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CONNECTIONS: The Premier Connected Home Conference -- Register by 4/1

New Parks Associates research reveals that 26% of U.S. broadband households own at least one smart home device, equating to more than 26 million households. The way consumers are purchasing smart home devices has shifted in the past two years. Smart home products are typically sold as standalone devices, as devices bundled with services, or as devices bundled with multiple components. Between 2014 and 2016, the share of sales as standalone devices increased for more than a dozen smart home product categories.  

At the upcoming 21st-annual CONNECTIONS Conference, Parks Associates and other industry experts will address the adoption, purchase channels, and growth strategies for smart home devices and services. The executive conference, held May 23-25, 2017 in San Francisco, examines the use cases and emerging business models to successfully engage consumers and grow revenues in the converging IoT industries, including smart home, connected entertainment, and mobile ecosystems.

A research workshop, “Smart Home and IoT: Growth, Consumer Trends”, will be held on the first day of the event, prior to the opening keynote by IoTC Advisor Sridhar Solur, SVP, Product & Development for Xfinity Home, Internet of Things, and Data Services, Comcast.

Research from Parks Associates on the growth of the smart home includes:

  • More than one-fourth of U.S. broadband households now own a smart home device.
  • Nearly three-fourths U.S. broadband households have an Internet-connected entertainment device.
  • The majority of U.S. broadband households are willing to pay more than $20 per month for a comprehensive smart home system.
  • 95% of U.S. broadband households use one or more mobile phones.
  • 10% of U.S. broadband households are likely to cancel their fixed broadband Internet service over the next 12 months.
  • 8% of U.S. broadband households plan to purchase a plug-in electric vehicle in next 12 months.
  • 45% of U.S. broadband households are very concerned about unauthorized access regarding smart home devices.

The industry is in a transformative phase. In the past year, voice control features from products such as Amazon Echo and Google Home have demonstrated new user experiences. Consumers are embracing these innovations and quickly developing new use cases, signaling the beginning of another major shift in technology adoption. Keynote speakers addressing the future of the connected home include:

  • Matt Eyring, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Vivint Smart Home
  • Kristine Faulkner, Senior Vice President / General Manager, COX Homelife, Cox Communications
  • Miles Kingston, GM of Smart Home, Intel
  • IoTC Advisor Sridhar Solur, Senior Vice President, Product & Development for Xfinity Home, Internet of Things and Data Services, Comcast

For more information on CONNECTIONS: The Premier Connected Home Conference, visit www.connectionsus.com

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IoT Executive Roundtable: What the Intel-Mobileye Deal Means for the Connected Car Industry

This week’s focus is on the connected car industry and more specifically, the enormous Intel-Mobileye deal.  Here's what our insiders shared:

Kurt Hoppe, Global Head of Innovation, Connected Cars,  General Motors

What does Intel’s $15.3B acquisition of Mobileye mean for the IoT industry at large? Intel’s acquisition of Mobileye confirms the IoT industry continues to permeate mainstream ecosystems and devices, in this case mass-market automotive electronics. Intel is a high-volume, mass-market, semiconductor producer, so this acquisition tells the world that ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) are no longer a feature that will be limited to high-end, niche market, luxury cars. Many of the next billion cars to roll off the assembly line over the next decade will incorporate such IoT technologies which enable constantly improving connected consumer (and fleet) services. Intel was clearly ready to increase their exposure to this large and rapidly growing IoT market of Connected Cars, much like Samsung (who recently acquired Harman) and Qualcomm (who acquired NXP) over the past year.
 
Do you expect this to trigger a flurry of M&A activity around autonomous driving technology? Individuals, companies and investors have been recognizing next-gen automotive electronics and services opportunities over the past 6-12 months. I shifted from Smart Home to Connected Car myself in 2016 to help General Motors’ develop more of an IoT perspective on innovation activities.  Autonomous driving is clearly an exciting story that is unfolding rapidly for many players, but in my opinion, the Mobileye acquisition is more of a validation of the larger, immediate, global Connected Car growth opportunity. The underlying automotive software, sensors, and processors will need to be updated over the next 5 years. So, as in any industry, companies with unique technology, talented founders, and large global automotive customers will continue to be M&A targets.
 
Does this accelerate the timeline of when driverless and connected cars become ubiquitous? Connected Cars are increasingly commonplace in North America, as well as many parts of Europe and Asia. Analysts are predicting 50% of new car shipments will be connected within 2 to 3 years, and hundreds of millions of cars will be connected in less than five. This is like Smart TV in 2012 as an industry and product category undergo massive disruption, providing opportunities for new and existing technology players to layer their solutions onto the new platforms. For 1-2 ton devices that can travel at 80 miles per hour, there is a significant interest in leveraging beneficial technologies like Mobileye’s to ubiquitously improve safety features and ADAS. I have been around long enough to know that changes in mass market consumer behavior usually take longer than the early adopters want, but I am thankful to have a front row seat in this adventure.

Linda Bernardi, Founder & CEO, StraTerra Partners, LLC

What does Intel’s $15.3B acquisition of Mobileye mean for the IoT industry at large? The recent acquisition of Mobileye by Intel is definitely a spark in the momentum of the IoT Industry. Intel as a chip manufacturer (the ‘thing’ that goes into all other things) is a natural player in IoT, but for the last few years has taken a back seat in this space. This is not to say Intel does not do a ton with IoT, but has had a hard time establishing a vision and leadership in the space of IoT beyond being a component manufacturer. Let’s add to this that the IoT space is still quite young (despite analyst reports putting the devices in the billions -- in reality we have a way to go). This move by Intel means it is clearly getting in the IoT space.
 
