Trend report from IoT Solution World Congress Barcelona

Barcelona is probably the perfect mix of wonderful food, marvelous drinks and a strong nest for IoT-technology trends. LumenRadio was of course present at the IoT Solution World Congress, participating in the discussion and contributing by sharing our experiences.

This year the exhibition IoT Solution World Congress 2017 (IOTSWC 17) exceeded expectations and delivered a sparkling mix of really interesting trends.

Compared to IOTSWC 16 we see more focus on concrete applications and many of the exhibiting companies are showcasing real use cases that have been deployed. Quite the opposite of last year’s IOTSWC, when we talked about visions and what value IoT could bring to the table in the future.

Focus on the Edge

At IOTSWC 17 the focus was on the Edge and how devices connect within it. We can see giants like Microsoft, Intel and Google showcasing solutions for the Edge and the southbound devices, that is the sensors and actuators below the Edge.

The EdgeX Foundry project, which aims to build a common open framework for IoT Edge computing, has got quite a momentum. Since the project started in April 2017 more than 60 members have joined, including Samsung, Dell/RSA, Cumulocity and many more. Quite a few of the EdgeX member companies were exhibiting. Seen from a hardware perspective this confirms the importance of having computing capabilities in the devices and a gateway solution that stands up to the task. I can only agree on the importance of having computing capabilities within the Edge – the devices are creating value!

Intel’s GM of IoT, Jonathan Ballon, confirms this and says “Value is being created within the Edge and the cloud.”* In other words, what Jonathan is saying is that value is not only being created in the cloud, which was the general opinion just one year ago. I really agree when he says that we see that IoT currently is being reignited.

IoT is happening!

Furthermore we see that wireless connectivity is in focus, in particular meshing technologies. For example, this year we can see the Bluetooth SIG exhibiting, which otherwise is an unusual sight. For me and my colleagues it has been busy days in the LumenRadio booth, much busier than IOTSWC 16. There is a great interest in wireless connectivity solutions for devices and this is of course in line with the increased focus on the Edge. To succeed in creating value at the Edge, Future-Proof Connectivity is a necessity. The typical topics we’ve been discussing are:

  • Ultra-low power battery operation
  • Firmware update capabilities
  • Device computing capacity
  • Wireless standards
  • The importance of reliable and secure connectivity

Those are the key challenges for device-to-device connectivity within the Edge and are being taken seriously at this year’s IOTSWC. Me and my colleagues are leaving IOTSWC with a great feeling – IoT has passed the phase of disillusionment and is on the slope of enlightenment. IoT is happening for real, and we’re on the Edge of something great!