to continue to gauge how technological, marketing and business sectors are approaching and developing around the Internet of Things.

About EVRYTHNG

EVRYTHNG is a Web of Things software company, making products smart by connecting them to the Web. EVRYTHNG helps manufacturers connect directly with customers and partners through their own products, using smartphones and intelligent identities for physical products on the Web.

The technology at the heart of making products smart is the EVRYTHNG Engine, which makes it easy to turn any physical thing into a channel for personalized digital services, one-to-one communications and ongoing relationships, tied to transactions.

By making products smart, EVRYTHNG’s technology helps world-leading brands get closer to their customers and access real-time data analytics about how their products are being made, sold and used.

To find out more about how EVRYTHNG is enabling the Web of Things today by powering the next revolution in customer interaction and product experiences, please visit evrythng.com and follow @ConnectEvrythng.

For further information please contact:

Cordelia Meacher
FieldHouse Associates
Cordelia@fieldhouseassociates.com
+44 (0) 7961 311080
@cordeliameacher
Neil Robertson
FieldHouse Associates
neil@fieldhouseassociates.com
+44 (0) 7739 322503
@neil_robertson
Nicole Hudspith
FieldHouse Associates
Nicole@fieldhouseassociates.com
+44 (0) 7789 184245
@nicolehudspith

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Judy Moon

Judy Moon

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