What is not clear at this time is if Mobileye is going to operate as stand-alone autonomous car sensing company or become integrated into the larger Intel space. I had this same question when Intel picked up Nervana in the AI space about 6 months ago. Is Intel going to go into the AI space or is it just stacking the deck to have all options?  With a price tag of $15B (not a normal spend by Intel) one might say this is significant. It's worth noting that the $5B+ portfolio of startups in Intel Capital also is a great place to look at where technologies can integrate. IoT spending is at a rise; perhaps at a hype level at this time. The key pivot point will happen WHEN these IoT devices start integrating and delivering real time essential results to customers, and not just connecting…
 
Do you expect this to trigger a flurry of M&A activity around autonomous driving technology? Yes: driverless cars are coming. Let’s think of this as an advance deposit by Intel -- to get the right to play in this space -- as it has not established this independently prior to this acquisition. So we are going to see more hyped-up investments because investors globally feel this is a hot area (remember the Internet in 2000?!). We will see investors pouring money into (and not asking the right questions about) IoT, AI, driverless vehicles (cars, drones) and all else IoT…. Important to be mindful and not rush into a space that is in the definition stage at this time.
 
Does this accelerate the timeline of when driverless and connected cars become ubiquitous? While no doubt Intel’s investment will spur on some other chain reaction of investment enthusiasm, the fact remains that driverless cars will take time to be introduced at a meaningful scale (i.e., make money). The reason is that unlike the Internet and many other applications on the internet or IoT, driverless cars include considerations such as DoT, legal, insurance, car to car communication, sensor technologies beyond the car, road regulations, traffic lights, car manufacturers coming on board, and tons more. So it's a good idea to think through the broader picture and invest and enable all elements to work -- and not just the car. An autonomous car can only scale and take off when all the other elements are addressed. So it’s a bit puzzling as to why we are ONLY thinking of autonomous cars!

Tim Ritchie, VP of Sales, Buddy Platform, Inc. 

What does Intel’s $15.3B acquisition of Mobileye mean for the IoT industry at large? Intel’s acquisition of Mobileye reflects the importance and increasing reality of ubiquitous connected technology. IoT technologies are disrupting established industries from cars to clothing. Intel brings increased investment opportunity, scale and manufacturing capacity to Mobileye, allowing costs to decrease and the technology to be adopted more broadly. We will continue to see this as a model across the IoT industry as established players look to IoT innovators to energize existing product lines.

Do you expect this to trigger a flurry of M&A activity around autonomous driving technology? Intel’s acquisition of Mobileye is an indication, not a trigger, of the increasing pace of consolidation around autonomous driving technologies. I expect we will continue to see the pace increase as technologies mature and niche players strive for a larger footprint and greater market share. As with all technology maturity cycles, single solution providers will acquire solutions adjacent to them until eventually becoming complete solution providers. Ironically, once the market reaches that level of maturity, a new generation of innovators will likely disrupt established players – like what we’re seeing with less expensive, more capable IoT technologies disrupting legacy markets like utilities and healthcare.

Does this accelerate the timeline of when driverless and connected cars become ubiquitous? Regulation, not technology, will be the gating factor for autonomous vehicles. Even with regulators working as quickly as they can, technical capability continues to outstrip regulation. Existing sensor and processing capability could be implemented today into an autonomous vehicle fleet and dramatically improve traffic flow and reduce injuries. However, this won’t become reality until regulators sign off.

How does a deal of this magnitude impact smart city planning and development? Municipal planning for autonomous vehicles is well underway. Planners are designing municipal spaces that contain less parking; smart traffic light systems that adjust patterns based on real time traffic information; narrower lanes; and reduced congestion.
 

Aaron Allsbrook, CTO, ClearBlade

The self-driving car is the trend Intel advanced last week to be the next connected device that will permeate our everyday lives. Mobileye vehicle sensors and vision algorithms dramatically strengthens Intel's ability to position themselves as a technology and solution provider for this next major mobile platform.  The connected self-driving car looms large as part of the digitalization of our society, as it represents more than families commuting to school, soccer practice or work, but rather a whole new economic segment for the delivery and logistics of goods.  Benefits of this technology will include optimization of road infrastructure, improved public safety, along with the additional convenience and increased quality of life.
 
If Intel can integrate their legacy chip business into a seamless autonomous vehicle package, it represents a huge opportunity for them to once again be the technology inside our daily compute and commute.

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#IoTCatSXSW: Members Meeting and IoT Insiders Happy Hour

This past Sunday, the IoTC held our quarterly members meeting & IoT Insiders SXSW Happy Hour in Austin, Texas. To start the jam-packed day, the members meeting was graciously hosted by Mutual Mobile at their headquarters, where our hosts were joined by IoTC members and advisors traveling to Austin for the SXSW Interactive Festival. The day featured a wide variety of networking opportunities, engaging group discussions, and thought provoking presentations.

President & CEO Greg Kahn began the afternoon with a recap of the IoTC’s activities, observations, and trends coming out of CES and Mobile World Congress. Monica Fogg of The Weather Company shared a talk on AI: The Watson Perspective covering the intersection of IBM’s artificial intelligence engine Watson and the latest in IoT technology. Afterward, Aaron Allsbrook, CTO of Clearblade, presented A Revolution: Industry 4.0 & the Third Wave, an in-depth look at the Industrial IoT opportunity supported by some great case studies. Andrew Thomas, Co-Founder of Skybell, spoke to the audience recounting how his company rose to IoT success -- From Crowdfunding to IoT Startup Success Story. Bringing the meeting to a close was Tarun Nimmagadda, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Mutual Mobile, who delivered an inspiring vision of IoT and health entitled Connected Self 2.0: The Future of Fitness and Health Tech.

Lively discussion and networking carried on well into the night in Austin at our IoT Insiders SXSW Happy Hour, co-hosted with Anova. Our IoT executive and entrepreneur guests enjoyed great food, drinks, and conversation against a backdrop of amazing downtown Austin views. In addition, Anova showcased its smart Precision Cooker with a custom demo station for cooking and sampling some delicious sous vide bites. 

With another successful SXSW Festival in the books, it was a wonderful opportunity to form special bonds with the ever-growing IoTC community. As we look ahead, keep an eye out for more information about our next meeting in the coming months.

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IoT Insiders Newsletter: Featuring Leader Kurt Hoppe of General Motors

The latest edition of our IoT Insiders newsletter features our IoT leader profile with Kurt Hoppe, Global Head of Innovation / Connected Car at General Motors and new IoT advisor. In addition, we've covered several important headlines across the IoT sphere along with updates from our member companies. If you or a friend/colleague are exploring promising career opportunities in IoT, be sure to check out our updated IoT job listings in this edition.

All that and more in our newest newsletter (click here to read).

To be added to the subscribers list for future newsletters, sign up here. Or if you know anyone that wants to stay up-to-date on IoT insider news, share this link with your colleagues and network.

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IOT LEADER PROFILE: KURT HOPPE

Our second IoT Leaders profile is of Kurt Hoppe, Global Head of Innovation / Connected Car at General Motors and board adviser to the IoTC.

Kurt brings over 15 years' experience leading connected consumer product and service innovation, new business model creation, and go-to-market initiatives leveraging strategic partners. He's led dedicated and cross-functional matrix teams in ideation, design, development, marketing, and sales with a focus on the intersection of consumer experience, connected IoT devices and cloud-based analytics.

1.      Where did your career start?
 
I joined the military when I was 17 and shipped off to Canada’s equivalent of West Point:  RMC.  In addition to the great Computer Science education and a complimentary (but mandatory) 5:00 am “workout regime”, the military taught me leadership, mentoring and teambuilding skills, as well as discipline and responsibility, all at a young age.  What other job do you know where 21-year olds can lead 500-person, high-intensity projects for 6 months, or run daily operations of a 15-site IT organization spanning 2000 miles?  So, the military is where it all began and I learned a lot during those years, yet I am disappointed that the skills and abilities of our military veterans are typically not recognized when they transition to the private sector.  That’s a worthwhile cause that I would like to dedicate more time towards in the future.

 2.      What was your introduction into the IoT sector?
 
Connected Consumer IoT has resonated with me since my youth. I had all the gadgets of that era. That’s why I studied AI-driven UX at UBC in Vancouver and pushed portable ruggedized communication devices while in the Air Force. After I left the military, and got “free agent” status in the private sector, I started the always stimulating, never-ending pursuit of “the next connected thing”.  Thankfully, that means I’ve been able to collaborate with visionaries for dramatic business shifts like e-commerce, mobile data (5 years before iPhone), broadband home gateways, Internet-connected set-top boxes, IPTV and OTT streaming video, Smart TVs, Smart Home and now Connected Car. So, it sounds like I have been in the “IoT sector” since I was born. (laughs)
 
3.      What are you most excited about in IoT?
 
I am probably most excited about “Automation” or, as some might call it, “Cognition”.  For mass-market consumer adoption, the tech UX must be simple and intuitive. I have been asking my teams for over ten years:  “can my mother in Toronto use this new thing, and can she use it without reading an instruction manual?” I say the same thing today to my colleagues at General Motors, whether they are striving to launch our next-generation in-dash services or update our mobile car apps. That’s why I was such a huge proponent of natural, conversational voice when driving Smart TV and Smart Home Input Technologies at LG Electronics. Now that the awareness of AI Assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri is leading to increased usage and improvement, what’s next?  Is there anything better than voice to turn off your lights or remote start your car?  I think next will be the Invisible or Automatic UX, where everyday life patterns are detected and interpreted and proactive actions are helpfully taken or at least suggested. In spirit, this user modeling is increasingly possible thanks to machine learning and all the sensors. If my user model constantly gets updated by IoT devices I interact with like my Chevy Bolt EV, my Fitbit, my Xfinity Home system and set-top, my iPhone and my Google searches, then I can be pleasantly surprised when my home or car “automatically” welcomes me at the right time, with the right temperature and lighting, and with the right music. That kind of “cognitive future” is what excites me about Connected Consumer IoT.
 
4.      Are there any sites/people/articles or books that have really inspired you lately?
 
I enjoy reading biographies, personal development, and business/innovation books, and I am trying to add creative novels to the mix as well.  Recently, I found myself inspired by Brian Jay Jones’ “George Lucas:  A Life”.  The parallels of the late - 60’s - early 70’s SoCal movie makers that were disrupting an established industry resonated with me, given my transition last year to the longstanding automotive industry.  Lucas’ adventures with Spielberg and Coppola were actually Lean Innovation, 50 years before we all came to love that term.  Speaking of Spielberg, he is making a film now of a book that I just finished yesterday:  “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline. That one definitely resonates with our tech crowd that grew up in the 80s, while also raising some interesting social questions around VR/AR work and relationships in our near future.  In terms of a person that inspires me consistently, it’s Mary Barra, my CEO at General Motors (GM). Mary’s pragmatic and common-sense approach to decision-making and guiding this massive, 100+ year old, automotive “hardware company” to the forefront of the industry in the most disruptive time ever in personal mobility, is energizing and is a big part of why I personally chose to join the GM team last year.
 

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IoTC and Nestle Present at Mobile World Congress

Can a 150 years old consumer good giant compete with the exponential rate of technology driven change? How is it possible to bring the best of the outside digital innovation inside the company, and “make the elephant dance”?

Greg Kahn, President/CEO of the Internet of Things Consortium, and Filippo Catalano, Chief Digital Operations Officer at Nestlé, will present this Wednesday, March 1st, 2017, at the Mobile World Congress a successful 5 point recipe for driving the organization, solutions and services side of the equation, and deep dive in some examples where digital technology is profoundly impacting business models.

Click here for more information.

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IoT Insiders Newsletter: Doubling Down on Privacy & Security

The latest edition of our IoT Insiders newsletter features the latest, most important headlines in IoT security and the Connected Home -- two central themes from the Consortium's industry taskforces. In addition, we've published the results from our Twitter surveys on a variety of key IoT topics along with updates from our member companies. If you or a friend/colleague are exploring promising career opportunities in IoT, be sure to check out our new IoT job listings in this edition.

All that and more in our newest newsletter (click here to read).

To be added to the subscribers list for future newsletters, sign up here. Or if you know anyone that wants to stay up-to-date on IoT insider news, share this link with your colleagues and network.

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IoTC Member Updates: February 2017

Honeywell is searching for expert software developers at locations across the US. These engineers will work on innovative solutions in the connected home. Visit the careers site to see the roles currently open or send an email to Scott.harkins@honeywell.com. 

Chirp and EDF Energy - the world’s largest nuclear energy and electricity manufacturer - launched its unique Industrial IoT solution to create the first ever “Smart PowerPlant,” using sound instead of radio frequencies to transmit connections between devices. Also, Chirp's technology scores an in-depth profile in The Verge.

Verizon acquired LQD WiFi, a private smart city infrastructure company. Their technology bolsters Verizon's smart city offerings for municipalities, private developers, academic institutions and entertainment venues.

UCIC and McLean, VA based startup Witlingo announced an active joint partnership to deliver fully conversational capabilities to consumer products, including cars, TV sets, humanoid robots, and household appliances. Read the press release.

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Securifi’s Almond 3 is a finalist in the Privacy and Security category for SXSW 2017 innovation awards, and was named a CES 2017 Innovation Awards Honoree.

Cirrent and Comcast announce ZipKey support for Comcast customers. Cirrent's ZipKey technology enables devices to find a Wi-Fi connection instantly out of the box, and will be deployed as part of Comcast's new home networking solution. Read more on CNET.

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Clearblade has been rated as Leading Vendor in MachNation’s 2016 IoT Application Enablement Platform Scorecard. MachNation's ScoreCard is the industry's largest independent evaluation of IoT platforms. Read the press release.

After the completion of their first successful program this year, Techstars IoT is opening applications for their next program which will kick off in July. Read more about it here and apply.

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Belkin has released two new products, the WeMo Mini Smart Plug that connects everyday household items to your Wemo app; and the Linksys Velop, a whole-home WiFi mesh networking solution.

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IoT Leaders Profile: Nate Williams

Beginning this month, we are introducing a new series called IoT Leaders – whereby we pose a short series of questions to a stand-out executive/entrepreneur who specializes in wearables, home automation, connected retail, connected cars or smart cities.

Our first profile is of Nate Williams, the Chief Revenue Officer of August Home, Inc and board advisor to the IoTC.

Nate is one of the most positive, provocative, and connected leaders in IoT -- a rising star well known in Smart Home circles.  He has crafted some of the most progressive deals to date in the IoT sector with a variety of partners that include Verizon, Apple, Airbnb, and Coldwell Banker.  Nate’s experience spans enterprise (Greenwave, Motorola) and consumer IoT (August). 

In addition to being an active angel investor and advisor, Nate can often be found cycling competitively in Northern California and spending quality time with his three young children.

What was your introduction into the IoT sector?

In 2005, fresh out of graduate school at UCLA I was asked to research Home Automation trends in support of our product development planning at Intel Corporation. In addition to assisting Intel Capital on the due diligence of iControl (early pioneer in Smart Home Security), I also analyzed the trends of convergence between Media and Automation. This eventually led me to meet the founding team at 4Home, where I joined as the first “business hire” and ultimately became the #2 in the company. Motorola Mobility acquired 4Home in 2010 and I joined the Management team of their Software & Services group running Marketing and Business Development. Motorola Mobility was acquired by Google in 2011.

Over 10 years and several strategic transactions later, I still feel the sense of awe and enthusiasm about the possibilities of IoT to not only impact industries but also improve lives. I have dedicated my career to being an operator, investor, and cheerleader for the sector and along the way met some great folks!

How did you get affiliated with IoTC? what is your role there?

I became affiliated with the Internet of Things Consortium through Jason Johnson (Founder & CEO of August).  I knew he had been gathering smart minds around SF to discuss opportunities in IoT. Those informal “jam sessions” became some of the early foundations of the IoTC and I volunteered to jump in as a Board Advisor in 2014.

My current role at IoTC is chairing the membership committee in support of Greg and the IoTC staff.  In my role, I leverage my relationships across the industry to bring new partners into the consortium and perform due diligence on prospective members. What separates the IoTC from many other interest groups (besides not proposing standards!) is that we have an invitation-only membership policy. We screen the prospective companies and members to ensure that they will contribute to the industry, not only maximize their company’s agenda. So many members including Jim Hunter from Greenwave and JP Abello from Nielsen are committed to deliver on the promise of IoT.

Name a big IoT trend that isn't getting enough attention.

The Enterprise IoT sector continues to lag behind Consumer IoT in terms of attention and press. The sheer scope and scale of the Enterprise opportunity is massive and something I believe we’ll see much more attention on in the coming year. The power of IoT to tectonically impact an industry, whether it is transportation, manufacturing, medical, or utilities is unmatched. At one point Cisco had calculated IoT could provide 14 trillion dollars of economic value in the next 10 years.

Because I have the pleasure of leading August’s go-to-market efforts in the consumer space, I have developed a fairly good sense of what opportunities can scale in the B2C or B2B channels. For example, enterprise grade IoT platforms like Greenwave Systems (my former startup) combine the agility of a consumer startup with the deep technical expertise and international footprint of a large Enterprise player.

Are there any sites/people/articles or books that have really inspired you lately?

Site = Twitter, between following IoTC and other main influencers I am getting a firehouse of great data.

People = One of my mentors is the former SVP of Corporate Development at Cisco and Enterprise Angel Investor Dan Scheinman. Dan is involved with some of the most innovative companies in Enterprise right now such as Arista Networks, Zoom, Greenwave, and Sentinel One. It was really inspiring for me to hear about how he developed his vetting process for angel investments and how to be “value add” as an investor. It certainly reinforced how I want to help the startups I advise/invest.

Articles = I absolutely loved Jason Rosenthal’s post “How to Build a Hard Tech Startup” on Medium. Totally insightful around leading hardware teams developing cutting edge technology literally breaking new boundaries along the way. Inspiring!

Books = I blogged about my reading Habits in 2016, but I would say the most inspiring book I’ve read in the past year was “Mans Search for Meaning”. As a father of 3, very important that I can align my vocation with my values.

In 5 years, where will we see you?

Continuing to be associated with the most disruptive entrepreneurs and startups in the Internet of Things industry. Firstly, I love the challenge of taking a new product/service and working across the permutations to find product/market fit. At Greenwave, we found that with a massively impactful and very strategic relationship with Verizon. At August, we used hero integrations with Alexa, Siri, and Google/Nest to make our Smart Lock a hero product in over 5,000 doors in US and Canada. Along the way, I’ve also got to help early stage IoT startups such as Roost, Matterport, Cirrent, and Data Science as an Angel Investor and Advisor. Transitioning from player to coach/cheerleader as I build teams and deploy capital is something that challenges me and I look forward to opportunities where I can increase the global impact of my work.

So in 2022 I would expect to see me back from CES 2022 (possibly) recovering from the annual “show cold” but with (hopefully) another year of IoTC success stories and learning under my belt!

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#IoTCatCES: Happy Hour & IoT Showcase

What better way to celebrate our first anniversary than with a CES Happy Hour & IoT Showcase? The evening reception took place on Friday, January 6th and was centrally located right outside of the Las Vegas Convention Center. IoTC member NXP provided an impressive array of hands-on IoT demos for our guests with their Smarter World Tour truck (NXP's traveling "IoT Lab on Wheels"), and their spectacular exhibit tent. Thanks to all the special guests who joined in our birthday celebration with drinks, appetizers, music, and excellent IoT networking. Executives from companies such as Belkin, Canary, Comcast, Indiegogo, Nielsen, Qualcomm, Verizon, and many more were in attendance. 

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#IoTCatCES: Media & Entertainment in the 'Third Wave' with ESPN, Nielsen, Nissan & more

In an event co-hosted with Disney Media Networks, the IoTC convened a panel of experts at CES to explore how media & entertainment will evolve in the Third Wave age of IoT. Held on Thursday, January 5th at the Four Seasons Hotel of Las Vegas, the "Future of Connected Screens" event was comprised of executives from ESPN, Nielsen, Nissan, Parks Associates, Team One, and Brand InnovatorsBrett Sappington from Parks Associates kicked the morning off with some valuable research charting the steady growth of connected device ownership by consumers, along with data on how newer technologies like Virtual Reality, wearables, connected cars, and voice recognition/command are starting to gain traction. 

The panel conversation then delved into some of the most exciting opportunities in connected screens for businesses, including the success of voice-control technology like the Amazon Echo, and the potential for virtual reality to transform entertainment. The group also discussed how data collected from IoT devices can augment storytelling experiences for marketers & advertisers, but that better measurement capabilities would be an important precedent to unlocking advertiser investment, which would in turn subsidize and accelerate consumer adoption of IoT.

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Happy Birthday to the IoTC

The Internet of Things Consortium is celebrating our first anniversary at CES 2017! To prepare for the special occasion, we've been hard at work gearing up for an exciting slate of activities at the biggest show in technology.

Wednesday, January 4th: VR + Brands @ The Palazzo

The IoTC is teaming up with Comcast Ventures to host an executive dinner and roundtable discussion on Virtual Reality. We'll be joined by executives from Pepsico, Hasbro, NextVR, Baobab Studios, and more to lead a conversation on how marketers can collaborate with VR content creators to tell more immersive and more powerful stories for brands.

Thursday, January 5th: The Future of Connected Screens @ Four Seasons Hotel

In partnership with Disney Media Networks, the IoTC will be leading a breakfast panel discussion exploring the future of how media will be consumed in the age of IoT. On the panel will be executives from Nissan, ESPN and more sharing their expert insights on what businesses should anticipate as common household appliances, automobiles and everyday objects all become connected

Thursday, January 5th: Connections Summit at CES by Parks Associates @Venetian

Hosted by our partner Parks Associates, the Connections Summit at CES features discussions analyzing trends in smart homes and IoT for consumers while identifying opportunities for companies. For more information on the conference, visit here. IoTC members receive registration discounts, as well as a limited number of complimentary passes.

Friday, January 6th: CES Happy Hour and IoT Tech Showcase by IoTC & NXP @Las Vegas Convention Center Central Plaza

The IoTC will be co-hosting an evening reception with NXP at the center of all the CES action, the LVCC. Guests will be able to tour NXP's Smarter World Tour truck, a giant traveling showcase of all the latest in IoT technology. It promises to be a fun evening of drinks, appetizers, networking, and interactive hands-on IoT demos.

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Smart Cities: Executive Dinner & Summit

The #IoTCinBoston week continued on Tuesday with our second "Connected Conversations," a series of executive roundtable dinners in partnership with CBS Interactive. The evening's hosts were IoTC CEO Greg Kahn along with Jason Hiner, Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Larry Dignan, Global Editor in Chief of ZDNet. Together they led a guided group discussion exploring the future of Smart Cities over cocktails, appetizers, and dinner. In the spirit of public-private sector partnership, the group of 30 dinner guests included senior executives from local government such as New Haven, Kansas City, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as well corporations such as Verizon, GE, Liberty Mutual, NXP, and Autodesk. The conversation varied in Smart Cities topics from government policy and funding to investments in infrastructure and academic institutions, leading to a lively exchange of opinions, ideas, and knowledge.

On Wednesday, in partnership with the inaugural launch of the Smart Cities Summit, the IoTC led a panel discussion on Sharing Economies for modern cities. Joseph Tam of the IoTC moderated a conversation examining the impact of services such as Airbnb, Lyft, and Uber on local economies along with what new opportunities they engender for cities making IoT and smart city investments. On the panel were Nichole Mace, VP of Product and Member Experience at Zipcar, Tyler George, General Manager of Lyft, Melanie Nutter, Principal of Nutter Consulting, and David Miller, CEO of RideLeads. Together, the group painted a hopeful vision for the convergence of the sharing economy and smart city initiatives, one where more opportunities are created for the workforce, where cities are more environmentally sustainable, where underserved communities in cities have greater access, and where we're all inspired to build the next generation of jobs.

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IoTC Members Meeting in Boston: Educate. Partner. Inspire.

This Monday, the IoTC kicked off a big week of activities in Boston with our quarterly members meeting. The meeting was graciously hosted by Liberty Mutual at their headquarters, where our hosts were joined by IoTC members traveling from all parts including Tel Aviv, Toronto, Seattle, Los Angeles, Austin, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and more. With a theme of "Educate. Partner. Inspire.," the afternoon featured knowledge sharing of best-in-class IoT ideas and solutions, thought provoking presentations, and plenty of engaging discussions.

CEO & President Greg Kahn outlined IoTC's plans for 2017 and also led a discussion on some of the emerging trends and predictions around IoT for the new year. Chris Rezendes, Founder of IoT Impact Labs and advisor to the IoTC, presented the inspiring work of his organization to "instrument the physical world," deploying early stage IoT technology for small businesses, cities, and more. Kwik is one of our newest members and its Founder & CEO, Ofer Klein, discussed how their "Press to Order" button product is uniquely facilitating connected commerce and how its technology empowers brands to sell direct to consumers. Leor Grebler, CEO of fellow IoTC member UCIC, walked us through the recent history and the future of ambient voice technology, an especially hot IoT topic du jour popularized by devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home. Bringing us to close was Chad Lovell, Managing Director of Strategic Partnerships at Liberty Mutual, who delivered an exclusive inside look at their strategic approach to developing innovative insurance products for smart homes, next-gen vehicles, and the sharing economy.

The lively discussions, networking, and bonding carried on well after the meeting as everyone convened for the IoTC Happy Hour. Capped off with a few rounds of drinks and bites, Monday could not have been a more amazing start to #IoTCinBoston week.

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IoTC at Smart Home Summit and ad:tech

The IoTC went coast-to-coast this week, speaking at the Smart Home Summit in Palo Alto on Tuesday, November 1st, and then again at the ad:tech conference in New York on Thursday, November 3rd. 

At the Smart Home Summit, IoTC CEO & President Greg Kahn was joined by fellow IoTC members Scott Harkins of Honeywell and Nate Williams of August to discuss the critical role of partnerships for companies in the smart home ecosystem and how to best forge successful partnerships. Also on the panel were Anoop Mohan of Comcast and Brett Worthington of SmartThings.

At ad:tech, the leading advertising and marketing technology conference, IoTC Advisor Ohad Zeira of Verizon led a panel discussion on "IoT and the Marketing Revolution." The panel included IoTC member John Burbank of Nielsen along with executives from IBM, Philips, Kiip, and Hiku. Ohad moderated a lively discussion on the hot topic of how advertisers can leverage data from IoT sensors and devices for the targeting of ads, but the panelists also shared some great insights on how IoT can augment brand storytelling and brand experiences for marketers.

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Dyn DDoS Attack: what happened and what we can do to stop future attacks

The IoT Consortium takes IoT security and privacy threats extremely seriously. The Mirai botnet DDoS attack that took down the Dyn DNS service Friday, October 21st affected many of the most popular US web sites, causing massive service disruptions and widespread damage on an unprecedented scale. The simplicity and accessibility of this hack also exposed in a very public manner the extreme vulnerability of the current consumer IoT ecosystem and the urgency of identifying and rapidly deploying robust protective measures across the entire industry.

To that order, the IoT Consortium has formed a Privacy & Security Committee comprised of leading consumer IoT manufacturers to promote and coordinate industry-wide collaboration on this critical issue. Its long term goal is to build and maintain consumer's trust in the connected devices that are increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives, and foster the development an healthy IoT consumer ecosystem that can safely add value to the global Internet economy.

Released just weeks ago as an open source malware, the Mirai botnet continuously scans the Internet for common consumer IoT devices such as web-connected cameras, thermostats, smart TVs and digital video recorders. Leveraging the fact that many consumers neglect to change the default username and password in their rush to setup these devices, it uses a short list of the common default usernames and passwords, (such as "admin", "123" and "password") to break into these relatively unprotected devices. In a very short time, Mirai was able to gain access and recruit hundreds of thousands of connected devices to flood specific targets with traffic requests, effectively forcing them offline. 

Currently the quickest fix is for consumers to reboot their devices and immediately change the default username and password, to prevent them to become re-infected. However its unreasonable to expect that most consumers will do this on their own, and the IoT Consortium recommends that manufacturers commit to pushing firmware updates to all their devices that require changing the default username and password both as part of the initial setup process and as part of the software update. Consumers should also be strongly advised to avoid re-using critically important passwords, such as those of their email or bank accounts and home WiFi routers.

The IoT Consortium welcomes and encourages all IoT device manufacturers to join and participate in this community effort, and help make the IoT into a more secure and trusted place for consumers. For more information, please contact Greg Kahn at greg@iofthings.org or our privacy and security subcommittee co-leaders JP Abello (jeanpierre.abello@nielsen.com) and Jim Hunter (jim.hunter@greenwavereality.com).

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IoTC to present keynote at Chain Store Age's Executive Conference

This Thursday, October 27th, the IoTC's CEO & President, Greg Kahn, will be presenting a Keynote session on the future of Connected Retail at Chain Store Age's X/SPECS Executive Conference. Chain Store Age (CSA) is the leading news publication for the retail industry and X/SPECS is a 3-day exclusive event for executives from top retailers to discuss the evolution of physical stores and the retail experience. Below is a description of the IoTC's keynote presentation, titled "The Internet of Things: What Does it Mean for You?"

By 2026, the Internet of Things (IoT) will be a routine part of consumers’ daily lives, but it has already impacted retail – with more changes on the way. Learn about how customer experience will be elevated, and the store will be enriched, by a next level in personalization – think RFID, beacons, mobile devices, video, connected retail displays and more.

Facilities management will also see transformation as IoT creates “smart” building operations with enhanced facilities intelligence. Systems that control everything from heating and air conditioning to lighting and security will be integrated, changing the way we operate, maintain and manage stores. The future is here.

You may find more information about the event at its website: http://www.xspecsshow.com/

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October IoTC Executive Roundtable: Marrying IoT with Insurance

Interest in IoT from the insurance industry continues to take off this year with a flurry of investment and partnership activity from the likes of AXA, Liberty Mutual, Transamerica, and more. IoT technologies such as smart homes, connected cars and wearable fitness monitors can have an extraordinary impact on how insurers assess and manage risk for home, auto, and health policies. This month's roundtable asked execs from our IoTC member companies for their expert analysis and perspectives on the increasing alliance between the IoT and insurance industries.

Roel Peeters, Founder & CEO of Roost
Is strategic investment in, and partnership with the IoT industry a smarter model for insurance companies or in-house development of IoT technology? The IoT industry is still nascent.  Requirements from insurance companies are imprecise at best.  With that combination, partnerships and strategic investments are the more prudent approach to hedge their bets on a variety of new solutions and methodologies.  As IoT matures, in-house development could make sense, maybe kick-started with targeted M&A.
How will a marriage between IoT and insurers benefit consumers? IoT can change the insurance industry from purely an indemnification business to also be in the protection business.  IoT can help prevent losses or reduce the severity of losses.  Insurers will be incentivized to subsidize (or give away for free) relevant IoT products.  Furthermore, this will lead to better customer experience and lower insurance premiums.  

Phil Lewer, Business Development & Marketing Director at NXP
Are investments and partnerships a smarter model than in-house development for insurance companies? The connected home’s success is predicated on partnerships. No one company can do it all. The insurance industry’s fundamental business model is based on the profitable sales of risk management instruments. Technology is already playing a role in giving insurance companies the real time data that they need to offer more aggressive rates at potentially higher levels of profitability based on the measurement of actual behaviors. The technology required to pull this together requires architectures based on the design and development of sensors, tied together via networks into the cloud and the software to do the sensor fusion and analytics. It’s a massive undertaking. By sticking to their core competency of insurance services, insurance companies can leverage the multitude of technology companies that are already providing the key pieces of IoT and can influence those companies to develop the products that they may need for future services.
What are the consumer benefits? IoT delivers accurate sensing data to insurers allowing them to base rates on actual rather than predicted behaviors. This means that lower risk individuals can pay lower premiums – not having to subsidize those who are higher risk. If an insurance company knows you have an automatic water shut off valve based on leak detection, they know your risk of flooding is negligible. Your rates go down and their pay out goes down. It’s a win-win.

Andrew Thomas, Co-Founder & CRO of Skybell
What are the consumer benefits? 
The two driving motivators around IoT products are safety and savings. Consumers will benefit as they see their premiums and costs drop with the products backed by their insurance carrier. 
What kinds of IoT companies are best positioned to work with insurers? It all boils down to impacting the bottom-line. Damage from water (flooding), fire and hail are the most common claims that impact a carrier’s bottom line. I see water sensors, smoke alarms and fast-action weather alert systems as the best positioned to work with insurers.

Jim Poole, VP Business Development at Equinix
Are investments and partnerships a smarter model than in-house development for insurance companies? 
Without a doubt.  If you look at the market, you’ve got a lot of investment funding development in numerous different areas:  autos, sensors, weather, networks, cloud platforms, etc. The list goes on and on. Trying to do in-house development in such a dynamic environment is a questionable exercise versus utilizing best-in-breed solutions from vendors trying to fix very specific market issues.
What are the consumer benefits? IoT obviously has the potential to dramatically impact the insurance industry. If self-driving cars become a reality, the impact on accident rates would dramatically change the demand for CURRENT insurance products. However, insurance is one of the few products that can more easily adjust to the needs of consumers. Just because I don’t need the same type of insurance I had when I drove a car every day, doesn’t mean I don’t need insurance for when I decide I don’t want to take a self-driving auto.  Also, more generally, insurance often deals with trying to model scenarios that are potentially BETTER understood with the aid of IoT.  For example, flood or fire insurance that might be better tailored for users if we can lower the incidence of accidents which occur due to product failures versus less predictable “acts of God”, such as storms or forest fires.

Eric Forti, Business Development Manager at Jarden
Partnerships and investments or in-house development? Product development isn’t a forte for most insurance companies and therefore is a likely stumbling block for them successfully navigating the space. There are many companies out there that specialize in product development that would ultimately offer better experiences for consumers.
What are the consumer benefits? Having IoT devices in homes could make trends visible to insurance companies and allow them to educate consumers in new ways (e.g. there are a lot of burglaries in homes within X miles of yours and they’re trying windows first. Make sure they’re locked!) I guess another way of looking at this is, if the insurance companies incentivize consumers to install IoT devices what are the drawbacks for a consumer?
Does B2B/industrial IoT or B2C/consumer IoT hold more promise for insurance companies? I think both the consumer and the businesses have an opportunity to benefit. Utility companies could install monitors and kill switches then strike deals with insurance companies as a result. This is a clear financial benefit for the businesses providing incremental services. Ultimately if the insurance company’s costs go down, the consumer should also see a savings. Outside of a financial benefit there are opportunities for the consumer to get better service as a result of being connected through IoT. When companies learn your habits they can point out unwanted deviations and/or offer you products and services to enhance your experience.

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How to Invest in IoT + Insurance Startups

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The Internet of Insurance conference was held this Tuesday, September 27 in New York, where the IoTC's Joseph Tam moderated a panel discussion on "IoT start-up investment – Key strategies to avoid making rookie mistakes." The panel of esteemed speakers featured IoTC member Roel Peeters of Roost as well as seasoned "InsurTech" investors and VC veterans including Dan Reed of American Family Ventures, Georg Schwegler of Transamerica Ventures and Victor Pascucci of Munich Re/ HSB Ventures. In a discussion filled with valuable advice on creating successful investment partnerships between IoT startups and insurance companies, the panelists also spoke of the unique market forces that are driving the surge in such activity -- totaling $2.12 billion in investment since 2010 and growing 9X in 2015 alone. The IoTC was honored to help foster and lead insightful dialogue on the growing alliance between IoT and insurance.

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